Saturday, September 10, 2005

Author in Brief: David C. Edmonds

By the strange inner workings of the rumor mill, it was assumed by many readers familiar with his work that author David C. Edmonds was deceased. Happily, the man himself put that error to rest recently in a posting on the "Louisiana in the Civil War" messageboard.

David Edmonds is the author of several works dealing with the Civil War in Louisiana, perhaps most notably his definitive two-volume military history of the Port Hudson campaign Guns of Port Hudson. His books are well researched, minutely detailed in military matters, and are stocked with large numbers of serviceable maps. Unfortunately, hardback editions are long out-of-print and remain difficult to find on the used book market. If you can find a volume two (and I can't), count yourself extremely fortunate.

However, the good news is that the Center for Louisiana Studies has very recently reprinted a paperback edition of Edmonds' Yankee Autumn in Acadiana. Yankee Autumn deals with General Nathaniel Banks' 1863 fall and winter Texas Overland Campaign. To summarize briefly, a Union army under the operational command of William B. Franklin advanced up Louisiana's Bayou Teche with the ultimate goal of invading East Texas. Although it never reached the Lone Star State, the huge Union force nevertheless devastated the region's infrastructure. Like Guns of Port Hudson, Yankee Autumn is much the traditional campaign and battle study but it also mines mountains of disparate primary source material in order to delve deeply into localized issues of race, economics, and social disruption.

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