1. The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War by Adam Arenson (Harvard Univ Pr, 2011).
I liked Louis Gerteis's Civil War St. Louis, and, while both books appear superficially similar in their focus on society and politics, Arenson's new study takes a broader and more long term view at the importance of St. Louis to 19th century cultural change in America.
2. An Iowa Soldier Writes Home: The Civil War Letters of Union Private Daniel J. Parvin edited by Phillip A. Hubbart (Carolina Academic Pr, 2011).
This book is an edited collection of 117 letters from a private in the 11th Iowa. Parvin fought first in Missouri in 1861-62 before heading to the western theater and the battlefields of Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. Editor Phillip Hubbart bucks tradition, organizing the material thematically rather than chronologically. I am curious to see how well the method works in practice.