1. The Prairie Boys Go to War: The Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 1861-1865 by Rhonda M. Kohl (Southern Ill. UP, 2013).
I am really looking forward to reading this regimental history of an Illinois cavalry regiment's exploits in Arkansas and Mississippi. Hopefully, it will shine light on some understudied events in the West and Trans-Mississippi. Kohl also promises a cultural study of the men of the 5th. It is rare that a unit study attempts both detailed service history and insightful social examination.
2. A New Southern Woman: The Correspondence of Eliza Lucy Irion Neilson, 1871-1883 edited by Giselle Roberts (Univ of S. Carolina Pr, 2013).
This edited collection of 130 letters offers readers a view into the process of a Columbus, Mississippi family's adaptation (and creative contribution) to the new social, gender, and economic realities of the post-Civil War South.