Saturday, December 21, 2013

Booknotes II (Dec '13)

I just discovered that part of the scarcity of recent releases was due to the USPS dropping the ball on mail forwarding.

New Arrivals:

1. Parole, Pardon, Pass and Amnesty Documents of the Civil War: An Illustrated History by John Martin Davis, Jr. and George B. Tremmel (McFarland, 2013).

This study of Union and Confederate passes, paroles, presidential pardons, prisoner oaths, 1865 surrender paroles, and amnesty papers is both a history of the documents and their legal origins as well as a photographic record. There are probably over a hundred photographed documents, sized appropriately for reading clarity, in the main text and in the appendices.

2. The Ozarks in Missouri History: Discoveries in an American Region edited by Lynn Morrow (Univ of Missouri Pr, 2013).

A collection of 15 essays previously published in the journal Missouri Historical Review, the Civil War related piece selected was John Bradbury's article discussing the reaction of mid-western Union soldiers to the Ozark geography and populace.

3. The Physics of War: From Arrows to Atoms by Barry Parker (Prometheus Books, 2014).

This book traces in popular fashion technological innovation in war. The American Civil War section highlights the use of advances like the percussion firing mechanism, rifling, the telegraph, early electric generators, Gatling guns, torpedoes, submarines, and balloons.

4. A Rogue's Life: R. Clay Crawford, Prison Escapee, Union Army Officer, Pretend Millionaire, Phony Physician and the Most Respected Man in Macon, Georgia by Lewis A. Lawson (McFarland, 2013).

Sounds like a Civil War version of Catch Me If You Can. The description seems to frame it as a bit of a cautionary tale in terms of excessive regard toward the 'self-made man'.

5. Colonels in Blue - Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary by Roger Hunt (McFarland, 2013).

I've found the other Hunt reference book that I own to be useful and there's no reason to think this one isn't more of the same. The author certainly consulted an extensive array of source materials in compiling his register of Union officers leading Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee regiments.

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