Posts Tagged With: Civil War books

Two new Civil War books from Osprey

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The good folks at Osprey continue to pump out new books with regularity, including titles focused on the American Civil War. Clayton James Donnell is the author of a new book entitled Shenandoah Valley 1862, an excellent entry-level treatise on Stonewall Jackson’s brilliant operations in the Valley in the spring of 1862. Other than a loss to Nathan Kimball early in the campaign at Kernstown, Jackson confounded a myriad of Union commanders and eventually cleared most of the Valley for the Confederate cause. Connell gives a sweeping overview of the movements, the battles, and the strategic and tactical implications of the fighting. Augmented with Adam Hook’s usual fine illustrations and maps and an array of period photographs and illustrations, this book is a useful addition to the Osprey lineup.

Long-time author and historian Ron Field is back with his latest work for Osprey, Lincoln’s 90-day Volunteers 1861.  This is a concise account of how the states responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers for three months to put down the rebellion, a seemingly easy task at the time. Field uses period newspapers, letters, diaries, and other first-person accounts to describe the response, the numbers of men, their armament and uniforms, and their early days as soldiers. As with Donnell’s book, Adam Hook has provided original graphics with some excellent plates of the early war uniforms (often gray for many of the Union fledgling regiments, which created some confusion at Manassas/Bull Run).

Here are a few photos of selected pages from the two new books, which are great additions to the ever growing Osprey lineup.

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Massive new U.S. Army photo book is a winner!

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The United States Army, rooted in the Continental Army of the late 1700s, tested in battle against domestic foes and  international forces, is now into its third century of existence. Hundreds of thousands of illustrations, photographs, paintings, and other graphics exist of uniforms, commanders, common soldiers, battlegrounds, and equipment/weaponry/vehicles/ships. Author D. M. Giangreco has mined these and selected a wonderful array of photographs and other visual media to illustrate his new book, United States Army: The Definitive Illustrated History.

1,400 to be precise.

In a stunning work which easily lives up to its name as the “definitive illustrated history,” Giangreco and his editors and publisher have created a book which is sure to be popular with anyone who has ever served in the U. S. Army, knows someone who did, or simply likes war stories and military history. The illustrations are lavish, frequent, and appropriate to tell the sweeping story of the everyday U.S. soldier in camp, on the march, or in combat. Here are photos of famous leaders, the warriors they c0mmanded, and the fields on which they served, and in some cases, bled and died.

Here are a few sample pages to give an idea of the general layout of the book, which is a must have for anyone interested in the Army.

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Categories: Civil War books | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Wargamer Brad Butkovich issues new history of the Battle of Pickett’s Mills

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Brad Butkovich is known in Civil War wagaming circles for a series of excellent scenario books for regimental-level gaming, with a strong focus on action in the Western Theater. His research skills and attention to detail are evident in those scenario books, as is his grasp of the military tactics and objectives of the commanders.

Based in Lilburn, Georgia, Brad has maintained a keen interest in Civil War events in his region, including the May 1864 Battle of Pickett’s Mill. The old battlefield has remained free from major development, and in recent years has been preserved and nicely interpreted, sparking renewed interest in this early fight between William T. Sherman’s Union forces and the Confederates of Joseph E. Johnston. More than 2,000 men died in what became one of Sherman’s rare severe defeats, one which he conveniently neglected to mention in his post-war memoirs. It was a stinging loss, one which largely has also been overlooked in most histories of the fighting in North Georgia other than a passing mention.

Brad has corrected this oversight in his new book, which thoroughly recounts the fighting which Union soldier and later author Ambrose Bierce, sickened at the carnage to Sherman’s blue-clad ranks, deemed as “the dead-line.”

This 207-page book is divided into 17 short chapters which set up the battle in its military context, examine the leaders and major personalities, recount the movements of the opposing forces to come to the encounter, and then present the battle situation and unfolding combat action. Butkovich then dives into the aftermath of the fighting and what the next steps were for Sherman, Johnston, and their key subordinates.  He then finishes with an interesting account of the postwar history of the main properties where the fighting occurred and the efforts to preserve the old battlefield as a memorial park so that future generations may ponder what happened there.

Among the many useful features of the book are the excellent maps, which are plentiful and well crafted. Drawing from his previous experience in creating his own maps for his wargaming efforts, Brad has included more than a dozen useful maps of various phases of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill.  All are well done and serve the dual purpose of helping illustrate the ebb and flow of battle and to serve as an inspiration for tabletop wargaming the various phases of the battle.

All in all, this is an excellent addition to the historiography of the warfare in North Georgia and William T. Sherman’s movements toward Atlanta in the spring of 1863.

Brad Butkovich’s The Battle of Pickett’s Mill: Along the Dead-Line is a product of The History Press and is part of their popular Civil War Sesquicentennial  Series. The annotated,indexed book retails for $21.99 but can often be found at a lower price deeply discounted on amazon.com. It’s well worth the investment and should be a “must have” for anyone interested in the Atlanta and North Georgia military operations.

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Two new ACW books from Osprey

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Our friends at Osprey Publishing have issued two new Civil War-related titles which may be of interest to the wargaming community. The first of these, Avenging Angel, another title by long-time Osprey writer Ron Field, covers the infamous 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry by abolitionist firebrand John Brown and his misguided followers. The attack culminated in the deaths of several townspeople, as well as most of the raiders (either on site or later via execution). This is  Number 36 of Osprey’s “Raid” series, and like the rest it is lavishly illustrated. In this case, the artists are Allan Gilliland, Johnny Schumate, and Mark Stacey. Their work is up to the normal high standards of Osprey publications.

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Excellent new scenario book for Regimental Fire & Fury ACW gaming!

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Author and wargaming expert Rich Hasenauer, a member of the HMGS Legion of Honor, has produced the first in what we at the Johnny Reb Gaming Society hope will be a long series of fantastic, full-color scenario books for his popular rules set, Regimental Fire & Fury.  If the quality of this first offering is a hint of what is to come, we are in for a real treat as this series progresses through the war.

Regimental Fire & Fury Civil War Battles Scenarios, Volume 1: 1861-1862 is a welcome addition to my library of scenario books for regimental-level ACW gaming. Rich presents 11 different battles, some of which have multiple scenarios to depict portions of the larger fighting on a manageable scale. These range in chronological order from Big Bethel in 1861 to Prairie Grove in 1862, and represent both the Eastern and Western Theaters of the war. He also presents some optional rules which the gamer may incorporate into these scenarios, or into any other RFF game. The most interesting of these is his take on deploying and using skirmish lines in an RFF game, as well as the use of extended lines and twilight/night game turns. These are elements which have evolved from the wider usage of RFF and extensive playtesting among a variety of gaming groups.

As with the original Regimental Fire & Fury rules book, this new supplement is printed on glossy coated-two side enamel paper, enabling crisp reproduction of the photographs, maps, and images. The images show several of Rich’s fantastic miniature wargames in progress, and help visualize how to layout the gaming table for each scenario. Having retired in 2011, he now has more time to devote to his hobbies, and with more than 2,000 copies of RFF sold, he has a devoted following who will look forward to his continued efforts in the years to come.

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Categories: Civil War books, Civil War wargaming, Product reviews, Scenarios | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

New Osprey Civil War book – Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863

Osprey Publishing has issued Volume 25 of their “Raid” series, this one entitled Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863. Written by former archaeologist and now full-time writer Sean McLachlan, the book covers a daring raid into Missouri by the Confederate Iron Brigade cavalry under famed leader Jo Shelby. Shelby, a devout pro-secessionist, had fought and killed Kansas “Jayhawkers” before the Civil War, and had served in some of the earliest battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater. He had never forgot his passion for Missouri, however, and itched at a chance to lead a raid into the state to liberate it from Yankee rule. Governor-in-exile Thomas Reynolds and other Confederate officials were titular only, because the state had never seceded from the Union, and Federal troops maintained firm control over most of the state. Shelby hoped to change that.

In July 1863, the war news was discouraging for most Southerners — Vicksburg had surrendered; the Mississippi River was under Federal control; Robert E. Lee had lost a major battle in Pennsylvania at Gettysburg; and none of the border states had joined the Confederacy. Federals pushed deep in Arkansas and seized Little Rock. Shelby launched his raid to disrupt the oncoming Yankees. After several small engagements, Shelby managed to break through pursuing Federals and ride back into the Confederacy.

McLachlan gives a thorough overview of the strategic situation, the troops involved in the raid, some insight into Jo Shelby’s personality and previous experience, and the Northern (and Southern) reaction to the daring incursion. Lavishly illustrated, like all Osprey books, Ride Around Missouri includes an array of vintage period photographs, original maps commissioned for the book, bird’s-eye views, first-person accounts drawn from primary sources, and the usual excellent color illustrations of men, uniforms, equipment, and events.

The book is 80 pages, including the index and bibliography. It’s a useful addition to your wargaming or Civil War library. It is available at leading hobby retailers, book dealers, and on the Internet direct from Osprey or via amazon.com.

Ride Around Missouri: Shelby’s Great Raid 1863

Sean McLachlan

Osprey Publishing, October 2011

ISBN 978-1-84908-429-1

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New book: The History Buff’s Guide to the Civil War

Comedian and talk show host David Letterman popularized the concept of “Top Ten Lists,” an often humorous and satiric look at current events or newsworthy people. Veteran author and Iowa educator Thomas R. Flagel used a similar concept (without the humor or satire, of course!) to present an overview of the American Civil War in his new book, The History Buff’s Guide to the Civil War (2010, Cumberland House). It is now available from amazon.com and other leading book retailers.

He breaks the war down into six major chunks — Antebellum, Politics, Military Life, The Home Front, In Retrospect, and Pursuing the War. Each chapter is then subdivided in a series of Top Ten lists based upon the author’s personal rankings; for example Chapter 1, Antebellum contains the sections “Top Ten Causes of the Civil War,” “Top Ten States with the Highest Percentage of Slaves,” Top Ten Events of Slave Life,” “Top Ten Abolitionists,” and “Top Ten Fire-Eaters.”  Each list is annotated and Flagel’s commentary on each section gives an overview of the topic. The footnotes are extensive and useful to the history buff who wishes to dive much deeper into the particular subject.

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Flames Beyond Gettysburg now shipping to customers!

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I am now filling orders for personalized autographed copies of the newly released Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863. These are $23.95 plus $5 shipping, and tell the story of the Confederate invasion of southern Pennsylvania in the week immediately before the Battle of Gettysburg.

You will much better understanding Day 1 at Gettysburg after you read this book!!! It sets up how and why the Confederate troops were in the locations in which they began the Battle of Gettysburg.

PayPal accepted! Priority mail shipping.

Categories: Civil War books, Gettysburg | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gettysburg Glimpses: True Stories from the Battlefield now for sale!!!

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My latest book, Gettysburg Glimpses: True Stories from the Battlefield, is now available for sale from Xlibris Publishing. Printed on demand using the latest digital print technology, orders for this new book are generally printed, filled, and shipped within 2 weeks or so after receipt of the order.  Excerpts from the book may be read on-line on the publisher’s bookstore.

This book offers more than 200 fresh stories from the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Campaign, many of which have not appeared in print since the late 19th century. These anecdotes, incidents, and stories range from the humorous to the ironic and unusual, but all are of interest.

Signed first edition copies of Gettysburg Glimpses may be ordered directly from the author at scottmingus@yahoo.com. Send an e-mail for details.

Categories: Civil War books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My wargaming room

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A few of you have asked to see photos of my wargaming room in our basement, adjacent to the mecca of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society (a.k.a. Debi’s office and library, and our grandson’s playroom).  I particularly like the Lincoln print, which is actually a montage of 1,000 individual black-and-white photographs from the Civil War that have been arranged so that the patterns form an image of Honest Abe when seen from a distance. The two old steel chairs are from the 1920s; they graced my grandparents’ front porch in East Fultonham, Ohio, when I was a kid. I have lots of memories of playing 54mm toy army men on that old porch and munching ice cream bars while talking with my grandpa and grandma. Very nostalgic! Ah, the pleasant memories…

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Categories: Civil War art, Civil War toys, Civil War wargaming, Johnny Reb 3 | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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