Two new ACW books from Osprey


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.

From the Osprey website:

About this book

The Harpers Ferry raid confirmed for many Southerners the existence of a widespread Northern plot against slavery. In fact, Brown had raised funds for his raid from Northern abolitionists. To arm the slaves, he ordered one thousand pikes from a Connecticut manufacturer. Letters to Governor Wise betrayed the mixed feelings people held for Brown. For some, he was simply insane and should not be hanged. For others, he was a martyr to the cause of abolition, and his quick trial and execution reflected the fear and arrogance of the Virginia slave-owning aristocracy. Many Northerners condemned Brown’s actions but thought him right in his conviction that slavery had to end. John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and his subsequent execution further polarized North and South and made a solution of the slavery issue central to the national debate which ultimately led to Civil War in 1861.




Initial Strategy

The Plan

The Raid



Further Reading

Paperback; November 2012; 80 pages; ISBN: 9781849087575


The second new Osprey title is Ulysses S. Grant, a short and concise biography by Mark Lardas. It offers a good introductory overview of the life and decisions of the Union Army’s most famous general, the man whose strategies eventually brought down Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, a task his many predecessors failed to do in previous campaigns and battles. Adam Hook, whose work illustrates numerous other Osprey books, crafted the artwork in this volume.

From the Osprey website:

About this book

Ulysses Grant was his country’s greatest general since George Washington. Like Washington, Grant’s battlefield performance was the only factor standing between the United States continuing as one, indivisible nation. Grant was the keystone of Union victory, a man whose removal would have resulted in the Union cause crumbling into defeat – and the United States dissolving into a collection of competing sovereign states. It was not always so clear cut. An early military career had ended with his resignation for alleged drunkenness, while in civilian life a number of his business ventures foundered leading to the nickname “Useless” Grant. However, victory had its rewards and in March 1864 Grant was promoted to lieutenant-general, the only United States Army officer except for George Washington and Winfield Scott to achieve that rank. By the end of the war Grant would become the United States Army’s first full general since Washington.



The early years

The military life

Opposing commanders

The hour of destiny

Inside the mind

When war is done

A life in words



Paperback; November 2012; 64 pages; ISBN: 9781849087339

Both of these new books reflect the usual Osprey attention to detail in the illustrations and full-color drawings, and are interesting introductory primers on John Brown’s Raid and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Printed on glossy, coated-two side enamel paper using four-color offset lithography, these are a worthwhile addition to any wargamer’s library of background reference information. They, by their nature, are not exhaustive treatises, but they cover the basic points in a fashion that is both easy to read and visually appealing with the frequency of illustrations. They are available from most leading on-line retailers of wargame supplies, as well as on and directly from the publisher’s website.


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