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Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table

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2017 Book Reviews

Southern Reconstruction

Historians reinterpreted Civil War Reconstruction over the past fifty years. Shortly before the Centennial, it was commonly believed that the chief aim of the Republican-dominated Congress was to ensure lasting party control over the federal government by creating a reliable voting bloc in the South for which improved racial status among blacks was a coupled, but secondary, objective. By the Sesquicentennial, however, it had become the accepted view that Republicans were primarily motivated by an enlightened drive for racial equality untainted by anything more than negligible self-interest. Consequently, the presently dominant race-centric focus on Reconstruction minimizes political and economic factors that affected all Southerners regardless of race.

Meade and Lee after Gettysburg

Meade and Lee is the first volume of a projected three-volume set, covering the war in Central Virginia during the late summer and autumn of 1863. The other two volumes will cover the campaign of Bristoe Station and the abortive campaign of Mine Run. This work provides a detailed account of the movements, skirmishes, and other small actions that occurred immediately after Lee’s Army had retreated across the Potomac into Virginia.

Battle Above the Clouds

For the Civil War enthusiast as well as those casually interested only because it is close to home, reading, digesting, and following the route of the events from Bridgeport, Alabama to the top of Look Out Mountain is a long day trip that will leave the traveler amazed, fully satisfied, and in awe of the challenges adversaries faced in terrain, much of which remains as it was in 1863.

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Volume III

This is the third and final volume of an exhaustively researched analysis of the Maryland (or Antietam) Campaign of the American Civil War. All three volumes provide very valuable details and thought-provoking interpretation and are highly recommended to Civil War students.

Confederate Waterloo

“Confederate Waterloo” is an excellent study of human dynamics and leadership.  It is a well-researched work that is logically and fairly presented using the best aspects of critical thinking.  It shows that the Army is not “fair”.

Civil War Alabama

"Exhaustively researched, skillfully compiled, and engagingly written, McIlwain’s impressive volume is a service to scholars searching for greater detail and support for their own work, as well as Alabamians hoping to understand exactly how their state could fall into the grip of destructive demagogues and ruinous rebellion.” — H-Net Reviews

“No such army since the days of Julius Caesar”

When first published in 2006, this book was almost the sole recent battlefield study of the Carolinas Campaign and has long been out-of-print. However, it remains the only tactical-level account of the Battle of Averasboro. This reprint contains excellent new maps, newer photos, a battlefield driving tour guide, and additional appendixes concerning including one concerning “The Lost Gunner’s Quadrant.” Savas Beatie publishers have created a more useful and attractive volume, aimed at the general as well as the specialist reader.

All the Fighting They Want

Should the reader desire, there is any number of books in the historiography of the Atlanta Campaign available for study. But let this book be your starting point.  Dr. Davis has done a great job of discussing the strategy and tactics of the endgame at Atlanta that makes it easy to read and easy to follow. 

Lincoln’s Greatest Journey

Writings by other authors tell of Lincoln’s mental political prowess and even detailing many mundane facts in a chronological order. Detailing numerous facts in this manner leads to the reader skipping through much of previously written books and arriving at no new conclusions. Trudeau, on the other hand, interlaces personal character details and additions of period-related elements, that as chronological writing, the reader is enticed to continue reading in earnest interest.

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