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Atlas of the Civil War, Month by Month: Major Battles and Troop Movements Hardcover – December 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (December 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820326585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820326580
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 14.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"There is nothing like this atlas, which illustrates with great clarity the month-by-month political changes of the Civil War. It makes a notable contribution in allowing readers to look at the entire strategic landscape of the war, placing various events and movements in geographical context."--Gary W. Gallagher, author of Lee and His Army in Confederate History

"Atlas of the Civil War, Month by Month is unique among works of its type in its graphic representation of the grand sweep and movement of the war. No student of the Civil War will want to be without this valuable resource."--Steven E. Woodworth, author of Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign

"[A] clear, engaging overview of the Civil War."--Midwest Book Review

"Creating and detailing such a large number of maps and preparing the accompanying text was a huge undertaking, and author Mark Swanson . . . has done it well. The research is extensive, the writing is crisp and concise, and the maps are first rate. Atlas of the Civil War, Month by Month is a very valuable addition to Civil War scholarship."--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"Mark Swanson and Jacqueline D. Langley have done students of the Civil War a great service in producing this excellent atlas. Even at a glance, readers are able to get a much better grasp of the sweeping movements of the war and their overall significance.”--North and South

"More than fifty crisply rendered maps show the broad sweep of military campaigns and naval operations in chronological order. . . . There is much useful information here and the careful search will be rewarded."--America’s Civil War

From the Publisher

A panoramic, chronological view of the war's action

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on November 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The scope of the 50 primary maps is virtually the complete theater of the Civil War lasting roughly four years--from the shifting northern boundary in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area to the Gulf Coast, from North and South Carolina to Missouri and roughly the middle of Texas in the West. Each of the monthly maps identifies Union and Confederate positions and respective troop and cavalry movements and naval movements; clashes of all sizes, including notable skirmishes; and the front lines over the large area as these shifted month-by-month throughout the War. Thus, one can readily follow the overall strategies and activities of each side, as well as developments in particular areas. On left-hand pages facing the full-page maps are details relating to what is identified in the maps. For example, the partisan disturbance in Alabama signified in the August 1863 map is noted as "a band of deserters known as 'Jim Ward's Raiders' [operating] out of the Pea River Swamp south of Elba." In relation to the map for September 1863, the annotation for North Carolina cites that Longstreet's soldiers passing through Raleigh sacked the offices of the pro-Union, pro-peace newspaper the "Standard." Besides following the War with the succession of maps, the Civil War buff and military historian also learns many little-known incidents and circumstances from the annotations. Several secondary maps after the main ones record military activities in the Southwest, including the lower half of California and the western part of the Texas. The large-size reference is an ideal accompaniment to any book, movie, TV program, newspaper article, etc. on the Civil War to put its subject in context. And it also stands on its own as a clear, engaging overview of the Civil War.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Demuth on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The University of Georgia Press’ Atlas of the Civil War, Month by Month, written by Mark Swanson is a fine book. It is quite unlike the other Civil War atlases out there, which it does not replace, in that it has no battle maps of Gettysburg, etc. with many units or hills marked on them. So if you want to see how the Second Battle of Bull Run or the clash at Morton’s Ford unfolded this is not the atlas for you.

What it does do well, which the other atlases never try, is to give you the broad picture of how the entire war was being simultaneously played out across the southeastern third of the country in any given month from 1861 to 1865. Basically the same map of the Confederacy and the border regions appears on the right side with the relevant locations identified. A text on the left side describes the various actions and developments marked on the map on a state-by-state basis.

The text is relatively concise but clear and helpful. The author did not attempt to uncover new ground, but he followed the established line of major historians. For example, in his introduction describing the origins of the Civil War Swanson deftly summarizes the standard interpretation of all contemporary leading historians that slavery was the principal issue. This is not an all-purpose atlas but an atlas for the serious student of the Civil War. It deserves to be rated as five stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Newell on September 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mark Swanson has given us a very useful overview of the Civil War, emphasis on useful. This book is brief, giving maps of each month of the war with descriptive text on the facing page. Thus teachers, professors, travelers, and anyone seeking quick information will profit. Even veteran Civil War buffs will find information they did not know about. As anyone familiar with the war knows, there are many huge volumes covering virtually every aspect of the war, so this book is welcome since there is nothing else like it. Certainly more detail could have been given such as on the causes of the war. Yet Swanson is right in discussing slavery as the major cause, leaving other issues to other books. I would note that without slavery there would have been no war; states do not secede and people do not go to war over things like tariffs. Thus, this is not the volume to look to for lengthy discussion. Its purpose is to help one get an informative overview of the war as it unfolded, and to help one do so quickly. It succeeds admirably.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. porterfield on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have wrestled with this book for three months. The maps are well researched and fill a need for comprending the front lines and movements of the battles. The problem I'm having is the production is badly executed. University Of GA. Press has skimped on quality of ink and chosen an uncomfortable type font. I even bought a magnifying glass to read the text but it is so bad, I've given up. I am a reader who feels guilty when I don't read a book that I just paid thirty bucks for.
Civil War buffs should look, elsewhere.
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