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The Civil War Reenactors' Encyclopedia Hardcover – November 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; 1st edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585745944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585745944
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 10.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Truly awesome in scope and depth, The Civil War Reenactors' Encyclopedia contains an unparalleled wealth of information, covering not only all major battles of the war, but also the uniforms of all major unites - both Union and Confederate - down to the smallest details such as badges and buttons; national, state, and unit flags; and accessories including packs, ammunition boxes, and belt buckles.
Cleverly organized around the major battles of this terrible conflict, The Civil War Reenactors' Encyclopedia begins with an introductory section, which outlines in broad fashion the general-issue uniforms worn by both Confederate and Union troops. The remainder of the book covers each major battle of the war in exhaustive and illuminating detail to make modern reenactments truly come to life, as authentic and historically accurate as possible.
Numerous beautiful and detailed maps show where each army's individual brigades moved during the course of each battle, enabling reenactors to trace the steps of their units exactly. The illustrations accompanying the maps show what a typical member of every important unit that fought in the battle might have worn.
Exhaustively and painstakingly researched, expertly written, and beautifully illustrated in glorious full color with photos, maps and drawings, The Civil War Reenactors' Encyclopedia provides a complete package of information for both the experienced Civil War reenactor and the newcomer to this fascinating hobby.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
From the title of "The Civil War Reenactors' Encyclopedia" I was expecting a slightly different book from William C. Davis. Having attended a couple of Civil War reenactments in Illinois as a spectator as well as having seen what happens when you get together thousands of such people in movies like "Gettysburg," I was certainly expecting to find information on what a reenactor would need to have to enjoy a truly authentic experience. However, I was thinking that all of the photographs would be of contemporary versions of original articles of clothing, weapons, and equipment, but what Davis provides instead are those original artifacts, from the uniforms of all of the major units down to the smallest details such as buttons. If the title of this book indicated that it was just an encyclopedia of what soldiers wore, carried, and used in the Civil War it would work just as well.

This book begins from a premise that is certainly useful to the Civil War reenactor, which is what articles were necessary for every solider to have, "both for his substance as a man, and his efficiency as a fighter." That meant, besides his weapons, the soldier needed a leather belt with a cap box for the percussion caps that fired his weapon, a box for his cartridges, a sling/scabbard for his bayonet, a haversack and/or knapsack to carry his rations and his few personal items. Davis also goes into detail as to what few basic items were usually found in those knapsacks and haversacks, such as a sewing kit ("housewife"), pipe and tobacco, and Bible or New Testament.

One of the key points that Davis makes in his foreword is that despite the impulse of governments both North and South towards standardization, this proved impossible.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What reenactor [like myself] could not love this book! It is simply chock full of plates showing actual relics from the troops, details of main CW battles and tips for those who reenact the American Civil War period.
The problem? A few minor ones. I wish Mr. Davis had focused just a little bit on the War west of the Mississippi. Especially Glorieta. There are so many Civil War reenactment units that portray actual period units here out West. Troops in the real WEST provided a great deal of support for both sides. There is also the fact that portraying the garrison troops of the West that protected routes, gold fields and generally kept the peace between settlers and Indians then get no coverage in this book. These duties were even performed in during the War. I guess that combat rates higher than these soldierly chores. There is only more drooling over the well-trod ground of the East. One might surmise [if they know nothing of Civil War history] that the War was only fought in the areas Mr. Davis has covered and not in the rest of the Nation. There were more mundane duties for soldiers of the period than being sent to outright battle at every turn. Perhaps that should have been brought to the fore as well.
As with any book that has the word 'reenactors' in its title, I have to commend Mr. Davis for a great attempt and a very nice book. It is a resource, of sorts, but will likely land more on historical coffee tables than in any serious resource capacity.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fruit Loop VINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This well-respected historian (read his other works, especially "Jefferson Davis: The Man and the Hour") gives an invaluable overview of weapons, uniforms, etiquette and customs, military regs - you name it, it's there. A must-read for any reenactor as well as students of the period.
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