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The Civil War Battlefield Guide, Second Edition Paperback – November 2, 1998
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From the Back Cover
—Dwight T. Pitcaithley, National Park Service, Chief Historian (retired)
––David W. Blight, Yale University, and author of A Slave No More and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
—Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor of American History, Penn State University
An essential reference for anyone interested in the Civil War, The Civil War Battlefield Guide covers all of the 384 principal battles designated in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report. Leading historians, including James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Edwin C. Bearss, and Gary W. Gallagher, contributed essays. Frances H. Kennedy wrote summaries of more than three hundred battles. The Conservation Fund dedicates the proceeds of the book to battlefield preservation.
Frances H. Kennedy is the director of the Fund’s Historic Lands Program.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book lists campaigns and battles in chronological order, covering a total of 384 separate engagements. Each campaign/battle has a short but usefully detailed narrative overview, and the most important battles have accompanying maps. These maps are a thing of beauty and a joy to use. The editors wisely took current U.S. Geological Survey maps (complete with highway numbers and terrain features - very useful) of the battle areas and superimposed upon them Civil War- era landmarks and troop movements. This excellent technique makes the maps useful for navigating to and around the battlefields, and standing on the ground to visualize the fighting, especially for the less well-preserved sites where markers and interpretations may not exist. The only recommendation I would make for future editions is for the binding-- putting the book in a ring binding similar to a road atlas, with the larger maps as fold-outs, would make this already outstanding book even more useful.
A series of short essays on various topics, and appendices with statistical information, complete the package. While the battle summaries themselves may not stand alone for analysis, that is certainly not the book's purpose (neither, I might add, is the book designed to interest folks who have "no interest in the trenches"- get real! This is a Civil War battlefield guide!). It succeeds completely and admirably in its guidebook function. I am currently purchasing copies for use by West Point cadets in an intensive Civil War battlefield study and staff ride. Highly recommended.
When used in conjunction with other works it's a great read and by itself it will give insight into the struggle that took place all across our Nation.
The essays and maps are well done and to the point. However, don't rely upon these articles if you are planning on doing in depth tours or studies of the battles. Use this work as an overview of the action and then go out and enjoy the talks, lectures and battlefield literature. If there is no park then look online for books pertaining to your interests.
Overall, his book is well written and is recommened for those interested in brief essays of over 350 civil war battles.
Most major engagements are covered by this book, in fact I can think of none that is worth visiting that is not in this book. I have enjoyed this book for a while now (the hardcover is out of print but the paperback is available) and look forward to many more years of use from it.
A single colored map is typically included for the battles, and they are quite large, but typically show larger formations, e.g., corp, division, and sometimes brigades. Often frustrating to read, because of the extreme topographical detail in the background, which tends to wash out the other details. Topographic information is welcome, when it is relevant and not overly detailed/overwhelming.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a strange book. The maps seem to overlay modern maps, but are often hard to read. The entries simply describe the battle, rather than being an actual "guide" to... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Bradley Nelson