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The Civil War Battlefield Guide, Second Edition Paperback – November 2, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Praise for THE CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD GUIDE
"The Civil War Battlefield Guide remains the best single source of information on the 384 principal battles of the Civil War. The authors who contributed constitute a veritable who’s who of Civil War scholars. The battle maps offer stunning visuals for appreciating the battles in relation to contemporary roads and highways. If there is one published authority for understanding this country’s Civil War battlefields (and there is), this is it."
—Dwight T. Pitcaithley, National Park Service, Chief Historian (retired)
"Landscapes speak to us, but only when we are informed.  This is no ordinary reprinting of a Civil War battlefield guide; it marks the sesquicentennial by allowing informed tourists, as readers first, to be ushered through these sacred sites by some of our most important historians.  Their voices and their insights, not to mention their narrative skill, remind us of why these landscapes forever move us as they educate us about our most desperate and transformative national experience."
––David W. Blight, Yale University, and author of A Slave No More and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
"Everyone interested in the Civil War—and especially those committed to preserving its battlefields—will relish the insightful commentary and crisp prose in this useful guide. Read it, and then keep it in the car for handy reference!"
—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. 

The Conservation Fund combines a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect America’s favorite places outdoors. Since 1985, the Fund has worked with local leaders to  conserve nearly 7 million acres, from historic treasures to city parks to wilderness. www.conservationfund.org
Frances H. Kennedy is the director of the Fund’s Historic Lands Program.

About the Author

Frances H. Kennedy is the editor and principal contributor of the best-selling book The Civil War Battlefield Guide. Her work in land conservation over thirty years has focused on protecting lands that are significant in American history. Royalties from American Indian Places will be donated to the National Museum of the American Indian. W. Richard West, Jr., the museum’s founding director, served as the primary adviser for the book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co; 2 edition (November 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395740126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395740125
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles R. Bowery Jr. on April 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you must only purchase one Civil War battlefield guide, make it this one, a beautifully produced volume by The Conservation Fund, a national battlefield preservation group. Plus, proceeds from every purchase go back to help the preservation effort, so there you go.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book lends itelf as a nice companion to any serious volume of research on the Civil War. It is not meant to be used as the sole study on specific battles but more so as a synopsis of what took place upon the battlefield.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This guide covers all of the 384 principle battles of the Civil War, with maps of certain battles and casualty statistics at the end of each essay. Information is also given on the current statis of the battlefields. A must reference guide for your Civil War library.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent resource for anyone planning on visiting Civil War battlefields. Even if one does not actually go to the site, this book's detailed maps and readable text helps illustrate the battles described. I recently visited Chickamauga battlefield in Georgia and this guide was very helpful in adding scope and dimension.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because i was working for a battlefield in the Park Service this summer and I had some free time to see other Battle fields in the surrounding areas: Richmond, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Harper's Ferry, Malverin Hill. And this book is just what I needed, because sometimes the best thing is just a concise history to understand with great detailing maps for comprehension and this has it. I value mine on a Civil War Battlefield trips
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good reviews of key campaigns and battles. Does not include all battles, just those where preservation efforts have been made. For example, the battle of Iuka was vicious and resulted in hundreds of casualties on both sides, yet is not included.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I do not live near many of the major battlefield sites, and I have never had this guide in my possession when visiting any battlefields so I cannot comment on its "real-time" usefulness, but I can say that having this guide has been quite valuable in personal study. The maps cleverly overlay the North/South troop placements and movements on modern topographic renderings that include today's highways and other developments. So, before or after a live visit to a particular battlefield, these maps will help you to place the precise historic details in the context of, say, the visitor's center or other modern landmarks (like roads) that can be recognized. I have also found the narrative descriptions to be both brief and comprehensive enough to supplement my readings for particular battles. For instance, I am reading Cozzen's difficult study now about Chickamauga. Having this guide at hand, I can refresh myself on the overview of the battle, and thus better absorb and enjoy the expert details of the book that I'm reading. The chronological order of the battles also provides a great overview of the entire war at a glance (in case, for example, you're not sure how the two Bull Run battles fit together, or how Chickamauga relates to Chattanooga, or how either of these relates to Gettysburg or Vickburg). Lastly, this is just a great book for browsing if you are interested in the Civil War.
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