logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: civil-war
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-21 10:42
An excellent naval history of the Civil War
War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - James M. McPherson

A few years ago I decided I wanted to read a naval history of the Civil War. To my surprise, I learned that, for all that has been written about the conflict, there are relatively few books about its naval aspects and the ones I found proved disappointing. Had I waited a little longer I would have discovered that this book was a perfect fit for my needs, as James McPherson brings his expertise as the nation's foremost Civil War historian to the study of its naval aspects. Drawing upon both primary sources and secondary studies he surveys the various components of the naval war, from the Union blockade that was a critical dimension of the conflict to the revolutionary development of steam-powered ironclads, all of which he describes in his clear and assured prose. If there is a complaint to be made about this book it is that the apparent parameters of the Littlefield series for which he wrote it limited the amount of depth in which he can explore his subject, yet within its confines he has provided the best single-volume history of the Civil War at sea there is or is likely to be for some time to come.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-07-16 17:48
Ghosts of the Civil War by Rich Newman
Ghosts of the Civil War: Exploring the Paranormal History of America's Deadliest War - Rich Newman

I am ready to pack my suitcase and head out for all the spots in this book. I have actually visited several of the places in this book but now I want to go back and recheck them all with this book as my field guide. I have been to Gettysburg more then once and have experienced things and even have some photos of things. I have been to Chickamauga, I even lived in Kennesaw , and have been to many more of the battle fields. I am a huge Civil War Buff, I also love Ghosts and Ghost stories. A lot of the stories in this book I have heard before but some I have not. To me this book was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-15 18:21
Worth a read if this is your sort of thing
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

I admit these kinds of books are a guilty pleasure of mine. You give me zombies and Pride and Prejudice I’ll read it in a heartbeat. You give me William Shakespeare with vampires and I’ll add it to my wishlist to read. People are going to scoff at these types of books because they’re known to be silly and not worth the time reading. Sometimes we just need a bit of silliness in our lives to remind ourselves that it’s okay to throw ideas that have nothing to do with each other and make it into a story (or film, or both.) I enjoyed this one because well, vampires, and history put together are usually a great mix. This time around it’s more of an alternate history story line with an interesting but pretty feasible so it’s not over the top ridiculous. Vampires who support the South because it gives them easy access to food. Sounds plausible doesn’t it? It makes sense if you think about it that way. Of course then you have vampires like Henry who don’t believe in getting food that way and that’s where the plot of vampires and history blend nicely together. The format of the book is also different and interesting in where it’s written like a ‘non fiction’ book. It’s a nice way of putting it together and adds more to the story to make it more enjoyable. The problem with this is, since it’s meant to emulate a non fiction book, it also dry and boring in some parts. So the execution of this type of book could have been a bit better to make the read less of a chore - as some parts seemed to have dragged. Despite some of the parts being a bit boring, it’s worth a shot to read. I enjoyed the ending immensely and liked what they did there with Lincoln. This book isn’t for everyone that’s for sure, but if you’re curious about it, give it a try.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-11 00:18
Podcast #57 is up!
Lincoln's Trident: The West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the Civil War - Robert M. Browning Jr.

My fifty-seventh podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Robert M. Browning, Jr. about his history of the operations of the U.S. Navy's West Gulf Blockade Squadron during the Civil War (which I reviewed here). Enjoy!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-03 17:10
An invaluable study of a neglected aspect of the war
Lincoln's Trident: The West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the Civil War - Robert M. Browning Jr.

Though there is no shortage of military histories of the Civil War, the vast majority of them focus primarily or exclusively on the campaigns on the land. This has the effect of unjustly minimizing the naval side of the war, which was decisive to its outcome. Faced with the North's industrial predominance the South hoped to offset it by importing goods from the factories of Britain and France, which made the naval blockade of the Confederacy an essential part of the Union's strategy. In this book, Robert Browning provides an operational history of the Union Navy's blockade of the Gulf Coast region. It's the concluding volume of a trilogy that originated with his doctoral dissertation over two decades ago, and in many respects he saved the best for last.

 

Blockading the Gulf Coast posed a number of challenges for the Navy, foremost among them being the disproportionate ratio between the vast amount of coastline and the limited number of ships available. Complicating matters even further was the location of Mexico to the south, the commerce of which could not easily be interdicted without creating diplomatic problems. To this was added the logistical difficulties of maintaining vessels on station far from sources of repair and replenishment, as the Southern states occupied or destroyed nearly all of the U.S. Navy's yards in the region at the start of the conflict.

 

In the face of these difficulties, the Union Navy rose to the occasion. Browning recounts the various efforts the navy took over the course of the conflict to maintain and support their efforts, from regular supply runs to recapturing and rebuilding lost bases. While their efforts to interdict blockade runners were often frustrated by the superior speed and higher draft of the rebel vessels, over time the efforts of the various squadrons began to tell. Aiding their effort was the gradual isolation and capture of the major Confederate ports in the region, starting with New Orleans in 1862 and culminating with the conquest of Mobile at the end of the war. These did not stop completely the efforts of the blockade runners, but they helped minimize the ability of the Confederacy to draw upon outside resources in their increasingly desperate cause.

 

To describe these efforts, Browning spent years reviewing the various records and accounts of the blockading squadrons, as well as the more fragmentary collections of the Southern forces. From them he has assembled a long overdue study of this often neglected aspect of the war, one that is even more valuable for his account of the squadron's operations on the lower Mississippi River. Though his prose would have benefited form a little polishing, this book combines with its companion volumes to provide a history of the Union blockade which will be the standard by which all future books on the subject will be judged. No student of the Civil War seeking a balanced understanding of the conflict can afford to bypass these important works.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?