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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Books and lists

Last year a list came out of the top 50 ACW books. It was compiled by a CW Round Table. Below is part of their list and I've added my own. Their list is good but… it misses others that are invaluable to gamers and bunch more that it chock full of fun reading. I have chopped out what I thought is ‘okay’ but doesn’t deserve to be that high on the list. The order has not been arranged in any particular order so ignore the numbers.

Two books that I added deserve a special note. First is Corporal Si Klegg and His "Pard" - Wilbur F. Hinman. It's in paper back now so it isn't as expensive when I bought an original for $125!!!! Damn! This book is quite different than the others. Hinman was a veteran from the CW. He wanted to write his auto bio of the war but decided against it. Instead he made up a character that was just like him and went through the same experiences that he did. Si Klegg enlists in the war and is mustered out at the end of the war. Many of the stories in the book are very funny and also very sad, just the thing a soldier would have gone through. Hinman describes everything about a soldier's life through this fictional character and fictional events. The B&W drawing in the book are VERY good too.

The other book is The Bloody Crucible of Courage - Brent Nosworthy. This book is a what/how/why of strategy, tactics, supply, logistics, infantry, artillery, cavalry, navies, guns etc and all the rest of the nuts and bolts of the war. He explains how the equipment and tactics evolved into what happened in the war. He describes in detail the advancement of weapons and tactics which went back 30 years before the CW. This is really good stuff but not an exciting battle book although he does speak of battles but how it relates to development of the above systems, they are more examples to illustrate his points. If you have the CW written by Paddy Griffith you can throw Paddy's stuff away or burn it. Your choice. It's junk and he gets his numbers and facts wrong.

2. Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson
4. Lee's Lieutenants – Douglas Freeman
6. The Gettysburg Campaign – Edwin B. Coddington
7. Co. Aytch – Sam Watkins
8. A Stillness at Appomattox – Bruce Catton
10. Fighting for the Confederacy – E. Porter Alexander
11. Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam – Stephen W. Sears
14. Gettysburg: The Second Day – Harry W. Pfanz
15. Generals in Blue – Ezra J. Warner
16. Gettysburg: A Journey in Time – William A. Frassanito
17. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
19. Centennial History of the Civil War – Bruce Catton
23. Confederates in the Attic – Tony Horwitz
25. This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga – Peter Cozzens
28. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy – Bell Irvin Wiley
33. The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion – Participants
34. Antietam: The Soldiers' Battle – John Michael Priest
38. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant – Ulysses S. Grant
39. Hardtack & Coffee – John Billings
43. Generals in Gray – Ezra J. Warner
44. Battles & Leaders of the Civil War – Various
47. Three Years in the Army of the Cumberland – James Connolly

That’s the list chopped down. Now, I would add these few right off the bat:

Corporal Si Klegg and His "Pard" - Wilbur F. Hinman

The Bloody Crucible of Courage - Brent Nosworthy

The Gettysburg Companion - Mark Adkin - this does have a few errors but decent primer

Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage - Noah Andre Trudeau

Reminiscences of the Civil War - John B. Gordon - great fun read by a CS General in the middle of it all

Civil War Artillery At Gettysburg - Philip M. Cole - nuts and bolts of art. and some history. this book will actually make you a better artillery battery commander in the game!

The Artillery of Gettysburg - Bradley M. Gottfried - history of the battle via artillery. a look inside a glanced over topic

Maps of Gettysburg

Maps of Chickamauga

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