I love reference works. I have a shelf right over my desk on which I place facts-at-my-fingertips type books like Generals in Blue, Generals in Gray, Dyer’s Compendium, Fox’s Regimental Losses, Lincoln Day-by-Day, you get the picture. Today I received from Amazon Lest We Forget: The Grave Sites of the Union Civil War Generals Buried in the United States, by David L. Callihan. This is a large format 2007 paperback similar in layout to Generals at Rest: The Grave Sites of the 425 Official Confederate Generals, by James Owen and Richard Owen. It’s very handy, and includes the US burial sites of the same generals listed in Ezra Warner’s standard. The entries are by state, with alphabetical arrangement first by city, then by cemetery. For each general, the author notes birth and death places and dates, pre-war career, general officer date of rank, and helpful directions for finding the cemetery and the grave. Included also is a portrait of each general and one to three photos of the grave. Also included at the head of each of the 37 chapters is a state map (and one for DC) showing where the various towns with dead generals are located realtive to one another.
The only real knock I have is the quality of the photos. By and large they’re pretty grainy, again similar to those found in Warner’s books. In this day and age I think it would have been pretty easy to find and include higher quality images. Of course that would have entailed more expense, and the book’s price may have wound up higher than the still high (for a paperback) $33.49 tag. But then, these books will probably wind up in the back seats of their buyers’ cars while on family outings and vacations. Good news for us, but I’m not sure our spouses and kids will be so happy.