The New Civil War Handbook

2 06 2009

The first book on the Civil War Mark Hughes ever purchased, at the ripe old age of ten, was William Price’s  Civil War New-CWHOld-CWHHandbook.  It must have made quite an impression, because nearly 50 years after that classic was first published Hughes – who has authored works on the final resting places of prominent Civil War veterans – offers The New Civil War Handbook as Price “updated and expanded for a 21st century audience”.

The slim (158 page) paperback is divided into four sections: Facts (including famous quotes, little known facts, notable personalities, and how armies were structured); Images (73 pages of the usual categories, with the notable additions of Women, African Americans, Native Americans, and Reconstruction); Figures (tables of statistics including strengths, losses, prisoners, wounds); and Miscellany (African and Native Americans in the war, glossary of terms, suggested bibliography, points of interest – including website addresses for those sites).

Also included in the Miscellany section is a listing of web resources, with some great suggestions of websites prospective and established enthusiasts should visit.  The last page lists eight blogs specializing in various aspects of the war.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Bull Runnings on the list, right at the top of the page (thanks, Guy who Wrote the Alphabet!).  Hughes describes it as A massive and simply outstanding site dedicated to all things related to the First Battle of Bull Run.  Thanks, Mark!  (No, I don’t know Mr. Hughes and as far as I know have never corresponded with him).

Mr. Hughes states in the intro that The New Civil War Handbook is meant to appeal to all levels, from serious researchers to novices.  While I can see tossing it in your pack for a day in the field (who wants to lug Livermore, Phisterer, Fox and Dyer around on a hot day?), I think it will be most useful to younger readers and those  just starting out in their studies.  And that’s not a bad thing at all.



5 responses

4 06 2009
Theodore P. Savas

Thanks for this review, Harry. One of the reasons I accepted this book was because I believed it might stir an interest in the war in a wide number of young adults. Families visit battlefields in large numbers, and this is exactly the sort of title a dad or mom might pick up, share with their 14 year old, and light the flame that burns for a lifetime.

The Civil War field needs new blood, and hopefully Hughes’ book will help in that regard.

Thanks again.



9 06 2009
This is Just Weird « Bull Runnings

[…] is Just Weird 9 06 2009 Page 30 of Mark Hughes’s The New Civil War Handbook juxtaposes two images of soldiers who died in the war.  The first photo is of North Carolina […]


12 06 2009
Tammy Hall

Thank you for the review of “The New Civil War Handbook.”

The author, Mark Hughes, will be on Civil War Talk Radio on June 19th at 3:00 pm est.

This is such a great book for the future Civil War enthusiast.

Tammy Hall
Savas Beatie LLC


27 06 2009
Of Dust Jackets and Acknowledgements « Bull Runnings

[…] Dust Jackets and Acknowledgements 27 06 2009 In this post I wrote about the first appearance of Bull Runnings – and me – in a book, The New […]


13 07 2009
Review: The New Civil War Handbook | TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog

[…] Check out these other reviews of The New Civil War Handbook by Drew Wagenhoffer and Harry Smeltzer. […]


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