I received the new America’s Civil War in the mail yesterday. Again, lots of good stuff inside.
- Rebels in Check by Ethan Rafuse – Nobody played the game better than Bobby Lee. Until his luck ran out at Gettysburg.
- Could This Man Have Stopped the War? by Thomas Horrocks – James Buchanan left a monumental mess for the next guy to clean up.
- “It’s No Use Killing Them” by Zack Waters and James Edmonds – The 2nd Florida fought in Lee’s army, but forged its own stature.
- Tracing Natchez by Joe Glickman – From Grant’s mansion quarters to funky watering holes, Natchez oozes atmosphere.
These are but prelude to the real reason folks buy the magazine: my reviews. As I mentioned before, Smeltzer’s Six-Pack has bitten the dust. In the last couple of installments we had fallen off the formula of pairing new releases with older books on the same or similar topic – a formula which I felt set the column apart, but which fell victim to the need to preview an increasing number of new books in every issue. July debuts Harry’s Just Wild About…, in which I’ll preview four or five new or re-issued titles (I’m not sure what they’ll call it if I happen to not be wild about any of the books). Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like – that’s me at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival a few years ago:As you can see, I lead off with Ed Bearss’s new Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the Campaigns that Changed the Civil War. Also in this issue: The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of the Civil War, by William Marvel; Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby, by James A. Ramage; and The Battle of Cedar Creek: Victory From the Jaws of Defeat, by Jonathan Noyalas.