Here’s IZ getting us in the Aloha spirit.
The floor is yours. What do we talk about?
In the midst of an era where a lot of Civil War historiography are memory studies or social studies, in your opinion what battle still needs a micro tactical study,even if it means going against the grain? IMO, I still think the Appomattox Campaign needs something like it– historians are eager to get to McLean’s Parlor so tend to give the battles that lead there not much ink.
Appomattox has some coverage. Several years ago, Ed Longacre wrote The Cavalry at Appomattox, which is a good place to start. Burke Davis’ To Appomattox is old, but useful. But the best are Chris Calkins’ books, including Thirty-Six Hours Before Appomattox: April 6 And 7, 1865, The Appomattox Campaign: March 29-April 9 1865, and The Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House: April 8-9, 1865. William Marvel also wrote Lee’s Last Retreat: The Flight to Appomattox. There are also some short books out there.
The Sesquicentennial gave us such an explosion of new books it’s hard to tell for sure what hasn’t been covered. Some pretty obscure actions now have books on them.
I definitely agree that Chris Calkins is the best. I have all of his books that you mentioned.Though “Thirty-Six Hours Before Appomattox” is very short, it is packed with useful information.
I think another candidate would be Cedar Mountain. Bob Krick has “Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain”, but as the name implies, it’s very Confederate focused, with very little analysis of the Federals.
Not much in current works. Edward Stackpole had From Cedar Mountain to Antietam. Then there’s a real old one by Frederic Denison you can read for free here. You’re right that modern military historians need to take a good look at it.
I think the several component actions of the siege of Petersburg are not as well-studied as they might be. There have been some good recent works but there are still, IMO, gaps.
Have you had a chance to read Ed Bearss’ two-volume study, Jim? It would be nice to see what Dick Sommers did on the Fifth Offensive done for the others, although the Crater has received quite a bit of recent attention.
The IZ song reminded me of James Michener’s book. I read it a long time ago, but my memory of it is that it was very good (although, I don’t know enough Hawaiian history to judge how historically accurate it is). Did you read the book and have thoughts to share about it?
I did read it and thought it was terrific. It’s a novel, but Michener did his homework.
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