Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Book Spotlight: Confederate and Union Solider of the American Civil War
An excellent introduction to the Confederate solider during the American Civil War. Geared for young readers, though even adults can find the book informative. Focusing on the life of the average solider the books glossy picture format provides large, detailed photographs of the weapons and equipment Confederate soldiers brought with them into battle and camp. The book opens with a brief introduction describing the causes of the war from the southern perspective, what I really liked was that the author's Denis Hambucken and Matthew Payson explained to the reader that this was the South's point of view. The book then moves on to exploring the uniforms of the common solider with photographs of Civil War re enactors modeling how the uniforms were worn. The author's detail the changing fashions of the Confederate solider due to the shortages the Confederacy faced during the war. After covering the clothing worn by the soldiers, the author's then move on to camp life and the weapons the soldiers carried into battle, and the foods eaten while in camp and on the march. The book concludes with a discussion of the some of the personal items soldiers carried with them. Throughout the book there are brief essay's illustrating how to load a musket, the history of battle flags, women and the war, and how to play a popular card game flesh out the narrative. The book is illustrated with color photographs featuring excellent reproduction and original items. I highly recommend this book to young readers and adults alike who want to learn more about the daily life of the common Confederate solider. Denis Hambucken and Matthew Payson continue their study of the common Civil War solider in the companion volume "Union Solider of the Civil War: A Visual Reference."
"Union Solider of the American Civil War" by Denis Hambucken and Chris Benedetto explores the day-to-day life of the common Union solider. This volume follows the same mold as the companion "Confederate Soldier of the American Civil War," yet the information in this book is not repetitive--an issue which I initially feared might be the case. The book starts with a brief introduction detailing the life and times of the Union solider, missing from this volume is a description of the Union views for the war, something that was in the Confederate book. From here the book then describes the uniform and equipment the Union solider was given upon entering the army. The text is complemented with beautiful color photographs of period and accurately reproduced items. Union and Confederate soldiers were given basically the same supplies in most cases, and reading the two volumes highlights the similarities between northerners and southerners that is rarely so apparent in the study of other conflicts. The text is completed with a series of essay's 1860s photography, medical care, and battle flags flesh out the narrative and add to the pleasure of reading the book. The first person quotes from Union Civil War soldiers adds to the narrative Intended for young readers, the book can still be enjoyed by adults--even I found new information. Highly recommended for new and experienced Civil War enthusiasts.