Chatting with Thomas Clemens about Saving Antietam

Battlefields just don’t get preserved through wishful thinking. It takes dedication, know-how, funding, and a host of other commitments to ensure preservation of these historic venues. Antietam is one such place that, if not for the devoted efforts of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, may have been usurped by the rising tide of development and … Read more

Historic Evidence Trunk Acquired by BGES!

As BGES digs in to helping restore the Lincoln Conspirators’ Courtroom at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., two exciting new artifacts have been discovered. We caught up with BGES member Paul Severance, who is helping to lead the project, to ask a few questions about these intriguing relics of history. BGES Blog: What are the items, … Read more

Campaign and Battle of Lynchburg, Virginia

[box]by Charles M. Blackford Warwick House Publishing, Lynchburg, Reprint 1994 Reviewed by Len Riedel, Executive Director, BGES Danville, Virginia January 25, 2012[/box] Charles M. Blackford was a distinguished citizen of Lynchburg who served in the Army of Northern Virginia; however, he did not participate in the battle or campaign of Lynchburg. A highly regarded speaker … Read more

The Life and Wars of Gideon J. Pillow

Life and Times of Gideon J. Pillow

[box]By Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. and Roy P. Stonesifer Jr.
University of North Carolina Press, 1993
Reviewed by Len Riedel, Executive Director, BGES
January 3, 2012, Myrtle Beach, SC[/box]

Life and Times of Gideon J. PillowGideon Pillow, yes I know the name, he was that guy who skulked away with John B. Floyd at Dover Tennessee and left the fate of the Confederate troops stationed at Fort Donelson to Simon B. Buckner and US Grant—a political general and the worst kind of pretender, totally without merit. Yes that is the name I knew until I read Hughes and Stonesifer’s book. So little interest did I have in Pillow that I acquired the book and had Hughes autograph it in January 1996 — I finally read it 16 years later. That was my misfortune.

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Mr. Lincoln’s Brown Water Navy: The Mississippi Squadron

Lincoln's Brown Water Navy

[box]By Gary D. Joiner
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2007
Reviewed by Len Riedel, Executive Director, BGES
March 29, 2010.[/box]

Lincoln's Brown Water Navy

Gary Joiner is part of a new breed of historians populating the study of the Civil War. He is the nation’s leading expert on the Louisiana Red River Campaign and has given that region of the country a much needed anchor in Civil War historiography. Gary has become prolific in his publications, discharging years of research in a relatively brief period of time and he has recently undertaken a very prestigious editorial function with the University of Tennessee Press. He holds a faculty position at the Louisiana State University campus at Shreveport—his tours of the Red River in Louisiana are not to be missed.

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Lincoln in the Times

Lincoln in the Times

The Life of Abraham Lincoln as originally reported in the New York Times

[box]Edited by David H. Donald and Harold Holzer
St. Martin’s Press, 2005[/box]

Lincoln in the TimesI was given this book by Vicki and Jerry Spier following my heart surgery in 2008. I just finished reading it and found myself wishing that I had picked it up as soon as I received it. While there are no shortage of monographs on Abraham Lincoln in and around his Bi-centennial commemoration this book was refreshingly simple and informative. Indeed with so much analysis of Lincoln filling the bookshelves it was a relief to look at Lincoln in the context of his actual life.

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Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign

Fields of Blood

This book is noteworthy for its straight forward and readable prose. Few people understand the Trans-Mississippi and admittedly it is better understood if you have walked the fields. Shea has done that and I have been privileged enough to walk with him and to see him in action presenting this as a two day tour. That insight made this book an indispensable and easily understood narrative.