Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson


I've long admired James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, and commend it to any reader curious what happened in the Civil War whose sesquicentennial is currently in progress.  Professor McPherson recently finished War on the Waters: The Union & Confederate Navies, 1861-1865.  Book Review No. 29 is an enthusiastic recommendation.  The subject is likely to appeal more to the dedicated Civil War aficionado, rather than the novice, as the focus is of necessity narrower, and on occasion, obscure.  It is useful, however, for students of the era to recognize that without Ericsson and Farragut and Porter and Welles, the more famous clashes involving Grant and McClellan and Sherman, and Forrest and Johnston and Lee, might have turned out differently.  For it was the western river navies and western armies that developed, respect for the independence of each service's chain of command notwithstanding, techniques of combined arms that secured control of the navigable rivers, as well as the Gulf ports, reducing rebel exporters to moving their goods to the remaining ports over rudimentary roads and railroads.  Furthermore, the very success of rebel blockade runner ships proved to be evidence of the success of the Federal embargo (a blockade being maintained by one country at war against another).  The only ships that could slip past the coastal squadrons were the blockade runners, which, of necessity, had to export high-value cotton and import high-value armaments.  When the supply of anthracite coal ran out ...

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: history, recommended book, scholarly, war

  • January 2021 - Books 1 to 6

    1. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny Inspector Gamache is now retired in Three Pines when he’s recruited to help one of his friends find her…

  • December 2020 - Books 71 to 76

    71. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park A young mixed-race girl moves with her widowed father to a fledgling South Dakota town in 1880. This is the…

  • Book 12

    Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, did I love this one. A girl and her ghost dog, Kirby? Yes please. Let me start…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded