Book Review: The Battle of Allatoona Pass

The Battle of Allatoona Pass:  Civil War Skirmish in Bartow County Ga.
by Brad Butkovich
History Press, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1626194618

Another outstanding book by Mr. Butkovich.  It is written in the same style as his previous book on Pickett’s Mill and closely examines a battle that was one of the bloodiest, but is often overlooked.  It is an easy and fast read of 128 pages.  Brad’s attention to detail is outstanding and the maps the he draws for the book are great.  I really like how the events leading up to the battle are detailed as well as the battle itself.  He personalizes the events that take place by using the personal accounts from participants.  This is what really sets Brad’s book apart from others.  Sure, the tactical events are all detailed, but by using these personal accounts, it really humanizes the events that took place.
I highly recommend this book.  I also recommend reading it and then taking a walk around the remains of the battle field to help add some perspective to what you read.

It is available on Amazon here:  The Battle of Allatoona Pass

Author Jim Miles

     On Sunday I took the boys over to the Cobb Civic Center to walk around the Civil War Relic show.  While we were there we stopped at a table that held lots of books.  As I looked at them all, I realized they were all by Jim Miles, then I looked up and saw Mr. Miles staffing the table.  He was incredibly nice and a pleasure to talk to.  I wish I had know he was going to be there, I would have brought several of his books to have him sign them.  Below is a review of one of his books that I posted earlier this year.

Book Review: Fields of Glory, by Jim Miles

Book Review: The Campaign For Atlanta, William R. Scaife

The Campaign For Atlanta, by William R. Scaife
Fourth Edition 1993, ISBN 0-9619508-8-9
Kennesaw Mountain Historical Association, Kennesaw Georgia

This is a very well made and printed book.  I suspect it was a short run printing and they did a fine job.  This book is great for discussions of the details of specific battles throughout the campaign.  It is well researched and full of quotes and maps.  I have to say that the maps featured in this book are the best I have come across so far in print.  They show troop positions and movements along with the terrain and most modern roads.  This was a big help while trying to locate areas in Dalton and Resaca.  I am sure it will be a big help as I move forward as well.  This is probably my favorite book of all the Civil War Books I have. 

Here is a link for the book on Amazon.  The Campaign for Atlanta, William R. Scaife
It is a little pricy.  I lucked out and found the last copy at Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site and it cost me $50.00.  You may also be able to find it at the bookstore at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.  This bookstore operates in conjunction with the Kennesaw Mountain Historical Association.

Book Review: Fields of Glory

Fields of Glory, A History and Tour Guide of the War in the West, The Atlanta Campaign, 1864
by Jim Miles.  Cumberland House Publishing Nashville Tenn.  2002

This has been my most used and trusted book for finding locations related to the Atlanta Campaign.  I love the way the chapters are set up.  One Chapter gives you a fairly good history of a section of the campaign and then the next chapter is a guided tour of that section.  The directions are good and detailed and I have not found any mistakes in the directions other than the mileage being off by a few 10th here and there, but not enough to matter.  I like the appendix as well.  They offer a few other tours and anecdotes of interest. 

I must give Jim Miles a great deal of thanks, because I am not sure I could have found all the locations that I needed to with out his book.  If you are looking at a driving tour in Georgia and want to visit some Civil War sites, then this is about the best book to use.  I highly recommend this book.

Book Review: Co. Aytch: Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment

Co. Aytch:  Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment or  A Side Show of the Big Show
By Samuel Rush Watkins

Most of the books I have read are history book and are specific to a time and location or specific to a particular battle with maps, photos, directions, and land marks.  I decided to take a departure from that and settled upon the memoirs of a foot soldier in the Army of Tennessee.

This was written about 20 years after the war and you are reminded of it regularly throughout the book.  He goes on to say how he is not writing a history of what happened, but is relaying the experiences and thoughts of a Private in the Confederate Army.  He does a very good job of this and covers every thing from the daily life to the thrill of battle and the agony of defeat.  Samuel paints a very horrific picture of the conditions they lived in and of the aftermath of battle.  He served throughout the entire war and saw action in a great number of battles, including the Atlanta Campaign.

I really enjoyed this fairly quick read at only 220 pages.  You can find it free online in a pdf format or on your Nook for a dollar.  It is full of funny tales and interactions and heartbreaking stories from the battlefield.  If you want to know what it was like for the common soldier on the front lines during the Civil War, then this is a must read book.  There are a great may personal diaries and memoirs out there and I think I will be reading some more.  I really enjoy the personal side of it.

Book review: Atlanta, A Portrait of the Civil War

Atlanta, A Portrait of the Civil War
by Michael Rose
Atlanta History Center
Arcadia Publishing 1999

If you love period images and local Atlanta history, then this book is for you.  It is full of period images from the Civil War.  The images are of prominent citizens, soldiers, officers, political figures, children, and of course the City of Atlanta.  Most of the images are identified and have very descriptive captions.  If you want to know what Atlanta looked like 150 years ago, this is the book to look at. 

Book Review: Crossroads of Conflict, A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia

Crossroads of Conflict, A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia
By Barry L. Brown and Gordon R. Elwell
A publication of the Georgia Civil War Commission
University of Georgia Press 2010

This is a well written guide set up by regions of the state.  It contains a brief history and location directions or an address for each site.  While they did not cover every single historical marker in the state, they sure did come close.  They did an outstanding job of documenting the most significant and important sites to the state.  There are lots of good images and maps.  I really like how they included contact information for site and locations where applicable as well as information for local historical societies.  This has been a very helpful book for me as I have been researching locations for upcoming book. 

Book Review: The Battle of Resaca

The Battle of Resaca
By Philip L. Secrist
Published by Mercer University Press

This is one of the few, if not the only, book dedicated just to the Battle of Resaca along General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.  It is a fairly short book and a fast read with around 100 pages.  The maps in the book are very good and show troop locations with modern roads, which really helps you understand the battlefield when you see it.  I also like the inclusion of period images.  The book is in two parts.  The first part is about the battle itself and the second part is about the rediscovery of the battlefield during the construction of I-75.  A very interesting book as a whole and I was really interested in the second part and how they were able to identify locations and units on the battlefield based on artifacts uncovered.  If you are a Civil War buff and have an interest in the Atlanta Campaign, then this would be a good fast read for you.

Book Review: The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line

The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line
By Brad Butkovich
Published by The History Press

I purchased this book at Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site during a Civil War History talk by the Author Brad Butkovich.  After the talk, he took us on a walk through part of the battlefield and described the events that took place there.

I have finally had a chance to finish the book and I have to say that it is very well written and an exciting read.  He covers all the action of the engagement and the events in the area leading up to the battle in great detail.  I really enjoyed the personal accounts from soldiers and officers that were in the battle.  That really shows the great amount of research that went into this book.  Not just regimental histories, etc, but reading personal diaries and letters of those that were there.  There is nothing like the first hand account of those engaged. 

One of the best parts of the book is the introduction.  It is short, but the information that it includes about how the Union Army and the Confederate Army named and numbered units is very valuable.  It has confused many people over the years and now, to have it written and explained so well, is an invaluable addition to the book.  I also like the inclusion of the complete Order of Battle.  The book is annotated and has a fantastic bibliography for those that would like further reading. 

Brad has just finished his new book on the Battle of Alatoona Pass and it should be available by June.  I am really looking forward to it as I enjoy his writing style and the amount of detail he includes.

If your interested in a copy of The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line, it can be purchased at the Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site or through Amazon.The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line

15 Days to go with Kickstarter

Well, I have 15 days left to raise my funds for producing my War Was Here book.  If you have not looked at my kickstarter page please take time to check it out here:  War Was Here Kickstarter page

I would like to thank all of my supporters thus far and I appreciate your support.