Atlas Of The Civil War
James M. McPherson | 2005-03-16 00:00:00 | Running Press | 224 | Civil War
Here is the definitive reference to the battles of the Civil War, written by America's leading military historians and edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War expert James M. McPherson. This authoritative volume includes gripping eyewitness accounts plus 200 specially commissioned, full-color maps that detail all of the major campaigns and many of the smaller skirmishes of the war between the states. Maps provide a superb visual reference to troop movement, battlefield terrain, and communication lines. Dynamic reconstructions depict battles fought on land, river, and ocean, and time-line descriptions provide play-by-play commentary of the action. With more than 200 photographs and many personal accounts that vividly recount the experiences of soldiers in the fields, this book brings to life the human drama that pitted the north against the south.
This atlas is just awful. Previous reviews have inidacted how badly the maps are displayed and how they are frequently placed across the binding-- obscuring the center within the fold of the spine. Additionally the maps frequently drop comments in the middle of sentences and fail to display items for which labels are present. (Examples include the maps of Gettysburg. Here "Emmitsburg Road" -the label, floats south of the Peach Orchard, while the road itself apparently ends in front of the intersection of Taneytown Road. Another map of Gettysburg is captioned to read "18 7pm Hancock leaves for Taneytown to summon " (sic) To summon Meade to be sure, but his name is carelessly omitted.
Worst of all the commentary on Steele's campaign in spring of 1864 includes "Due to intense racial animosity, the Confederates killed a large number of African American soldiers as they attempted to surrender." An unknowing reader might think that this comment referenced white v black hatred, yet Foote tells us in the Civil War vol. 3 that these soldiers of 1st Kansas (Colored) Inf were murdered by a Choctaw regiment in service to the Confederates possibly in retaliation for atrocities by Kansas troops (white and black) against the Choctaw settlements in the west where this regiment was raised. Given the low quality of the work itself this is probably a careless error by editors rather than a political ploy. Scant mention is made of Native Americans' service to the Confederate states or to the Union states throughout the book.
Great book and a good companion to the " Battle Cry of Freedom " by James McPherson to give a better understanding of this time period and the events that took place and why.
I found the layout of a lot of the maps quite annoying because they are placed across the spine of the book, making them hard, if not impossible, to read. Reconstructing the various situations and commanders' decisions described in the text is often impossible because all the information is crammed into a single map. It is a pity the maps are not as accessible as they are colorful because otherwise the combination of easy-to-read texts, tons of pictures and colorful maps make the atlas a good addition to any civil war literature.
With this book you will be able to find information and a very colorful map of almost anyy battle in the Civil War. This is must for teenagers doing a term paper on a specific battle, since I am one myself.
I bought this book as a companion to reading several of Bruce Catton's histories of the war. Since Catton doesnt go through the war sequentially, and since the atlas doesnt entirely, either, it was tough initially but was helpful once i got the hang of it. But then i realized the material was not entirely accurate, more a result of poor editing than bad information. Several inset maps are shown with incorrect north arrows that lead to disorientation. At other places there are parenthetical references to an inset being "below left" when it is actually "above right." These types of errors undermine the usefulness of a reference book significantly. I considered a large number of atlases -- some specific to the war as well as others -- and this seemed to be the best. perhaps there is a potential market for a civil war era regular atlas so someone reading a history book can follow things better, without the step by step military strategy this atlas has.
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