10) American Era History Book Review: The Civil War Through The CameraAuthor: Spencer Holly
Book Title/Title Page:
The Civil War Through The Camera.
Hundreds of vivid photographs
Actually Taken in Civil War Times
Sixteen Reproductions in Color of Famous War Paintings
A Complete Illustrated History of the CIVIL WAR
By Henry W. Elson, Professor of History, Ohio University
By Patriot Publishing Co., Springfield, Mass
About This Version
The antiquarian version reviewed here is a high quality hard bound book in a large format, with beautifully decorated and framed pages, excellent quality paper and printing of text, and images, mostly actual photographs, and includes sixteen full page color reproductions of Civil War paintings. Editing and production are flawless; a modern word processing program could not have done better.
This book consists of about 260 textual pages, and 317 photographs and images, and the sixteen color prints.
Do not be misled by the title; this is not a picture book, though it is loaded with hundreds of fascinating photographs. Published almost 50 years after the end of the Civil War, the author created a comprehensive history of the war with compelling textual style and content, and hundreds of actual photographs.
The author, Henry Elson, had plenty of factual records to research, and digest, and he had the added advantage of living and writing in an era when the Civil War was still part of living history in the minds of many people, including war veterans from both sides.
This is a complete story of the Civil War, from beginning, to end, with all the horror, in between. And the whole story is made even more vivid by the accompanying photographs.
You donít have to know any history of the Civil War in order to read this book; this book will teach the reader, as no modern book will, about the causes, and the conduct of the War. This book tells the story of the Civil War from not only a factual, no nonsense approach, but also from a uniquely human viewpoint, in dramatic prose.
Since this book was written over 86 years ago, most people will note that the textual style, prose, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc, are somewhat different than our modern day expectations. (This is true of many antiquarian history books of the day). The effect is to provide a interesting, and delightful snapshot of a day and time, 1912, when prose was often unabashedly exciting, and dramatic. Even though the subject is about the horror and misery of war, you will find yourself smiling at the common use of words and phrases that we think of as being over dramatic hyperbole; it seems a little hokey, at times, for our modern world, but, in that day, it was quite common, and, regardless, it added another level of enjoyment.
For instance, the following quotations, are just two examples of many dramatic phrases common throughout the book: (While reading this, I can almost imagine hearing a drum roll as the war descends upon the land.)
On the field of Shiloh, for the first time, two great American armies were to engage in a mighty struggle that would measure up to the most important in the annals of Europe. And the pity of it was that the contestants were brethren of the same household, not hereditary and unrelenting enemies.
or, another example:
A murderous fire from the batteries on the cliff poured into their ranks. Gallantly the attacking columns withstood the deluge of leaden hail and drew near the creek. A few of the more aggressive reached the opposite bank but their repulse was severe.
The fact that this book was published in 1912 does not compromise the factual integrity. I have read modern versions, and this version, and there is no lack of factual historical content. In fact, I am sure that modern works rely heavily on works such as this book. Rather than give just the cold, hard facts of the civil war, this book gives more of an insiders view of the war; the emotion filled tales of sacrifice, and destruction, and death, and deprivation, and hatred, and cruelty, and pain, are balanced by tales of honor, chivalry, kindness, and humanity, and morality, and patriotism.
I am a History Buff; I am particularly interested in American era history; of the various antiquarian American history books that Iíve read, this one is a superb original work that Iím sure has been the basis for many subsequent Civil War histories.
This book makes for compelling reading. The historical content is without equal, and, while the format is similar to a textbook, it reads more like a novel, and it is hard to put down once you have started reading it. Even if you are a Civil War expert, and you have read many books about the war, I think you will find that you will gain a whole new perspective of the war from reading and studying this book. And if you are not an expert, you will be on your way to expert-hood when you finish this book.
This is a perfect candidate for conversion to a multimedia ebook. The subject, the layout, the text, the prose, the photographs, and all the additional Civil War resources available, are the ideal components of a multimedia enhanced ebook.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it PG, mostly because of the photographs, and because the prose may be a little difficult for the younger, grammar school age kids.
On a scale of 1 to 10, this book is a 10.
Table of Contents:
Section 00 RECORDS WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
Section 01 BULL RUN THE VOLUNTEERS FACE FIRE
Section 02 FORT HENRY AND FORT DONELSON
Section 03 SHILOH THE FIRST GRAND BATTLE
Section 04 THE FIGHT FOR RICHMOND
Section 05 THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY
Section 06 THE SEVEN DAYS BATTLES
Section 07 CEDAR MOUNTAIN
Section 08 SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN
Section 09 ANTIETAM, OR SHARPESBURG
Section 10 STONES RIVER, OR MURFREESBORO
Section 11 FREDERICKSBURG DISASTER FOR A NEW UNION LEADER
Section 12 CHANCELLORSVILLE AND JACKSONS FLANKING MARCH
Section 13 VICKSBURG AND PORT HUDSON
Section 14 THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG THE HIGHWATER
MARK OF THE CIVIL WAR
Section 15 CHICKAMAUGA THE BLOODIEST CONFLICT IN THE WEST
Section 16 LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN
Section 17 THE BATTLE IN THE WILDERNESS
Section 18 SPOTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE
Section 19 COLD HARBOR
Section 20 TO ATLANTA
Section 21 THE LAST CONFLICTS IN THE SHENANDOAH
Section 22 THE INVESTMENT OF PETERSBURG
Section 23 SHERMANS FINAL CAMPAIGN
Section 24 THE LAST INVASION OF TENNESSEE FRANKLIN NASHVILLE
Section 25 THE SIEGE AND FALL OF PETERSBURG
Section 26 APPOMATTOX
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