Book Review: Civil War Battlefields Then and Now


by James Campi Jr.

London: Pavilion Books / Chicago: Independent Publishers Group, 2016. Pp. 144. Illus., index. $19.95. ISBN: 1910904805

Images of the Civil War Across 150 Years

The author of Lost Civil War Battlefields, Campi, a public relations specialist with the of the Civil War Trust, has complied a collection of several hundred period images from the American Civil War and then matched many of them with recent shots of the same locale, helping to bring the events of a century and half ago into sharper perspective.

Campi opens the book with a commentary that offers an outline history of the war. Then he gives us the matching sets of images in roughly chronological order, from the start of the war at Fort Sumter in April of 1861 through the immediate aftermath of Appomattox in the Spring of 1865. As much as possible, pictures are identified not only by place and date, but also photographer. For each set of images, Campi offers some analysis of the what is seen in the original images and compares that with on what remains from the period image that still can be seen in the more recent image. Remarkably the Civil War era images are of impressively high resolution, and are clearly taken either from original or carefully restored plates, rather than copies of copies.

Although Campi’s commentary at times is perhaps too brief, often omitting interesting details (e.g., soldiers pretending to be dead in one picture), this will prove useful for those interested in the Civil War .


Note: Civil War Battlefields, is also available in paperback and several e-editions.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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