by Andres S. Bledsoe & Andrew F. Lang, editors
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2018. Pp. xiv, 304.
Notes, index. $48.00. ISBN: 0807169773
New Perspectives on the Civil War
Professors Bledsoe (Lee University) and Land (Mississippi State) have collected nearly a dozen essays on various aspects of the history of the Civil War that merge traditional combat-focused military history with the so-called “new” military history, which looks at warfare within the framework of the social, political, and cultural trends of the times.
So, for example, several papers examine decision making at critical moments by Meade, McClellan, and Bragg, which throw fresh light on their actions, and are likely to please neither the fanboys or the foes of any of them. Other papers examine the Union looting of Fredericksburg, military executions in the Confederate Army, and even how Albert Sidney Johnston became a “great general”, looking at the revolution of his reputation from the ante bellum period through the era of the “Lost Cause”, and on to the present.
Upon the Fields of Battle, a volume in the LSU series “Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War”, is a valuable read for serious students of the war, and perhaps for anyone interested in scholarly trends in interpreting events.