Book Review: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume I, South Mountain

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by Ezra A. Carman, edited and annotated by Thomas C. Clemens

New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. Pp. lii, 521. Illus., maps, tables, appends, notes, biblio., index. $37.50. ISBN: 978-1-932714-81-4

By the time the Civil War ended, Ezra Carman (1834-1909) had seen a great deal of it, over 20 battles, while rising to brevet brigadier general.

But of the fights in which Carman took part, none impressed him so much as those during Lee's invasion of Maryland in September of 1862, including South Mountain and Antietam , during which he commanded the 13th New Jersey .  Carman began taking notes on the campaign while it was still unfolding, and continued to do so until virtually his death, serving as "historical expert" to the Antietam Battlefield Commission, and leaving an 1,800 page manuscript account of the campaign, based on documents, memoirs, letters, interviews, and a detailed survey of the terrain.

Carman's work is full of marches and maneuvers, and much fighting, told by one who was not only there, but had a good eye for what mattered and what didn't. To this excellent foundation, editor Clemens, who is a licensed Antietam tour guide and author of a number of articles on the Civil War, has added clarificatory and critical notes, a mass of statistical data, and a detailed bibliography based on Carman's notes and more recent works, as well as a number of valuable maps,. 

In bringing Carman's The Maryland Campaign into print for the first time, Clemens, and Savas Beatie, have done Civil War scholars an invaluable service, and they will certainly be looking forward to the appearance of further volumes

 

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Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   


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