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Monday, May 25, 2020

Book Review: Alabama and the Civil War: A history and guide by Robert C. Jones

Alabama and the Civil War: A History & Guide by [Robert C. Jones]


Alabama's role in the Civil War cannot be understated. Union raids into northern Alabama, the huge manufacturing infrastructure in central Alabama and the Battle of Mobile Bay all played significant parts. A number of important Civil War figures also called Alabama home. Major General Joseph Wheeler was one of the most remarkable Confederate cavalry commanders in the west. John "the Gallant" Pelham earned the nickname for his bravery during the Battle of Fredericksburg. John Semmes commanded two of the most famous commerce raiders of the war--the CSS Sumter and the CSS Alabama. Author Robert C. Jones examines the people and places in Alabama that shaped the Civil War.


Robert C. Jones served as President of the Kennesaw Historical Society for 21 years (1994-2015), and also served as a member of the executive board of the Kennesaw Museum Foundation for 17 years (1998-2015).  The Foundation helped fund the 45,000 square foot Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA.
Robert has written 50+ books on various historical topics, including the Civil War, Revolutionary War, World War I & II, the War of 1812 and ghost towns.  They can all be accessed from this Web site.
In 2018, Robert received an award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for "Women in American History".
Robert is also available as a guest speaker in Georgia, Alabama, Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri, SE Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee.  I'm willing to speak in other states as long as travel, lodging and food expenses are provided.

More: HERE

This book is a well researched tool to add to my Civil War Arsenal. I am originally from Ohio - but now call Alabama home. The book opens up with short biographies on the key players. The book features some key players that are not well known. There were a couple that I am trying to back track and find more information on since they were so fascinating. I had not known about Juliet Ann Opie Hopkins. She and her husband started military hospitals that cared specially for Alabama Soldiers. Which I thought was pretty cool. In a time period where most women did not have a voice, it was amazing to see what she was able to accomplish. I also had not heard of John Washington Inzer. The interesting thing about Inzer is that in 1867 he was removed as probate judge by the military authorities. I hope to find out  more about this instance, since he went on to become a Senator. 
The book then moves into the Alabama Civil War Timeline. It breaks Alabama's involvement down chronologically. I like that it tells the story in how Alabama went from part of the Union, to seceedng to Jefferson Davis being elected to the Confederacy to the various battles in and around Alabama. 
The Third chapter is all about the Capital of the Confederacy. I have visited Confederate White House back in 2018. 

If you are ever in Montgomery - this is a stop that is worth it. 

Chapter 4 - is the bread and butter of the book. It was my favorite part - the Battles. I have my Masters in Military History. I thrive in reading about all the battles. The author uses a lot of primary sources in this so he can accurately tell the story. I LOVE primary sources. I love reading biographies, memoirs and journals. The author did a great job in recreating the time line - and giving details that are desired. The author has also included several pictures and posters from this time period. 

Chapter 5 is all about the Manufacturing portion of the war. This is something that you don't get to read about very often. I was very surprised on they heavy manufacturing aspect. I loved all the pictures and timeline that the author has included. 

Chapter 6 and Chapter 7  is all about the Prison Camps and the Forts. They are shorter chapters yet still are informative. 

Overall, this is a book written for any history nerd. I enjoyed reading this book very much. It is well researched and the author has a great deal of knowledge in his chosen subject. I enjoyed reading all about Alabama and it's involvement in the war. 

Special thanks to the publisher, Arcadia Publishing for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 

You can purchase the book HERE

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