Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New and Interesting: Confederate Capital Punishment

Confederate Death Sentences: A Reference Guide, Thomas P. Lowry and Lewis Laska, BookSurge Publishing, paperback, 86 pages, $12.99.

The Confederate armies maintained discipline by flogging, branding, tattooing, hanging, and shooting their soldiers. The disruptions of 1865 scattered and/or destroyed most the records of rebel military justice. The authors have assembled, from many sources, the most complete record of Confederate death sentences ever published. In addition to individuals facing a firing squad, there were mass executions, brothers shot together, fathers and sons shot together, and wives watching their husbands being shot. These vignettes, together with tabulated lists, tell of a hard and unglamorous war, and will be a guide for future writers.

About the Author
Thomas P. Lowry received his medical degree from Stanford in 1957, treated patients for forty years, and was a clinical professor of psychiatry. He has written a dozen history books, covering Lewis and Clark, World War II, and the Civil War. He now lives in Virginia. His co-author, Nashville attorney Lewis Laska, is an authority on 200 years of legal executions in Tennessee.

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