Lincoln's Labels: America's Best Know Brands During the Civil War, James M. Schmidt, Edinborough Press, 208 pp., 19 illustrations, index, sources, notes, 2009, $27.95
In this bicentennial year of Lincoln's birth readers are deluged with Lincoln books. James Schimdt has written one for the subscribers of Civil War Historian and Citizens' Companion magazines, who will enjoy and keep handy Lincoln's Labels as a ready reference. Members of Authenitic Campaigner will sit back and relax with this overview which explores the brand names that during the Civil War supplied food, medicine, clothing, and weapons. Civil War era soldiers and civilians used Du Pont’s gunpowder, Brooks Brothers’ uniforms, Procter & Gamble’s soap and Borden’s condensed milk.
James M. Schmidt relates a variety of rarely told stories of inventions, marketing and quartermaster purchasing. Linoln's Labels touches upon how each firm mirrors the war and how family and friendships were torn asunder, as well as how politicans and merchants conspired and crossed paths with Abraham Lincoln. Soldiers and civilians are also the focus of this book. In Chapter Five, Fire and Brimstone, the author begins the chapter on July 3 1863 on Culp's Hill with Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery, inspecting federal artillery ammunition supplies. In Chapter Six, Medicine Man, Schmidt has uncovered and presents a truely harrowing first person account of an 11th Illinois soldier wounded in February 1862 in Tennessee.
CWL will keep his copy close by and also assign the library's copy to business majors who are CWL's U.S. history survey class. Schmidt's narrative is also accessible to an avanced placement high school audience also.
James M. Schmidt is the Civil War Medicine columnist for Civil War News and has a web log at http://civilwarmed.blogspot.com is the author of more than 50 articles on American history. He has been featured in Chemical Heritage, Learning through History, North & South and World War II magazines . He lives near Houston, Texas.