Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Noteworthy---The 1862 Kentucky Campaign and The Battle of Perrysville

The Civil War At Perryville: Battling For The Bluegrass, Christopher L. Kolakowski, History Press, 2009, 189 pp., 38 illustrations, 17 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, $21.99.

The Civil War At Perryville: Battling For The Bluegrass offers a straight forward account of the autumn 1862 Kentucky Campaign.  Readers unfamiliar with the campaign should prepare for Kolakowski's work by using Shelby Foote's the Civil War: A Narrative--Fort Sumter to Perryville [volume I] places the campaign in both a political and military context.  Also readers may also review online resources such as http://www.battleofperryville.com/ and The Civil War Trust's http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/perryville.html?tab=facts

Kolakowski sketches the personalities of the commanders and terrain features of the campaign; his narrative is well organized and well paced.  Most readers will find The Civil War At Perryville a good introduction; others may wish to read a more comprehensive treatment such as Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle by Kenneth W. Noe.  Deficits of the book include the poor quality of several reproduced portraits.  The maps appear to be poor photocopies of previously photocopied topographic maps.  An Order of Battle for Kirby Smith's Confederate army is missing, though an Order of Battle for Buell's Federal army and Bragg's Confederate army are offered.   A chronology would have been helpful for understanding sequence of events for three armies. Also an index would have been made it possible for readers to follow a person or an unit through the campaign.

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