Sunday, April 13, 2014

Richmond Must Fall - Finalist for Harwell Book Award

I learned recently that Richmond Must Fall was a finalist for the 2014 Richard B. Harwell Book Award from the Atlanta Civil War Round Table. The two other finalists were Earl Hess's book on Kennesaw Mountain and Allen Guelzo's Gettysburg title. Guelzo's excellent work earned the prize. I'm honored my book was included in such company.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Browning: The North Atlantic Blockading Squadron

I recently picked up From Cape Charles to Cape Fear, an excellent study by Robert M. Browning, Jr. about the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.  Browning is a historian with the U.S. Coast Guard and has several other titles under his belt.   In From Cape Charles to Cape Fear, he provides a comprehensive treatment of naval activities in Virginia and North Carolina during the war, including offshore blockade operations and coastal gunboat activities.  Browning writes with a direct, clean style and delivers a well-organized narrative.

Among other things, the study furnishes a revealing analysis of the Confederate counteroffensive at New Bern and Plymouth in 1864.  In discussing these events, Browning notes the lack of cooperation between the Federal navy and army in North Carolina, particularly compared to efforts in the western theater.  He highlights the failure of Union forces, both on water and land, to destroy the rebel ironclads in N.C. before those vessels could float down the rivers and threaten federal coastal strongholds.  Browning also touches on the questionable decision to spread Union forces at multiple coastal enclaves, including Plymouth, Washington (N.C), and New Bern.  I'm happy to have added this title to my collection.