Library Additions–November 2018 (2)

Thank you to Arcadia Publishing for providing a review copy of The Battle of Ball’s Bluff: All the Drowned Soldiers (Civil War Series) written by Bill Howard.

Softcover, 189 pages, 162 pages of text. Index, bibliography, notes, b/w images, maps. ISBN 9781467140737, $23.99.

From the publisher website:

Three months after the Civil War’s first important battle at Manassas in 1861, Union and Confederate armies met again near the sleepy town of Leesburg. What began as a simple scouting mission evolved into a full-scale battle when a regiment of Union soldiers unexpectedly encountered a detachment of Confederate cavalry. The Confederates pushed forward and scattered the Union line. Soldiers drowned trying to escape back to Union lines on the other side of the Potomac River. A congressional investigation of the battle had long-lasting effects on the war’s political and military administration. Bill Howard narrates the history of the battle as well as its thorny aftermath.

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Library Additions–November 2018 (1)

Thank you to LSU Press for providing a complimentary review copy of Lincoln’s Mercenaries: Economic Motivation among Union Soldiers during the Civil War (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) written by noted author William Marvel.

Hardcover. 329 pages, 236 pages of text, index, bibliography, notes, b/w images. ISBN 9780807169520, $48.

From the publisher website:

In Lincoln’s Mercenaries, renowned Civil War historian William Marvel considers whether poor northern men bore the highest burden of military service during the American Civil War. Examining data on median family wealth from the 1860 United States Census, Marvel reveals the economic conditions of the earliest volunteers from each northern state during the seven major recruitment and conscription periods of the war. The results consistently support the conclusion that the majority of these soldiers came from the poorer half of their respective states’ population, especially during the first year of fighting.

Marvel further suggests that the largely forgotten economic depression of 1860 and 1861 contributed in part to the disproportionate participation in the war of men from chronically impoverished occupations. During this fiscal downturn, thousands lost their jobs, leaving them susceptible to the modest emoluments of military pay and community support for soldiers’ families. From newspaper accounts and individual contemporary testimony, he concludes that these early recruits—whom historians have generally regarded as the most patriotic of Lincoln’s soldiers—were motivated just as much by money as those who enlisted later for exorbitant bounties, and that those generous bounties were made necessary partly because war production and labor shortages improved economic conditions on the home front.

A fascinating, comprehensive study, Lincoln’s Mercenaries illustrates how an array of social and economic factors drove poor northern men to rely on military wages to support themselves and their families during the war.

Press Release–Civil War Barons Book Release Set

I recently received this information from Da Capo Press about an upcoming release.

Civil War Barons: The Tycoons, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Visionaries Who Forged Victory and Shaped a Nation

From prominent historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist Jeffry D. Wert, a multi-biographical work of a remarkable yet largely unknown group of men whose contributions won the war and shaped America’s future

Before the Civil War, America had undergone a technological revolution that made large-scale industry possible, yet, except for the expanding reach of railroads and telegraph lines, the country remained largely rural, with only pockets of small manufacturing. Then the war came and woke the sleeping giant. The Civil War created a wave of unprecedented industrial growth and development, producing a revolution in new structures, ideas, and inventions that sustained the struggle and reshaped America.

Energized by the country’s dormant potential and wealth of natural resources, individuals of vision, organizational talent, and capital took advantage of the opportunity war provided. Their innovations sustained Union troops, affected military strategy and tactics, and made the killing fields even deadlier. Individually, these men came to dominate industry and amass great wealth and power; collectively, they helped save the Union and refashion the economic fabric of a nation.

Utilizing extensive research in manuscript collections, company records, and contemporary newspapers, historian Jeffry D. Wert casts a revealing light on the individuals most responsible for bringing the United States into the modern age.

On Sale: November 6th 2018
Price: $16.99 / $21.99 (CAD)
Page Count: 288
ISBN-13: 9780306825132

Library Additions: October 2018 (1)

Thank you to the good people at Da Capo Press for providing a complimentary copy of the new book A Fierce Glory: Antietam–The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery  written by Justin Martin. ISBN 9780306825255, cover price $28.

From the publisher website:

On September 17, 1862, the “United States” was on the brink, facing a permanent split into two separate nations. America’s very future hung on the outcome of a single battle–and the result reverberates to this day. Given the deep divisions that still rive the nation, given what unites the country, too, Antietam is more relevant now than ever.

The epic battle, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was a Civil War turning point. The South had just launched its first invasion of the North; victory for Robert E. Lee would almost certainly have ended the war on Confederate terms. If the Union prevailed, Lincoln stood ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He knew that freeing the slaves would lend renewed energy and lofty purpose to the North’s war effort. Lincoln needed a victory to save the divided country, but victory would come at a price. Detailed here is the cannon din and desperation, the horrors and heroes of this monumental battle, one that killed 3,650 soldiers, still the highest single-day toll in American history.

Justin Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president–struggling with the recent death of his son, Willie–summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation’s most inspired leader. And, in fact, the battle’s impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history.

A Fierce Glory is a fresh and vibrant account of an event that had enduring consequences that still resonate today.

World War I Centennial Event in Geneva, FL

Press release from the Geneva Historical & Genealogical Society:

leinster-colour-40~ Oct. 10, Wed. – Come to a WWI Centennial Memorial for Perry Taylor of Geneva and the other 500+ who died on the RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea on Oct. 10, 1918, when it was hit by 3 German torpedoes just before the end of WWI. Memorials are being held in Ireland and other Allied countries on the same day. Most of those killed were military young men and women. It is at 2:00 PM, in Geneva Cemetery, Cemetery Road, off 1st Street. Come honor those who died as well as our military men and women from WWI buried in Geneva. We are the only U.S. community having the Memorial for the 6 U.S. soldiers who drowned.

Art in Public Places–DeLand, Florida

Art is all around us. Some cities are enthusiastic supporters of public art and work to make sure their landscapes are enhanced with art, whether it be murals, sculptures, or other types. The city of DeLand, Florida is one of those cities.

Take a look at this page hosted by Maintstreet DeLand to review an amazing series of murals that can be found throughout the city. Here is an interesting look at Florida and DeLand history on the sides of local businesses. Also included in the listing is a page showcasing a series of plaques recognizing historical buildings. You can learn a lot about early DeLand history by taking this walk.

If you are more interested in sculpture how about taking the DeLand Sculpture Walk, available through the Museum of Art—DeLand. My personal favorite is American Dog, by Dale Rogers, that is located at the fire station. On this page you can also learn about the DeLand Utility Box Art Project, which is an innovative way to disguise the rather ugly utility boxes that dot modern American streets.

No matter where you live or visit, keep your eyes open. There is wonderful public art available for your viewing pleasure. Some is traditional, some is modern, a lot of it is just plain funky. It’s up to you to find and enjoy it.

Have a favorite piece of public art? Share it with us by commenting.

New Book on World War II Era Sherman Tanks

ATGLEN, PA – Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. would like to introduce Sherman Tank Vol. 1: America’s M4A1 Medium Tank in World War II (Legends of Warfare: Ground) by David Doyle.

This book documents the development and production of the M4A1 through its many variations, as well as its combat use around the globe. Produced by Lima Locomotive Works, Pressed Steel Car Company, and Pacific Car and Foundry, the M4A1 was the first of the famed Sherman tanks and preceded the welded-hull M4 into production. Powered by a nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial engine, the M4A1 fought in North Africa with both US and British forces, across northwestern Europe, and on Pacific Islands with both the Army and the Marines, serving well into the 1950s. The evolving design went through three major hull designs, multiple turret designs, and armament with either a 75 mm or 76 mm gun—all of which are detailed in this book. Extensive archival photographs are augmented by stunning color images of preserved tanks, taking the reader around and inside this famed warhorse. Part of the Legends of Warfare series.

David Doyle’s earliest published works appeared in periodicals aimed at the historic military vehicle restoration hobby. By 1999, this included regular features in leading hobby publications, appearing regularly in US, English and Polish magazines. Since 2003, over 100 of his books have been published. Broadening his horizons from his inital efforts concerning vehicles, he soon added aircraft and warships to his research objectives.

New World War I Related Exhibit at Musee de l’Armee Invalides

A major new exhibition at the Musée de l’Armée (if you visit the museum website you may translate to English through the drop down menu in the upper right corner) opening musee de l'armee invalidesin October will retrace the reorganization of the Eastern Europe and the Near East from 1918 with the loose conglomeration of disturbances, violence and instability. The exhibition will explore this little-known period in history marked by revolutions, civil wars, major border shifts and the creation of new states.

While the conflicts came to an end on 11 November 1918 in Western Europe, the Great War allowed in the East until 1923. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to understand the complex struggles of the Eastern Europe and the Near East whose repercussions can still be seen today.

In the wake of the fall of the empires – Russian, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German – some new countries were created by treaties which were soon contested. The Treaty of Sèvre, signed on 10 August 1920 by Turkey and the Allies, was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923.

The exhibition sets out to show how, in this troubled context of the resolution of the First World War, France tried, with some difficulty, to put its military dominance to use in bringing stability to the region within a complex partnership of allies.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Rufus Pinkney Mural Unveiled in DeLand

RufusWe all live somewhere; whether it be a town, village, or city; urban or rural, small town or giant metropolis. What makes it home though is a sense of community. Men like Rufus Pinkney are what makes a community.

You don’t know who Rufus Pinkney was? Well you must not have lived in DeLand, Florida at any time for the past sixty odd years. Rufus was an institution in the downtown area. Even if you didn’t know his name you knew who he was. He was a local legend. Was he a sports star? Was he a political figure or a prominent banker or lawyer? No. Mr. Pinkney shined shoes. That’s right. He shined shoes and he was a more beloved representative of small town community than any sports star could be.

Rufus was born June 12, 1932 in Palatka to parents Pearl and Rufus Pinkney. As a child the family moved to Miami before Rufus left south Florida, ending up in Mississippi where he met his future wife, Mary Louise Gray. Rufus and Mary had two children; a daughter Sharon and a son, also named Rufus.

Pinkney operated his shoe shine business out of a small building located in the parkingRufus 2 lot near 127 E. New York Avenue. Here, according to a Daytona Beach News-Journal article “…is a jumble of polishes, brushes, calendars, shelves of gleaming shoes, and more signs. One praises him as the “Master Engineer in Charge of Preserving the Primary Means of Personal Locomotion,’ and a bulletin board [was] thickly thumbtacked with business cards.” His shop was most recently adorned with a sign painted by Stephen Danko showing an alligator shoe with the words “Shoes Shined by Rufus”. Mark Lane of the News-Journal reports that Pinkney had shined shoes in Deland since 1955 and before that in St. Augustine at the old railroad station.

In addition to his skill at shining shoes, Rufus was a well-known local harmonica player and received the gift of being a great conversationalist. He was an elder at Greater Refuge Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When you saw him he was always dressed well and of course his shoes were never scuffed.

Rufus passed away September 12, 2016 after suffering a stroke. In his 84 years though he touched many lives. Personally, I can remember Rufus from back in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when I worked in downtown DeLand. He used to always stop in for his daily coffee. Sometimes more than once a day would we see him. He never really lingered long though he was always pleasant and had a smile and kind word for everyone. He couldn’t linger because he was busy. He had to get back to the shop and take care of business.

Recently the City of DeLand unveiled a mural in Mr. Pinkey’s honor near where his popular shoe shine stand used to be. It is only fitting that he be remembered in this way. Please read more about the mural unveiling and see several photos here.

Florida Lecture Series at Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College has posted their 2018-2019 Florida Lecture Series schedule and it looks like some good speakers are lined up. Lectures start at 7pm and will be at different locations on campus. Click the link at the bottom of this post for more information and specific campus locations.

Speakers and topics include:

September 13
Gilbert King (Pulitzer Prize-winning Author)
“Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found”

October 25
Leslie Kemp Poole (Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College)
“Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century”

November 29
Anne Rosen and Claudia Slate (Writers)
“Reflections from a Civil Rights Journalist: St. Augustine and Beyond”

JANUARY 10, 2019
Tracy Jean Revels (Professor of History, Wofford College)
“Florida’s Civil War: A Family Story”

February 7, 2019
David Head (Author and Lecturer, University of Central Florida)
“Privateers of the Americas”

March 21, 2019
John Capouya (Professor of Journalism, University of Tampa)
“Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to K.C. and the Sunshine Band”

For more information visit the Center for Florida History website.