Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Civil War in Illinois by Tom Emery

The Civil War in Illinois by Tom Emery is a collection of newspaper columns that the author wrote from 2011 to 2014.  The seventy-one articles are about 650 words each and were written for a general audience. The stories are brief (about two printed pages), which makes the book good bedtime or doctor's office reading. However, this brevity and target reader may leave the more knowledgeable Civil War reader wanting more detail. Fortunately, Emery has included notes for his articles that will guide the reader wanting more.

The following selections were those that I found most interesting:

  • 9th Illinois Suffered Most Losses - The regiment suffered 366 casualties out of 578 at Fort Donelson and Shiloh.
  •  The Drummer Boy of Shiloh - Fact and fiction concerning John Clem.
  • Nine Generals from Galena - Galena produced the second greatest number of generals from Illinois including Ely Samuel Parker, a Native American.
  • "Uncle Dick" Oglesby - Nice summary of highlights General Oglesby
  • Emancipation Reaction - The Emancipation Proclamation gets mixed reactions from Illinois soldiers.
  • McClernand and Controversy - McClernand thought a great deal of himself and he let everyone know about his achievements.
  • John M. Palmer - A political general who performed admirably on the battlefield and had no use for the "West Point clique."
  • The Eccentric Turchin - Overview of career of Russian born general.
  • The Charleston Riot - Armed conflict between pro-war Republicans and anti-war Democrats in Charleston, Illinois. 
  • Illinois P.O.W. Camps - Summaries of conditions at four major camps in Illinois
  • "Ransom Blazes!" - Highlights of military career of Norwich officer, Thomas Ransom.  
Tom Emery is a freelance writer and historical researcher from Carlinville, IL. He has created twenty-four book and booklet titles and is a frequent contributor to multiple newspapers.

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