A Pocket History of the Civil War.

Author:Popham, Mary
Position:Book review

Martin Graham (author); A POCKET HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR; Osprey Publishing (Nonfiction: History) $15.95 ISBN: 9781849085472

Byline: Mary Popham

Martin F. Graham's A Pocket History of the Civil War is a font of information that will interest a wide range of readers, including the ardent history buff. An expert on America's most divisive war, Graham has written or contributed to several Civil War histories. He is also a past editor of Blue and Gray magazine and a contributor to Civil War Times Illustrated.

Graham opens with explanations of the motivations behind each side of the conflict and outlines the organization of the two armies. He cites regulation sizes of companies, regiments, and brigades and gives accounts of the daily lives of soldiers.

In subsequent chapters, the author reports on the rations of soldiers fighting on both sides -- with a full description of hardtack, a biscuit made from flour and water -- and documents their uniforms, including hats, underwear, and boots. Graham also shows diagrams of the types of cannons used -- muzzle-loading smooth-bore, muzzle-loading rifled cannon, and breech-loading rifled cannon -- along with graphs indicating the numbers each side possessed. Accompanying charts list steps to load a musket and a rifle, including specifications and ammunition for each. The formality of the diagrams is relieved by captivating contextual anecdotes about the war.

The bulk of the text, graphs, and drawings in the book depict the main battles and campaigns...

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