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EDITORIAL
Civil War Scholarship Remains in Capable Hands

by Buman, Nathan A. Issue: Fall 2010

Civil War Scholarship Remains in Good Hands


While it is easy to question how anyone can possibly say anything new about the Civil War, time and again, we are encouraged by the richness and freshness of recently-published works by both young scholars and veteran historians. Civil War historians push one another to test the limits of historical research, seeking to approach old areas with a fresh perspective while continuing to uncover new subjects. Civil War Book Review is honored and proud to be a part of this public discussion as we seek to promote the further study of the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, while providing accountability through peer review.

Continuing our Sesquicentennial recognition of those who fought in the American Civil War, the Fall 2010 issue features a portrait of Private George Henry Graffam, a member of Company B, 30th Maine Infantry, U.S.A. He was eighteen-years-old when he enlisted in the Union army.

In this issue, we feature the most recent books by two of our field’s leading experts, in addition to some stellar first-book scholarship from two young, promising scholars who continue to give us hope that the study of this period remains in capable hands. First, Daniel W. Crofts provides us with an intriguing mystery as he attempts (he succeeds) to uncover the true identity of the author of “The Diary of a Public Man” in A Secession Crisis Enigma, William Henry Hurlbert and the “Diary of a Public Man.” Next, Michael T. Bernath’s first book, Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South, analyzes the Confederate efforts to achieve “intellectual independence,” the attainment and promotion of a southern identity through its own literature and periodicals, as part of the larger war effort. Mark W. Geiger examines the political and social upheaval which resulted from the failed attempt by a group of prominent Missouri state politicians and bankers attempted to fund Confederate volunteers using money from the state treasury in Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri’s Civil War, 1861-1865. Finally, in Edmund J. Davis: Civil War General, Republican Leader, Reconstruction Governor, Carl H. Moneyhon seeks to bring an important figure in Civil War-era Texas history into a more positive light, resurrecting his reputation through a better understanding this man’s complex life.

This fall, Leah Wood Jewett reminds us of the tolls that Civil War soldiers and their families paid as she uses the superb Special Collections at Louisiana State University to highlight the death inherent in any war. As part of a larger exhibition that features the women’s experience during the Civil War at Hill Memorial Library on the campus of LSU, Jewett’s column sheds light on the ways in which Civil War women confronted the death or potential of death for their loved ones.

In further recognition of the Sesquicentennial, Frank Williams has graciously provided us with a survey of the existing scholarship on Abraham Lincoln. He has generously taken the time to highlight a score of books that show the complex character of Lincoln and the range and diversity of historians’ efforts to better understand this prominent historical figure.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an author interview in this issue. We are still working to include the interview that we conducted for this issue but we have encountered technical difficulties that have waylaid our efforts to include the interview in the publication at this time. We will certainly continue our efforts to process the interview and we appreciate your understanding this quarter. This issue, and everything in it, would not be possible were it for the efforts of the staff at Civil War Book Review, LSU Libraries and Special Collections. I am, as always, grateful for their continued support. We certainly appreciate our readers as well and wish you all a wonderful, safe, and fulfilling Holiday season.

review of EDITORIAL
Civil War Scholarship Remains in Capable Hands
, by Buman, Nathan A., Civil War Book Review, (Fall 2010).