A Modern Perspective of American Medical Care of Civil War Soldiers and African Slaves
This book, authored by RN Paulette Snoby, was interesting, though not the best written book I've ever read.
The somewhat choppy writing of the book does not detract from the information Ms. Snoby covers. She actually begins her telling long before the Civil War with Revolutionary War medicine. She discusses hospital, medical theories, innovations, experiments, common diseases, etc.
The first four chapters cover Antebellum medicine--primarily for whites.
The fifth through seventh chapters concern the Negro medicine--both plantation care and otherwise. (It is here that I had one particular caveat...even while in the midst of describing the care that the slave-owners took of their slaves, she simultaneously adheres to the common myth that slave-owners tended to be uncaring of their slaves bodies and well being. There is a bit of dichotomy here.)
The eighth chapter covers the soldier's medical care during the war while the ninth, and final, chapter sums up the advances and the sometimes accidental breakthroughs made during the war in the medical field.
All in all, I would not hesitate to recommend this book as a brief overview of the period's medical system.
It took me forever to read this fairly slim volume, but due to my Lyme/Mold induced concentration issues not the dullness of the book.
Rev. J.L. Underwood's The Women of the Confederacy is a most interesting book. I would actually classify it as a compilation for the majority of the short articles and stories were actually originally written for various publications and many by persons other than Rev. Underwood.
The purpose of the book was to extoll the virtues of the Southern women, as well as give some historical background and some insight into the cause to which they sacrificed so much. I think that the purpose was executed quite well.
I would certainly recommend this book for those interested in War Between the States history. I got my copy from Sprinkle Publications a few years back at conference prices, but I have also discovered it here on Project Gutenburg.
Burke Davis' 1957 biography on Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart was a fantastic read.
Mr. Davis quotes extensively from first hand accounts of Stuart's life, some of whom were as colorful themselves as was the general. The writing style is highly engaging and keeps one turning the pages.
Through this book, I got a picture of JEB Stuart as a man who was extremely quick on his feet--both in battle and in wit. He had a tremendous sense of humor as these short excepts will demonstrate:
In one skirmish Stuart's troopers captured a Federal captain and took him to headquarters, where Jeb questioned him:
There are multitude of other short one-liners of similar sort that left me laughing and wondering how anyone can be so quick on their feet.
Stuart, for all his flirtation with pretty young ladies, was completely devoted to his wife and children.
Most importantly, the general was a man of firm Christian faith--a faith which rivaled that of Stonewall Jackson and Lee. He was fearless in battle for he confessed that no harm would befall him unless such was God's will.
These are a few of the observations I came away with concerning the man himself.
Mr. Davis naturally spends a deal of time on the actual conflicts that Stuart was engaged in, but never do they become dull or boring. He keeps the reader attached to the narrative...I appreciate how he draws from multiple sources, both Confederate and Union, for different views and perceptions of events. If I am allowed a rabbit trail here, I find it highly amusing at times the vast discrepancies between Southern and Northern battle reports. Both sides frequently claim the victory and tell of the foe's flight and disorganization as though the other were mere cowards. Interesting, but not necessarily surprising, I suppose.
All in all, I would recommend the book; it seems to me to be a very level-headed account, written by a man who perhaps had Southern sympathies (I never could quite tell). Because I enjoyed this one so well, I look forward to reading Burke Davis' biography of General R.E. Lee (which I was recently delighted to find amongst some books I had packed away).
"With a Pelham on each flank, I think I could whip the world." ~~ General "Stonewall" Jackson's tribute to the gallant chief of J.E.B. Stuart's Horse Artillery.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for multiple reasons: 1) it is self-consciously Christian; 2) it's about a Confederate hero whom I knew nothing about; 3) it has to do with artillery. I have a 'thing' for artillery, frightening as it would be to be in front of it in action.
As I mentioned above, I had never heard of "The Gallant Pelham", so I learned quite a bit. In addition to that, this educational book gave me a greater insight into particular aspects of the campaigning in Virginia from 1861 to early-1863.
My only "complaint" with the book might that the writing style is somewhat choppy--however, as that does not detract from the quality of the information, I really will not complain about it. A child could read this book without getting lost and bogged down in technical details. It's clear and while somewhat rambly, quite an interesting read.
I found, as I read, that I was drawn to the noble character of Major John Pelham--who was, by all accounts, as calm and fearless in battle as Stonewall Jackson himself.
So, if you do not have this one on your shelf and you have an interest in War Between the States history...or even just artillery geniuses, I recommend getting it!
By James Otis
This particular book is copyrighted 1895. As such, being a children's book, there is nothing in the way of langauge or insinuation that would hinder the willingness to let children read it.
The story follows three lads from New Hampshire as they follow their desire to enlist in the Contential army in 1781.
First they head off to join Col. Scammell (a fellow townsman), being chased first by an uncle of one of the lads and later by a couple of Tory spies. From there they are sent to Virginia where they get the dangerous mission of spying for General Lafayette. Finally they are able to actually enlist and prove themselves noble soldiers all during the seige of Yorktown.
Being a book written in the late 1800's the story moves slightly slower than modern stories tend to. (In fact, I thought the author wrote rather like I do--there seemed almost to be mutliple climaxes.) I did enjoy it mostly, but did take some issue with the constant allusion to "luck". It was meant as "luck" and not providence--at least as far as I could descern. That was my really biggest problem with the story. The fact that one of the characters (Josh) held a great deal of animosity towards another (Sim) was less bothersome. This would probably be because 1) Sim is an evil man, not to be trusted and 2) Josh never claims to be a Christain.
I thought the way the author drew quotes from historical books and documents during the later part of the book to detail the situation around about the fall of Yorktown was an interesting tactic.
The fifth book I have read by Robert Ballentyne, Hunted and Harried is a story of the Scottish Covenenters.
The tale follows young Will Wallace, who throws in his lot with the hunted Covenenters, initially because he has little other choice, but later because he embraces their beliefs. Will and his Covenenter friends face the persecution of the "killing times" with loyality and bravery; friendship and love (romance doesn't exactly fit) grow and is strengthened even through the terror and misery around them.
Ballentyne does not go into overly gory details about the torture involved, but he speaks plainly and openly of the brave Convenenter martyrs and what they underwent--men, women, and in some cases children. As with his other books (drawing from the limited number I have read), Ballentyne weaves occasionally lengthly expositions of the history of the era into his tale and does more than just tell the reader what happened. He challenges the reader to learn, understand, and implement that learning. (He differs from Henty in this aspect. Henty's history is worked in a little more sublty--less like he is actually sitting there, eye to eye, talking with you.)
I highly recommend Ballentyne's works for both boys and girls (though they are really addressed more to the young men). He holds up high standards for his reader and is really quite engaging. For a younger reader, they might be a little hard because Ballentyne writes like a man from his era. The Victorian writers used more language, a wider vocabularly, than your average person is used to.
I would definitely recommend this book as a starting place for someone's study of the Scottish Covenenters. I learned several things from this book that I previously did not know (not that I have extensively studied the Convenenters). The only warning I might give does concern the description of torture. Like I said above, it is not overly gory but it is there. (How can one discuss torture without describing it to some extent?)
By Bill Yenne
The subtitle is a basic summation of the contents of the book: The Heroic Saga of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II.
This book engagingly tells the story of Major Tommy McGuire and Major Dick Bong and their "Ace Race". But more than that, the author gives the reader insight into the lives and personalities of these two young men.
The story is broke into three sections, "Boys", "Warriors", and "Rememberance". The first section brings McGuire and Bong to the brink of war. The second section takes them through the war. Each chapter in this section is headed by a 'score card'--noting how many confirmed enemy planes they had shot down. The third section is post war, a remembering of these two top-aces.
When I started the book, I was thrilled to discover that these two young men flew my second favorite fighter plane; a P-38! I learned a lot about the planes themselves. In fact, before reading this book, I did not really know that P-38's were fighters, much less their amazing speed and mobility.
Stationed in the Pacific, America's two top aces were friends as well as 'rivals'. They were in different squadons and fighter groups at different times, though both served all their time in the Fifth Air Force. At times they flew together, at other times they were grounded. McGuire went through at least five planes--each one named Pudgy after his wife. (That was her nickname--her real name was Marilynn.)
Both had different methods of attack, but both were outstanding fighter pilots...
The author likens fighter pilot to the knights of old, the planes to the war horses. It is an interesting comparison, but actually rather fitting, as both knights and pilots are encased in steel, under them a powerful means of transporation.
There is hardly anything objectionable in this book. The only language is direct quotations from the men's letter's home.
I really enjoyed the book. It was both informative and engaging. I learned more about the structure of the USAAF from this book than I ever had any inkling of before.
I would recommend this book to those interested in WWII, the Pacific Theater, and old war birds.
A Reformed Presbyterian girl who enjoys a good movie or a good book any ol'
Note: All images picked up online. No copyright infringment intended.