It’s installment number ten in Bob’s Books Shelfie series. Links to the prior shelfie posts can be found at the end of this one. If you’re new to this column, I posted shelfies of over a thousand of my books, in the r/bookshelf subreddit. The mods got too annoying for me, and I quit the group. I already did a post with my shelves related to the American Constitutional Convention of 1787 and that Era. I’m a man of many layers – you just have to keep peeling the onion. I’m also a big US Civil War buff – especially the ironclad battle at Hampton Roads.
CIVIL WAR SHELFIE #1
I’ve got three shelves of a pretty nice US Civil War collection. This is the main ‘general’ shelf.
I like map books of CW battlefields, and I’ve got two on the left. Plus that floppy one laying across the top.
The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War is a nice-looking, slipcase set. Kind of like CW coffee table books. Thick ones…
Those three blue ones are part of a six-volume Battle Chronicles of the Civil War, edited by James McPherson. McPherson (whose classic one-volume history is at the end of this shelf) is one of America’s finest ever CW historians. If I didn’t own so many books not yet read, I’d get the other three of these. Neat series.
The Time Life book is a cool one-volume overview of the war.
The Battle of Hampton Roads is my main interest area, and you’ll see quite a few naval books in the next shelf. These two are tall, so they moved up here.
Shelby Foote’s three-volume classic was my first major dive into a complete history of the CW. Really detailed, and rather slow reading, but remains a terrific reference.
The Battles and Leaders of the Civil War is some tough going. It consists of a boatload of primary sources from the War. This is as authentic as anything I’ve ever found. But it reads the way you’d expect of stuff from the 1800s.
There are several good CW writers. But McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom is a tough one to beat for a single-volume history. I was gifted another copy of this version, which is falling apart. But it has his autograph on it.
CIVIL WAR SHELFIE #2
Yesterday saw the first of my three Civil war shelves. When I was a kid, the children’s insert in our local Sunday paper once talked about the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac.
I was fascinated, and I can trace my interest in the Civil War back to that. And I remain interested in the Battle of Hampton Roads to the this day I even wrote a screenplay about it!
Seven of the nine books to the left are about the two ironclads in that fight. I will read anything I find on them. The other two are about ironclads in general.
Davis’ Duel Between the First Ironclads was my first book on the subject, and holds a special place for me.
I got something out of all of them.
Another half dozen books about naval matters follow. Interesting stuff if you like the subject matter.
That red book is Catton’s Army of the Potomac Trilogy in one volume. That’s some REALLY good CW reading.
I like daily almanac/calendars, and that’s a neat one next to it.
Stephen Sears’ writing style is very readable.
That Antietam Campaign is part of the Great Campaigns series, which covers non-CW stuff too. Really good reads. Not too deep, and not too light. Solid books about their titles. I’ve got a couple, and would like some more.
I like Ferguson’s book on Chancellorsville.
The ‘Don’t Know Much About…’ series are neat books. I like the Civil War one shown here.
The Civil War Years is a terrific resource. The Monitor and Merrimac books are the heart of my CW collection, and I really like this shelf.
CIVIL WAR SHELFIE #3
I think Pfanz’s book is the most readable of the ‘single day’ ones on this shelf. Wert’s follows next.
I mentioned the Great Campaigns series in the prior shelf. I really enjoy these books, and this Gettysburg one is good.
Michael Stackpole’s book is pretty good.
The movie Gettysburg was based on Michael Shaara’s terrific novel. His son’s follow-ups were good. I LOVE the film.
Another Bruce Catton book, to go with the big one on the shelfie above.
Eric Wittenberg may be America’s foremost Civil War cavalry expert, and I have a few of his as e-books. Highly recommended.
Next week, I start a three-part series on Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range series. Make sure you swing by!
Bob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ made its Black Gate debut in 2018 and has returned every summer since.
His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March, 2014 through March, 2017. And he irregularly posts on Rex Stout’s gargantuan detective in ‘Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone.’ He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.
He organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series, as well as the award-winning ‘Hither Came Conan’ series. Which is now part of THE DEFINITIVE guide to Conan. He also organized 2023’s ‘Talking Tolkien.’
He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV, V, VI, XXI, and XXXIII.