The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865 Books
For the many in our country who believe history to be ‘boring’, ‘dry, and ‘who cares, it was my least favorite class and how in blazes can there be 1135 pages in that stupid book when everyone knows there were only about six battles and it was over.’
The Civil War Day by Day just may change your mind.
Everette Beach Long, is recognized among the society of history reading America as one of America's foremost experts on the Civil War. The book he and his wife produced in 1985 may have left out a shot, a skirmish or a rattle of sabers somewhere, someday, but I doubt there were very many.
Long was meticulous in his research. In his biography he states: "I got interested in the Civil War as a hobby," he explained. "Then it became an avocation, then a way of life. "
Long was the director of research for Doubleday's multi-volume "Centennial History of the Civil War," written by Bruce Catton from 1955 to 1965.
The Civil War Day by Day offers day by day the years of 1860 – 1866 beginning with November and the election of Lincoln down to Aug 20 1866 when the war was finally declared to be over when Johnson declared the insurrection in Texas to be finished.
The table of contents lists not only the years of the war; but also materials most/many people forget, never knew or just plain have never thought about regarding the war.
The People of War
Men at War
Economics of War
I suppose we would be hard pressed to find anyone in our country who has no awareness at all of Vicksburg, Gettysburg or ‘Bull Run.’ Long writing in his preface said, ’No one, no matter what method he uses, can encompass the entire course of those five years of our nation’s greatest crisis." One form, that can add at least a measure of factual depth is an almanac.
The format of The Civil War Day by Day is simple. It covers many events of the Civil War era from the late fall of 1860 into early 1866, with main concentration on 1861-65.
The format lends itself easily to use in classroom or for personal research. Look for a specific date, or check the headlines under dates for specific occurrences.
Secession of Southern states, including some which may surprise readers who are not aware that the number of seceding states was not the accepted eleven long called ‘the Confederacy.’ The firing on Ft. Sumter, and skirmishes in Missouri, two major battles near Manassas Junction, VA and two in Indian Territory at the Cabin Creek Crossing, battle at Chancellorsville, in Virginia and White Oak in Missouri, battle at the Wilderness, VA and one at Prairie Grove, Arkansas are all detailed in the book.
The battle waged near Carthage, Missouri on July 5 1861, well after the firing on Ft Sumter, S C was waged as the US Congress met to declare war on the Southern Confederacy. As well as many, many more well known and lesser known facts of the war will be found.
Daily accounts are brief and informative and provide a base for the researcher to move on to other texts having more detail. The format of the years is simple, listed by year, month and day it is an easy matter to find what you want quickly if you are seeking a fact or incident found on a specific day.
My personal copy has been used much over the years I have had it, I bought the book at the book store at Shiloh Battle Field. Knowing that my husband and I would be using the book a lot I covered the paperback cover with clear contact paper as soon as we bought it. The book is very well made, and has held up well to repeated use. I have highlighted facts, hand written margin notes, and book marks in the book, but, I do not have missing pages. Something to be said for the binding.
This comprehensive work is a resource tool found in the library of every serious ‘civil war buff’, true historian of our country and those who devour everything they can locate regarding the awful period of our country during the mid 1860s. 1135 pages, and heavy as a sack of sugar The Civil War Day by Day is not a work to stick in your back pocket as you stroll one of the nation’s preserved battle fields.
About 1/3 of the book is given over to the sections listed as : Aftermath Special Studies The People of War Men at War and Economics of War . These pages provide a wealth of knowledge regarding the time. Maps of the areas of fighting found in Virginia, W VA, Richmond-Petersburg, The Trans-Mississippi area of Arkansas-Missouri, Kentucky-Tennessee, Lower Mississippi Valley, battle of Vicksburg, and the south eastern Theater are all included.
The section entitled The People of war list specific numbers of population comprising both North and South, Slavery, Immigration and Cities are touched upon briefly. Men at War details size of armies, offers some details regarding nativity, ethnic and social background of men, and tells of casualties, disease. The chances of war, desertion, and prisoners are touched upon.
Of special interest to me are details of regiments, battles, the blockade and economics of war as well as the cost of war. An extensive bibliography is included for further reading. An index by dates is included so that the reader who does know the name of a battle or skirmish but not the date can locate the battle. The index by date might be better called the index by name, but either way it works.
The Civil War Day by Day is an excellent resource for the serious student of history, re-enactors, teachers of history, and those who want to learn something of the history of our nation during that bleak era.
I use my copy ongoing and am happy to recommend.
Reviewed by Molly’s Reviews
The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865 Books
E. B. Long and Barbara Long
Paperback: 1160 pages
Published by Da Capo Press 1094 Flex Drive Jackson, TN 38301