University of North Carolina Press


In this latest installment of UNC Press’s Military Campaigns of the Civil War series, Caroline E. Janney has made a strong mark for herself as Gary W. Gallagher’s literary successor. Most readers will be familiar with the storied list of previous titles in the series, the last of which on the end of the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg saw Janney and Gallagher team up as co-editors. That was a fine volume. This one is possibly even better.

One big reason this book succeeds is the uniform quality of writing among the nine essays, which range from traditional military analyses of Grant’s and Sheridan’s roles to more socio-cultural topics, such as how African-Americans reacted to Lee’s surrender. It is a true mix of sub-niches within the subfield of Civil War history, but the variety of historians and essays—a hallmark of Gallagher’s previously edited works—provides a satisfyingly rich texture without going overboard on “drums and trumpets” or losing oneself in the weeds of micro-history. As one currently editing his own anthology, I can certainly attest to the difficulty of striking the happy balance.