Thursday, May 11, 2006

What I Last Read

"Ashe County's Civil War"
ISBN: 0813920345

"Ashe County's Civil War" isn't just anyone's read. It's a very thorough study of Ashe county's society before, during and after the Civil War. The first two chapters are rather thick, and not size-wise. It'll take you some time time to sift through the detail that author Martin Crawford presents.

BUT, if you want to know in detail how society functioned in the mountains of North Carolina, this is a great book to read. I do not recommend this book until you have read a more general book on Civil War Appalachia, like Gordon McKinney and John Inscoe's "The Heart of Confederate Appalachia".

Crawford seems to be on the mark with most of his facts, and his conclusions fit nicely with other authors' works on the subject, sometimes clarifying certain issues raised in those works. On a couple occaisions, though, Crawford has some factual lapses, like referring to Taylorsville, TN by it's modern name, Mountain City, and disregarding the lack of women's sufferage in that particular time. But these are very minor transgressions.

The bottom line is that this book would be great for reenactors who are doing first person impressions of mountaineers in the 58th, 37th, and 26th NC regiments. It is of limited military historical value, with most of that information being taken from other works.

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