Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Book Review - Curiosities of the Civil War by Webb Garrison
Can you believe that it has been 150 years since the Civil War? During that sad time in our country's history, about 623,000 soldiers lost their lives - some from the south and some from the north. That fact is not hard to locate.
As a history buff, I find the lesser known pieces of "trivia" to be quite fascinating and well worth knowing. Webb Garrison has done all of the leg-work in finding many, many (did I say "many"?) bits of information concerning the United States' Civil War (1861-1865). In his book, Curiosities of the Civil War (Thomas Nelson Publishers), he combined this information into one large volume. Don't bother looking in dictionaries or encyclopedias; you'll find more here. The bibliography in the back of the book is nearly a full four pages long. That serves to give you a pretty good idea of its thoroughness.
Mr. Garrison was (and continues to be) a respected historian and author who wrote more than 55 books. I can only hope to come close to accomplishing what he did.
As a writer myself, I will keep this book on my shelf as a reference for my own great written works of art. In it are literally dozens and dozens of story ideas. Take, for instance, this item from page 430:
"Isaac Murphy was never quite sure how he came to be chosen as a delegate to a special convention held in Arkansas. He'd been a surveyor, teacher, lawyer, and was one of the multitude who had gone to California during the gold rush." The next paragraph describes how Murphy came to be the only (documented) member of a Southern convention who openly went against the opinions of the entire convention. THAT is a good historical fiction story in the making.
I am in love with this book, but I'm sure you can't tell.
If you would like to purchase Curiosities of the Civil War, you may do so through Amazon or Thomas Nelson Publishers.
*BookSneeze has provided me with a copy of Curiosities of the Civil War in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.*