By: Fred Albert Shannon
The Organization & Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865. Sounds like a page turner, huh? As I have admitted on non-fiction books in the past, I was NOT looking forward to this book. I do not enjoy war history. So much of the Civil War history that I have read is all about battle tactics. I HATE battle tactics. But, I persevered and I am actually glad that I did.
Shannon's book avoids battle tactics almost entirely. Instead, he focuses on the trials that the Union had when trying to organize an army. He discusses the importance of states' rights (an issue not much mentioned in the histories Union side of things) in the organization of the army. He also spends a great deal of time on the struggle faced by the soldiers when it came to provisions. These are the things about history that fascinate me - the way people lived during a specific period in history. The soldiers struggled greatly not only with the meager food rations provided them, but even more the clothing provided. Shannon presents several humorous stories of methods used by soldiers to cover up holes worn into the rears of their pants. He continues in the book to discuss the problems in recruiting and maintaining soldiers throughout the war years.
While this book might not be for everyone, I will say that I came very close to enjoying parts of it. I really felt like I learned some new things about the Civil War.