Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Organization & Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865 - Winner, Non-Fiction, 1929

The Organization & Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865
By: Fred Albert Shannon
A.H. Clark, 1928

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.


Grete said...

Ha ha - I love that you came "close" to enjoying parts of it. :)

Rebecca Reid said...

I second grete's comment: that you came close to enjoying parts of it was kind of funny.

In other words, an abridgment and/or re-write of parts of it sounds like it's in order?

RC said...

i so admire your pursuit of this project.

i think there is something so wonderful that you're picking up through books like this...

and the fact that you came close to enjoying and even almost recommended this book is commendable.

AK said...

Thanks RC, and thank you for starting me on the journey in the first place! Who knew I would still be reading these books several years later?!?