Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Historians of the Battle of Atlanta

I have Albert Castel's Decision in the West, The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 as well as Gary Ecelbarger's The Day Dixie Died, The Battle of Atlanta.

Ecelbarger's book was published in 2010. On the back, Peter Cozzens is quoted as saying "Noted Civil War historian Gary Ecelbarger has written the definitive study of the Battle of Atlanta, the climactic encounter in a campaign that cemented Abraham Lincoln's prospects for reelection in 1864 and doomed the Confederacy to defeat. In this deeply researched work, Ecelbarger not only provides the clearest and most detailed account ever written of the battle itself, but he also explains clearly and convincingly what was at stake. His analyses of the strengths and foibles of the leading figures in the battle are exceptionally insightful, and his treatment of the suffering of the men in the ranks most poignant."

I bought Ecelbarger's & Castel's books along with McMurry's Atlanta 1864, Last Chance for the Confederacy at about the same time and started with McMurry's (of which I am 128/208 complete). Why did I start with McMurry? I had previously read his biography of Hood and his Two Great Rebel Armies and appreciated them both.

In reading the bibliography of the "definitive" work by Ecelbarger I see that he includes Castel's work (published in 1992) but does not include McMurry's work (published in 2000). Why didn't he include McMurry's work? Did he not read it? That doesn't seem likely.

Castel writing in 1992 references McMurry's doctoral dissertation on Atlanta. Perhaps McMurry in 2000 does little more than publish his doctoral dissertation in which case Ecelbarger might have decided to pass it over inasmuch as Castel had taken it into consideration.

No comments: