Friday, July 25, 2014

Three new North Carolina books.

Recently, I have acquired three new books that deal with North Carolina and the War. Let's take a brief look at the three.

The newest of the three is Pen in Hand: Davis Parker Civil War Letters, compiled by Riley Henry. According to his military record, Parker was living in McDowell County and enlisted in Yancey County on March 21, 1862. He was mustered in as a private in Company B, 54th North Carolina Troops. Parker was captured once, released, and wounded twice. The last wound occurred during the battle of Fort Steadman on March 25, 1865. He died in a hospital in Richmond on April 3, 1865. There are some 75 letters covering both military matters and even the mundane challenges of trying to manage a farm while stationed hundreds of miles away. These letters are transcribed, but are not edited. Even so, if you are into the day-to-day life of Confederate North Carolina soldiers, this is a great book.

The second book is edited by veteran author Bradley R. Foley. Letters Home: The Civil War Correspondence of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander C. McAlister, 46th North Carolina Troops. McAllister started the war as a lieutenant in Company I, 22nd North Carolina Troops. He transferred to Company F, 46th North Carolina Troops in March 1862, and was later promoted to lieutenant colonel of the regiment. He finished the war in North Carolina, trying to protect piedmont counties from Federal raiders. The letters begin in 1861, and end at the end of 1864. This very rich collection contains not only Colonel McAlister's letters, but his wife's letters as well. The letters are edited and contain illustrations as well.

Finally, I received a copy of Books to Bulletts... In Defiance of Northern Propaganda! A History of the 46th North Carolina Infantry, CSA, by "COL Charles W. L. Hall, Ph.d" I am not quite sure what this book is supposed to be. A history of the 46th NCT it is not. Of 135 pages, 56 pages are taken up by a roster that could have fitted on five or six pages had it not been done in a table format. The roster only gives the soldier's name, company, rank in, and rank out. The rest of the book is largely made up of tables with a few Civil War Trust maps and copious quotations from the Official Records and Clark's. Hall lables himself as a  "Confederate Historian." He needs to learn how to research and write history and let the critics decide if he is really a historian.  


Brett Schulte said...


Thanks for posting these. Two of the three seem potentially useful for my Siege of Petersburg site. How many letters did Parker write from Petersburg given that he was in the Second Corps? I'm on the fence about that one. However, McAlister commanded the 46th NC for a good portion of the Petersburg Campaign, so I', looking forward to acquiring that one.

Michael Hardy said...

Brett - his last eight letters (December 20, 1864 - March 19, 1865) are all written from Petersburg.

Brett Schulte said...

Thanks! Looks like I'll be ordering this one too.

lee riggs said...

Thanks my Great Grandfather was a Lt in Co B 54th Inf. No written records came down in my family. But lots of oral history and a ring he made while a prisoner at Johnsons Island So I will be ordering that book