By Walton Rawls
“The Heroes of the Civil War,” a book containing fifty biographies of generals and admirals of the American Civil War, was originally published between 1888 & 1890 by W. Duke, Sons & Co., the manufacturer of Bull Durham cigarettes. The anonymous author or authors included twenty-five generals and admirals from each side of the conflict, Union & Confederate. One hundred and twenty years later, these biographies have been republished in a book edited by Walton Rawls entitled, “Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles: Sesquicentennial Edition.”
Included with the biographical sketches in “Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles” are full-color, chromolithographic portraits of each of the subject from the original book. Beside each biography is a brief outline of the collegiate or military education of each featured individual, a chronological order of ranks and commands held, battles participated in, and political offices held up to the time of the publication of the original volume.
Mr. Rawls has supplemented these selected biographies with sepia toned lithographs from A. W. Bomberger’s 1891 book, “Generals and Battles of the Civil War,” the complete series of the famous Kurz and Allison battle scenes; two full-page maps, “The Civil War 1861-1865”, and “The Civil War in Virginia,” showing the location of every momentous battle of the Civil War; and an informative chronology of significant events illustrated with authentic documents.
Among the illustrations included in Mr. Rawls’ book are: the official uniforms of each army with rank and grade insignia, and buttons; drawings of all the major weaponry — including muskets, rifles, revolvers and swords, and artillery, not to mention wagons ambulances, and hospital railroad cars.
The biographies are arranged in two sections, Generals and Admirals of the Union, and Generals and Admirals of the Confederacy. Each section starts off with the biographies of the Generals-in-Chief of each army, respectively Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, and the remaining twenty-four biographies in each section follow alphabetically.
Interspersed throughout the book are the numerous lithographic scenes from the various sources listed above. As you page through the book the images of the battles appear in chronological order, giving its reader a sense of the progression of the war.
Mr. Rawls, in observance and commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, has done an admirable job compiling, editing, and republishing this material. By doing so he has greatly enhanced the value of the original work
ISBN 978-0789210647, Abbeville Press, © 2011, 1985, Paperback, 11 x 8.8 x 0.9 inches, 303 pages, Illustrations & Index, $29.95. Click HERE to purchase.