Emerging Civil War has chosen A. Wilson Greene’s A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg (UNC Press, 2018) as the recipient of this year’s ECW Book Award.
The Emerging Civil War Book Award recognizes a work of Civil War history with a public history focus published in the preceding calendar year. Recipients are chosen by ECW’s stable of published authors, making the award the only peer-to-peer award given by Civil War writers to Civil War writers.
A Campaign of Giants opens a sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant’s crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30.
“Full of fresh insights drawn from military, political, and social history, A Campaign of Giants is destined to be the definitive account of the campaign,” says UNC Press. “With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians, and the significant role of the United States Colored Troops in the fighting, this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War.”
Greene is the former president of the Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. His other books include The Final Battles of the Petersburg Campaign: Breaking the Backbone of the Rebellion; Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War; and Whatever You Resolve To Be: Essays on Stonewall Jackson. Greene is also a former historian with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and he is one of the founding fathers of the modern preservation movement.
“Will Greene’s A Campaign of Giants is a wonderful work done by a preeminent expert on the Petersburg Campaign,” said ECW Book Review Editor Ryan T. Quint. “For too long now, the months-long operation around Petersburg has been misunderstood, with only a small handful of books available to help readers understand the full scope of what happened outside the Cockade City. With this first book, Greene brings the reader from the beginning of the fighting to the famed explosion of the Crater in an easily readable and more easily understood prose. We all at the Emerging Civil War eagerly anticipate the follow-up books that will complete this excellent trilogy.”
Quint also announced two finalists for the ECW Book Award: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster, 2018) and Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat by Jonathan M. Steplyk (University Press of Kansas, 2018)