Question of the Week: 9/19-9/25/22

In your opinion, what’s the best book about 1862 Maryland Campaign? (Includes Antietam battle books, of course!)

12 Responses to Question of the Week: 9/19-9/25/22

  1. There are so many good ones and some of them are multi-volume sets! I can’t choose a “best”. But as a visual learner, my favorite is a toss up between Brad Gottfried’s “Maps of Antietam” or William Frassanito’s “Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America’s Bloodiest Day”.

    1. I would expand that to the three Harsh books. There are also other candidates at the campaign, battle, and micro-history levels.

  2. Joseph Harsh is high up there for me, and I’m sure will get a lot of well-deserved attention in these comments. So I want to give a shout out to Richard Slotkin’s Long Road to Antietam — it covers a lot of ground, and offers a compelling narrative, without getting bogged down or being overly long. It’s the rare book that I feel like I would happily recommend to someone with or without a deep Civil War background.

  3. Several that are out there. However when Scott Hartwig is finished his second volume then I’ll have to rank him at the top. Until then The Carman Papers, Taken at the Flood, Maps of Antietam, Taken at the Flood, and Antietam photography by Frassanito.

  4. I concur with the votes for the Harsh books along with Charlie Downs’ prediction about Scott Hartwig’s second book when it is published next year. Landscape Turned Red is a sentimental favorite of mine as it is the first Civil War book I read after getting bitten by the Civil War bug almost 30 years ago when touring the battlefield. It has been overtaken by other books, but you never forget your first [fill-in-the-blank].

  5. For me, Frassanito’s “Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America’s Bloodiest Day” had a huge impact on me. I’m fascinated by the story of Antietam as the birthplace of photojournalism, and Frassanito’s book offered a wealth of information about that story.

  6. At the battle level, Carman’s manuscript is outstanding. I’d like to give some love to narrower efforts. I think quite well of Marion Armstrong’s two books on the II Corps and its opponents.

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