Emerging Civil War has selected Hampton Newsome’s Gettysburg’s Southern Front: Opportunity and Failure at Richmond as the recipient of its 2023 Book Award. Gettysburg’s Southern Front was published by the University Press of Kansas.
The Emerging Civil War Book Award is presented to the best Civil War book published during the previous calendar year. This marks the second time Newsome has received the award, making him the only multiple-time winner. He received the award in 2020 for his book The Fight for the Old North State: The Civil War in North Carolina, January–May 1864 (Kansas, 2019).
“In Gettysburg’s Southern Front, Hampton Newsome demonstrates beyond cavil that there is still something new to say about the Civil War,” said Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan, chair of the ECW Book Award committee. “With writerly verve, a keen sense of recent historiography, and sure command of available sources, Newsome supplies the first major treatment of the federals’ errands around Richmond during the summer of 1863. But this is much more than another operational history. By expanding the geography of the Gettysburg campaign, Newsome’s book recovers the past as it was: teeming with lost alternatives, missed opportunities, and best laid plans gone awry. Gettysburg’s Southern Front also shows how enslaved persons played key roles in federal military operations, both on and off the battlefield. A modern campaign study at its finest, Newsome’s book will reward the close readership of anyone interested in Civil War military history.”
Newsome is an independent author who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to Gettysburg’s Southern Front, he is author of The Fight for the Old North State and Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864 (Kent State Univ. Press, 2013), a study of Grant’s and Lee’s battles in the weeks before the 1864 election. He is also a co-editor of Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans (UVA Press; 2012) along with John Selby and John Horn.
In making its book award selection, the committee also chose a runner-up: Roger Lowenstein’s Ways and Means: Lincoln and His Cabinet and the Financing of the Civil War (Penguin, 2022).
“Roger Lowenstein’s Ways and Means illuminates the United States’s efforts to financially manage the Civil War’s economic cost. Though not a battlefield campaign, these efforts were critical to Abraham Lincoln’s success,” said award committee member Neil Chatelain. “Through clearly presented prose, Lowenstein delves into how a sound national financial policy enabled the United States to properly utilize its advantages in manpower and supplies. Introduction of nationalized greenbacks, continued flow of mineral wealth from the West to curb inflation, exhaustive use of bonds, and wartime taxes ensured that military and naval personnel were paid and properly equipped to combat Confederate forces. By tackling this critical topic, Lowenstein’s Ways and Means helps to expand the literature of Civil War era studies.”
Previous winners of the Emerging Civil War Book Award include Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command by Kent Masterson Brown; The Three-Cornered War: The Union, The Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West by Megan Kate Nelson; The Fight for the Old North State: The Civil War in North Carolina, January-May 1864 by Hampton Newsome; A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg by A. Wilson Greene; On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-15, 1864 by Gordon Rhea; and Grant Invades Tennessee: The 1862 Battles for Forts Henry and Donelson by Timothy B. Smith.
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About Emerging Civil War
Emerging Civil War is the collaborative effort of more than thirty historians committed to sharing the story of the Civil War in an accessible way to the general public. Founded in 2011 by Chris Mackowski, Jake Struhelka, and Kristopher D. White, Emerging Civil War features public and academic historians of diverse backgrounds and interests, while also providing a platform for emerging voices in the field. Initiatives include the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series of books published by Savas Beatie, LLC; an annual symposium; a speakers’ bureau; and a daily blog: www.emergingcivilwar.com.
Emerging Civil War is recognized by the I.R.S. as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.