Good books about the Civil War are the ones that go beyond the statistics and the battle results and tell us instead about the people involved. Well-known historian James "Bud" Robertson has done just that with 132 one-page stories in his new book, “Untold Civil War Stories: Exploring the Human Side of War.” They cover many parts of the war experience. One is about a general who kept his men marching for so long that when he decided to stop for the night, he found himself alone. Another is about a picket who wrote home that he had “to sit on the point of my bayonet (gently,of course) to keep from falling asleep.”
The book, a joint production with National Geographic, is a beauty and should make any recipient very happy. Although large, it isn’t one of those cumbersome coffee-table books but rather the right size to properly display a great selection of photographs. The 350-page book has several sections devoted to pictures.
Although the $40 book won’t be officially released until Friday, advance copies will be available at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington on Nov. 16 when Robertson is scheduled to discuss the book at 7:30 p.m. The talk is $20 ($18 for National Geographic members). Tickets are available at the door.