THE CIVIL WAR SKETCHBOOK OF CHARLES ELLERY STEDMAN, Surgeon, United States Navy, biography and commentary by Jim Dan Hill; foreword by Walter Muir Whitehill (Presidio, $25). For every publication on the naval aspects of the War Between the States, there must be dozens on Gettysburg, Bull Run and Sherman's march to the sea. This collection of drawings by an artist who served on board a monitor-class ironclad that was active in the blockade goes a long way toward filling the gap - particularly with the lavish "commentary" that amounts to a monograph on a relatively unknown aspect of the war. The drawings in Stedman's war album fall into two distinct categories: exquisitely drafted pictures of ships at sea and less formal cartoons (often comic) which depict the daily lives of the men on board. The combination of text and pictures makes an absorbing, valuable document.
BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR: The Complete Kurz & Allison Prints, 1861-1865 (Oxmoor House, $14.95). From Bull Run to the fall of Petersburg, the major battles of the Civil War are portrayed here in lithographs by an artist commissioned for the task by Abraham Lincoln with descriptions of the battles by 22 modern experts on the war. Issued last year in a four-color limited edition at $250 per copy, the book is now reprinted with the pictures in duotone for a larger readership at a substantially lower cost. There are brief introductions by Major General U.S. Grant III and Robert E. Lee IV.