Reviews and Commentary

The Old North State at War

The Old North State at War: The North Carolina Civil War Atlas
By Mark A. Moore, Jessica A. Bandel, and Michael Hill

Remarkable. . . . The book does not have a narrow focus. . . . When you visit, or just sitting by the fire at home looking at these maps, they really do recreate the campaigns in a way that is unmatched. They’re just excellent maps. . . . A wide-ranging publication that looks at military but also political and economic and other questions. . . . It is filled with surprises throughout. . . . The Atlas does not pull punches. . . . You had North Carolina Unionists, both black and white, especially in the eastern part of the state, really from fairly early in the war, forming organized units and fighting. . . . The book closes with a look at Civil War “Memory,” which obviously is a more contentious topic today even than when the book came out.

CIVIL WAR TALK RADIO, Hosted by Gerry Prokopowicz, Professor of History at East Carolina University (Ph.D., Harvard University), Episode No. 1418, Season No. 14 (January 31, 2018)

 

An outstanding new cutting-edge work on North Carolina’s Civil War experience combining the best features of an atlas with narrative history. . . . A major new contribution to the study of North Carolina’s Civil War and is by far the most accurate and up-to-date, especially in the area of mapping. It is a must read for Civil War scholars and students alike.

JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN HISTORY, Vol. 83, No. 1 (February 2017)

The detail in the book, both on the maps and in the data sets, is unparalleled. Everyone from fourth graders to the most experienced Civil War researchers can benefit. . . . Truly does meet a need as nothing like it is presently on the market, and this authoritative and exhaustively-researched volume provides an example for other states to document  and synthesize their Civil War scholarship.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR STATE AND LOCAL HISTORY

With more than ten years of research and glorious illustrations, this atlas probes the political and demographic route to war while it assays the legacy of that conflict. Included is a study of General Sherman’s march and the difficult and sorrowful devastation left behind.

LIBRARY JOURNAL

The astonishing result of a decade of work by Mark A. Moore and colleagues Jessica Bandel and Michael Hill. . . a masterwork of the cartographic arts. . . . Moore’s map work is the product of deep research into primary and secondary sources. . . . Visually appealing and incredibly meticulous. . . . The product of a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something truly unique and special and all involved really went above and beyond the call of duty. Not enough superlatives exist to adequately praise this volume.

CIVIL WAR BOOKS AND AUTHORS

A remarkable book, one that transcends North Carolina’s Civil War battles and campaigns. . . . Slavery and plantation agriculture, mobilization, manufacturing, women, the home front, dissent, inflation, casualty statistics, and divided loyalties receive significant coverage. The authors, however, never lose sight of how North Carolina’s geography influenced combat and the war’s outcome. . . . Readers at all levels will judge “The Old North State at War” a great event in North Carolina historical publishing.

NEWS & OBSERVER, Raleigh, N.C.

An essential reference work for any public or academic library.

STAR-NEWS, Wilmington, N.C.

As stunning in scope as it is in its presentation. . . . The text highlights the military engagements and analyzes the war’s social, economic and political consequences through tables, images and charts.

CAROLINA SHORE

 

Reports and books produced by state agencies are usually, well, fairly dry and unexciting. That’s what makes The Old North State at War: The North Carolina Civil War Atlas, by the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, so unusual. . . . the only state-level Civil War atlas of its kind.

AMERICA’S CIVIL WAR Magazine

The scholarship for the atlas is outstanding.  Many of these large scale maps are accompanied by Civil War era illustrative materials. The content of the maps and illustrations are simply amazing. . . . Not only are battles and skirmishes shown in maps, but topics such as the Bread Riots of 1864, the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island, the Confederate prison at Salisbury, Thomas’ Legion of Cherokee troops, the massacre of Unionists at Shelton Laurel, and an essay on Parker Robbins lend an outlook to the war that most North Carolinians have not yet heard. . . . A significant publication on the Civil War in North Carolina. . . . This work will stand as a model for how to produce clear and easy to read maps. . . . A model of what state-specific depictions of a Civil War atlas should look like.

NORTH CAROLINA LIBRARIES, Vol. 74, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2016)

 

I have no regrets about plunking down some cash for this stunning book. It is big. The pages are 11″ x 17″. The sprawling full-color maps, all 99 of them, are attractive and clear. They cover all military aspects of North Carolina’s war, from the Union attack on Hatteras in 1861 to Johnston’s surrender at Durham Station in 1865. There is much more to it than the maps though. The concise narrative leads the reader through nearly every aspect of the conflict in the Old North State.

RANSACK GARRET AND CLOSET, a review by Hampton Newsome (March 11, 2017)

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