The Battle of Waynesboroby Richard G. Williams, Jr. (The Hist Pr, 2014)."the study is really a combination battle and community history." That is precisely correct and intentional. I'm glad Andrew pointed this out. Quite frankly, the BoW simply was not enough of a "battle" to provide sufficient material for a complete book which focused solely on the battle. The actual fighting only lasted about 20 minutes and it was a complete rout of Early's tattered, vastly outnumbered, morale-depleted, half-starved army. Perhaps someone trained as a military historian could have squeezed more out of the engagement than I was able to. I consider myself a writer who happens to write about history, not a historian who writes.
Readers of the richly illustrated local histories from the THP's Civil War Sesquicentennial series will recognize the familiar narrative format (ex. lots of lengthy block quotes) and source depth. Contained in a lengthy central chapter, the popular style battle description involves perspectives from both sides. With a mass of material also devoted to the town and its inhabitants, the study is really a combination battle and community history.
Moreover, the fact that Waynesboro is my hometown and I've never lived more than 10 miles from where I was born (providentially on the actual battlefield), the "community history" aspect was a natural for me. I grew up on the battlefield and my family has deep roots in the community. Even so, all of the community history discussed in the book has some connection to the battle and/or the War Between the States, including the time leading up to the battle and its aftermath.
The book has received mixed "reviews", but most of the response from those who either now, or in the past, have called Waynesboro home has been overwhelmingly positive. And that response alone is enough reward for me.
*Next in the line up of posts will be a review of Kent Masterson Brown's most recent project: a documentary about the life of Daniel Boone. I've also got a couple of other posts in the works which were motivated by comments at Civil War Memory in regards to "familial connections" to the American Civil War. We'll slay that silly dragon in short order. Also I've outlined a post in regards to a couple of Civil War bloggers who like to poo-poo the notion of political correctness in the study of American history - another silly position that will be quite easy to sweep aside. Stay tuned.