Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Battle on the Bay; The Civil War Struggle for Galveston by Edward T. Cotham, Jr.

About the book: The Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. As other Southern ports fell to the Union, Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world. When the war ended in 1865, Galveston was the only major port still in Confederate hands.
In this beautifully written narrative history, Ed Cotham draws upon years of archival and on-site research, as well as rare historical photographs, drawings, and maps, to chronicle the Civil War years in Galveston. His story encompasses all the military engagements that took place in the city and on Galveston Bay, including the dramatic Battle of Galveston, in which Confederate forces retook the city on New Year's Day, 1863.
Cotham sets the events in Galveston within the overall conduct of the war, revealing how the city's loss was a great strategic impediment to the North. Through his pages pass major figures of the era, as well as ordinary soldiers, sailors, and citizens of Galveston, whose courage in the face of privation and danger adds an inspiring dimension to the story.
Quote from the book: "Despite its unique features, there are many reasons why the Battle of Galveston in 1863 has not received the attention lavished on more familiar conflicts in other theaters of the war. Texas was far from the center of military action, not to mention the major media centers (North and South) of nineteenth-century America. More importantly, the strange, almost comical, manner in which this battle was conducted did not lend itself easily to crafting dramatic tales of heroism or martial skill for either side."
My thoughts: I chose this book for my 5x4 Reading Challenge, the History section. (History is a genre that really challenges me.) This tidbit of Texas history looked interesting (& the book was short) so I got it. I do like to learn about Texas history, but mostly by visiting places in my home state. I think this book would mostly appeal to Galvestonians, Texas history buffs and those interested in the Civil war.

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