Image of war: 1861-1865, volume 4, Fighting for time Essay

* While not gun books, per se, Doubleday Company’s Image of War
Series, edited by William C. David, is a must for all interested in the
American Civil War and the arms thereof. To those of us weaned on the
murky prints int he old Photographic History of the Civil War, which
first came out in 1911, the Image of War, with its crystal-clear
illustrations, is a revelation.

Currently there are four volumes in the series, with Doubleday
projecting another two over the next couple of years. The latest,
Fighting for Time, covers such fascinating subjects as “Raiders of
the Seas”, a look at the Rebel buccaneers; “Caring for the
Men,” a photographic study of medical care and hospitals (not for
the faint-hearted); and “War on Horseback”, a treatise on the
Confederate and Union cavalry.

The quality and quantity of the artwork in all four volumes easily
surpasses any photographic history of the conflict yet produced. There
are myriads of previously unpublished photos from private collections,
as well as quality prints from national and state archives. The clarity
of the pictures makes it possible to pick out weapons and uniform
details with ease.

As well, for once, the caption material is equal to the artwork,
and even the most arcane arms are identified correctly. The
accompanying text is concise and pertinent. In all, Image of War is a
valuable addition to the libraries of those of us interested in American
military history and Civil War weaponry. It is available from most
bookstoes for $39.95 a volume. I might add that each book runs in
excess of 400 fully-illustrated pages–a real bargain at today’s
publishing costs.


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