The Civil War, A Visual History: Rare Images and Tales of the War Between the States, no author, Paragon Press, 225 pages, index, photocredits, 2011, $14.95.
Amazingly, The Civil War, A Visual History: Rare Images and Tales of the War Between the States has no author because it is an extensive collection of primary text sources with period illustrations. 100% of the text is authored by those who participated in the Civil War, as soldiers or civilians.
For example, there are three highly detailed images of the Great Seal of the Confederacy, the resolution to create the Great Seal, and the letter of authenticity Langham Chambers Company of London, England that designed and engraved it. Two paragaphs of South Carolina Governor Robert Haynes' inaugural speech are presented along side a Lincoln campaign button. Federal accounts of life in Andersonville Prison appear with period photographs of the camp. Sketches by soldiers and news journalists, engravings from newspapers, carte d'vistes, front pages of Harper's Weekly and other newspapers, and posters that include the regulations for training camps.
Nearly all the photographs, documents and letters are from the Library of Congress. Some are familar and have appeared in many books and magazines. Others have been less often seen. Many have been enlarged and cover two pages, which reveals greater details. Overall, as a coffee table book, The Civil War, A Visual History: Rare Images and Tales of the War Between the States, is satisfactory and will capture the attention of those between the ages of 8 and 80 whose attention is being drawn to the Civil War's sesquicentennial.