I learned of this book on a recent visit to Bald Head Island and was immediately interested given the excellent work Duffus did with The Lost Light. II learned of this book on a recent visit to Bald Head Island and was immediately interested given the excellent work Duffus did with The Lost Light. I'm happy to see he's done another great job with this history of Bald Head Island. This book covers the island's history from early European exploration through present day, including both of its lighthouses and its life saving station. The style is a mix of serious narrative history and coffee table eye candy.
First off, visually this book is fantastic despite being self-published. There are many photos, maps, and drawings mixed in and they all look great. The Old Baldy Foundation financed the production and the result is a well-researched book with endnotes and index that is also an easy, enjoyable read. Duffus doesn't hesitate to bust myths about the island's history. In fact, most of the first two chapters are spend debunking stories about European explorers long thought to have "discovered" the island. Duffus also uncovered a fantastic story behind the Cape Fear Lighthouse's 1st order Fresnel lens. (Between this book and his work on Hatteras I hope Duffus will continue to explore Fresnel lenses with interesting histories as I'm sure there are more out there.)
My only criticism of this book is that I feel like it shortchanges the Bald Head and Cape Fear Lighthouses, and the Cape Fear Life Saving Station. They certainly aren't ignored, but I feel like they get a less comprehensive treatment than some of the other aspects of the island's history. The main text is only 224 pages so there's plenty of room for more. This seems particularly odd given the author's previous lighthouse writing experience, but it may simply be that this is the book that The Old Baldy Foundation wanted and lighthouse nerds like myself would like.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in greater Wilmington or coastal Carolina history, or who is particularly fond of coffee table books with substance behind them....more
This book looks at the forgotten last stage of the Gettysburg Campaign. In the aftermath of the escape of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia acThis book looks at the forgotten last stage of the Gettysburg Campaign. In the aftermath of the escape of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac at Falling Waters and Williamsport, George Meade's Army of the Potomac sought to flank Lee and trap part of the ANV in the lower Shenandoah Valley.
Hunt does a good job covering the events of the campaign, including small battles at Shepherdstown and Manassas Gap. Meade comes off looking cautious to a fault, although the constraints he was operating under (including logistical difficulties) are acknowledged.
Strongly recommended for Civil War buffs.
This is planned to be the first in a trilogy by the other, with the subsequent volumes covering August-October 1863 (including the Bristoe Campaign) and November onward (including the Mine Run Campaign). I look forward to the others....more