“This Hallowed Ground” by Bruce Catton, First Vintage Civil War Library Edition, Jan 2012

As part of my wider reading recently I’ve got into histories of the American Civil War, initially having a look at some of John Keegan’s work in this area – he’s an author I have a lot of time for when it comes to military writing, however in this sort of stuff you really want to hear it from the horse’s mouth and so I picked up Bruce Catton’s well described “The best single-volume treatment of the Civil War….A classic work” [ Chicago Sun-Times ] in order to delve deeper.

Ok, sucked in by the hype, but I wasn’t disappointed … and despite the lack of pics … coin collecting is a very visual oriented hobby … it’s nice to work with a volume that has plates; still when they’re absent it’s no big deal so long as the writing makes up the difference.

And it’s difficult to fault this piece; the index, bibliography and notes speak to the quality of the research, let alone that of the writing – pretty good without a doubt. Frankly it has me slavering at the prospect of getting to grips with Shelby Foote’s million or so words take on the subject ( I was impressed by his performance on the various interviews available on youtube ).

So, getting back to coins, it made me really happy with this 1861-P Seated Liberty quarter I jumped all over at auction not long ago – a real bargain in my eyes, representing the earliest period of the conflict and all that that entailed, shocking naivety no less.

Anyway, anything from the short period of the Confederacy versus Union is rightly still held in high esteem today by many – and coins and notes of the period are no exception.

To be sure to fit it into the early Australian era is a stretch, the dates ( 1861- 65 ) are just too late, but that’s no worries, it has an aura all its own!

Happy Collecting!

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