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Book Review - Cincinnati in the Civil War: The Union's Queen City

Being a native Ohioan who now resides in Cincinnati, I have been looking forward to the release of this book ever since the author (David Mowery) mentioned he was working on it a couple of years ago. While I feel like I am personally well-versed in Cincinnati's rich Civil War history and the important role that the Queen City filled during the conflict, I will add that I found that I had much to learn, and learn I have thanks to Mowery's Cincinnati in the Civil War: The Union's Queen City. The book comes in at over 300 pages, is richly enhanced with photographs of personalities, period illustrations, tables, and maps. Mowery uses the first one hundred pages to share the history of Cincinnati's Civil War, ranging from early recruitment to industry to the Great Raid to Medal of Honor recipients, with plenty in between. But for me, being a research junkie, the real value of the book stems from the several appendices. These topics are the Navy steamers built or refit in Cincinnati, Civil War fortifications in both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (with a listing of each site - location and current status), current Civil War sites in Cincinnati that one can visit today (including sites around Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky), the idyllic and massive Spring Grove Cemetery (resting place to over forty generals, twenty colonels, and 5,000 other veterans from the war), and perhaps my favorite appendix (E), that lists by regiment, company, and battery every unit that Cincinnati and Hamilton County men served. This list goes far beyond the Buckeye State, and includes units within the United States Regulars and the United States Colored Troops.

Those with even a passing interest should consider this title. There is much more within the pages of Cincinnati in the Civil War than what I have mentioned that you may find interesting. The book is well written, deeply researched, and provides a wealth of information on the Queen City's role and impact on the War of the Rebellion (and includes copious endnotes and sources used). My only wish, being also a map junkie, would have been to have provided modern maps of the fortification locations as well current Civil War sites one can visit, but there are GPS coordinates provided to make locating those site easier.

This is a great addition to the ever increasing amount of books on the Civil War. Those with a Civil War or greater Cincinnati interest will enjoy this title. I purchased my copy from Amazon.

David L. Mowery

The History Press (2021)

320 pages

Hardback and Softcover available

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