Robert Orrison and Kevin R. Pawlak
Savas Beatie, 2018, 192 pages, $14.95
Image courtesy of amazon.com
If there’s one thing that can be said about the Emerging Civil War Series, it would be consistency. Every book added to this series, and I believe there are over thirty at this point, have been excellent narratives on the battle or campaign on which it surrounds itself. The same can be said for today’s book, To Hazard All, which chronicles the Maryland Campaign in 1862. I have always said that these books are the perfect accompaniment to any battlefield trip, and it rings true with this one as well. Both Robert Orrison and Kevin R. Pawlak have delivered another stunning addition to this series.
Robert Orrison currently serves on the boards of Civil War Trails, the Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Virginia Association of Museums along with being the Historic Site Operations Supervisor for Prince William County. He has authored A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign, and The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign 1863. Kevin Pawlak is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield along with the Director of Education for the Mosby Heritage Area Association. He is on the Board of Directors of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association along with the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. He has authored Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital.
This book opens with a guide to the battlefields, not only Antietam, but those fields which had some action during the Maryland Campaign in 1862. Not only is this an excellent use of the authors for the education of those new to Civil War studies, but it helps those others who know little about the area surrounding Antietam. And for the first time in the Emerging Civil War Series, I would say that it’s rather essential that you read this section since the narrative following focuses on what was just explained for the tour. This was something presented in other books of this series, but I found it most interesting and useful here. Each battle is presented with each chapter outlining the whole of the experience from the Battle of Harper’s Ferry, all the way to Antietam, even covering the retreat. I’ve also been fascinated with McClellan during this campaign since this is where much of his reputation seems to be solidified in history, not only with leading the battle, but his response to the actions of Lee. The chapter detailing that is one of the highlights in this book. Needless to say, both Orrison and Pawlak have given the reader a great narrative here that outlines everything you would need to know when visiting these places.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Maryland Campaign in 1862, or anyone wishing to grow their collection of the Emerging Civil War Series. It continues to showcase the talents of these authors and the passion of the publisher, Savas Beatie, in bringing the Civil War to the forefront. Accompanied by both maps and photographs, along with touring guides sprinkled throughout the text, it is an excellent addition to the Maryland Campaign study.