Jones’ work follows the general pattern of other titles in the Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest series. A detailed, 39-page chronology begins with the acceptance by Congress of the Missouri Compromise in 1820 and ends with the surrender of the Confederate ship Shenandoah in fall 1865. The introduction offers a concise overview of the subject, ending with a 3-page discussion of the legacy of the war. The 1,700 entries in the dictionary section are well chosen and clearly and accurately defined. From the obvious inclusions, such as Gettysburg and Robert E. Lee, to those that are more obscure, such as the ill-fated Mud March and the Quaker guns, Jones does a fine job in choosing appropriate and interesting terms to discuss. Cross-referencing is made simple by the inclusion of boldface type for terms that are mentioned within the definition of entries. For those seeking quality works regarding the war and its many facets, a splendid bibliography is available.
With approximately 50,000 books and counting and innumerable articles on various aspects of the Civil War, there is no sign that interest in the subject is waning. This reference work will appeal to both the casual reader and the advanced Civil War scholar.