28 November 2008 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 7 comments

Reader Don Hallstrom left the following comment this morning:

Hello Eric

I believe you are reviewing posts prior to them getting to your blog. I hope so as this is off subject, but wanted your opinion and wasn’t really sure how to contact you other than the blog. I certainly don’t want to clutter the blog up. If you could respond to the email listed, I would greatly appreciate it. I’ve been checking in with your blog weekly for about a year and also reviewing the archive. I’ve really enjoyed the information.

At one point you and fellow blogger Drew Wagenhoffer over at his blog have both commentted about White Mane Publishing and their products.

I’ve been collecting Civil War books for over 20 year and I’m in the process of getting the collection appraised and doing a little culling. I have a number of White Mane books and earlier in my collecting I wasn’t very picky. However, as time has gone by and I’ve found more resources of information, I’ve become a stricter collector. Below are the titles I have. I bought some because I liked the subject and others because there wasn’t anything written about the subject. There certainly are some duds in the list!

I recently came across a title I wasn’t aware of and wanted you opinion of this title and another I was looking at.

1. Hoosiers Honor The Iron Brigade’s 19th Indiana Regiment – Venner, William ( I have a history of same regiment by Dunn from Guild Press).

2. Stopping Pickett The History of the Philadelphia Brigade – Gottfried (Gottfried is coming to our next Rocky MTN Roundtable Sympossium)

Are there any White Mane Titles you would recommend? Always looking for good material

My White Mane Purchases:

INTO THE FIGHT, PICKETT’S CHARGE – PRIEST
VICTORY WITHOUT TRIUMPH – PRIEST
ANTIETAM SOLDIERS BATTLE – PRIEST
BEFORE ANTIETAM, SOUTH MOUNTAIN – PRIEST
NOWHERE TO RUN – PRIEST
RED DIAMOND REGIMENT – JORDAN
LAW’S ALABAMA BRIGADE – LAINE
THE STRUCK EAGLE, MICAH JENKINS – BALDWIN
PUT THE VERMONTERS AHEAD – PARSONS
THE SOUTH’S FINEST – TUCKER
WE SHALL MEET AGAIN – MCDONALD
THE LITTLE JEFF – HOPKINS
FROM SELMA TO APPOMATTOX – LABODA
27TH INDIANA INFANTRY – JONES
PICKETT – LONGACRE
DISTINCTION IN EVERY SERVICE BIO. OF GEN. CLINGMAN – BRAGG

Regards and have a happy holiday season

Don Hallstrom

I answered Don privately. The gist of it was to reiterate something I’ve said more than once, which was that if I had to choose between having White Mane publish one of my books and never publishing another word again for the rest of my life, I would readily and easily choose never publishing another word again for the rest of my life. Poor production values, thin, cheap paper, no editing to speak of, crappy, cheap binding, no marketing to speak of, White Mane turned out a lot of really terrible books and a handful of good ones. Don’s list mentions a few of the better titles, such as the history of the Jeff Davis Legion and some of John Michael Priest’s stuff.

One of the best books that White Mane published was George Rummel’s Cavalry on the Roads to Gettysburg: Kilpatrick at Hanover and Hunterstown, which definitely deserved a better fate than White Mane.

Its demise was not lamented by me or by anyone who really knows anything about quality books. It’s an old cliche that even a blind squirrel will find an acorn every now and again, and the same was true about White Mane. Interspersed among the legion of terrible books that they published, there were a handful of good ones over the years, books that really deserved better publishers.

My view of the demise of White Mane is good riddance to bad garbage.

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Comments

  1. Fri 28th Nov 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I have “We Might as Well Die Here” about the 53rd PA by Irvin Myers and published by White Maine. I enjoyed that. I suppose I’m biased though since one of my ancestors is in it.

    I think that is the only WM book I’ve read though…

  2. Scott
    Fri 28th Nov 2008 at 9:53 pm

    We Are In For It – The First Battle of Kernstown, Ecelbarger is without doubt the best book ever published by White Mane.

  3. Fri 28th Nov 2008 at 11:37 pm

    As a publisher, perhaps I should not ask this, but is White Mane no longer publishing books? I had not heard with certainty that the company was out of business.

    –tps

  4. Art Bergeron
    Sat 29th Nov 2008 at 10:58 am

    Not that I have ever been able to do so in the past four and a half years, but I can detect absolutely nothing going on at White Mane’s site in Shippensburg.

  5. Sat 29th Nov 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I check their website every once a while:

    http://www.whitemane.com/

    The only change I can detect is that it has dropped the promise of the new full service site that’s been “coming soon” for the past 3 years.

    A kids title scheduled for Feb 2009 is the only upcoming title I could find.

  6. Paul Taylor
    Sat 29th Nov 2008 at 4:27 pm

    As one of their past authors, I hear from them on a consistent basis, both in regards to royalties and most recently, their annual Christmas shipping schedule with includes special offers.

  7. Chris Van Blargan
    Thu 11th Dec 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I admit being partial to regimental level, eyewitness heavy accounts of battles and the skirmishes leading up to them, and therefore love Priest’s works. I agree the quality of many White Mane’s publications are poor, particularly in the area of maps, which sometimes showed regiments with a magic marker (Priest’s Antietam), and poor editing. However, I recollect that White Mane was one of the first, along with Mr. Savas, Chapel Hill and a few others, to publish regimental level studies of major battles (Priest’s Antietam was published in 1989), and have to thank them for that.

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