Over a roughly sixteen-year span from 1984 through 2000, H. E. Howard, Inc. of Lynchburg and Appomattox, Virginia published approximately fifty-seven matching volumes as part of their Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series. According to what appears to be the only website pertaining to this publisher, the series focused on “the battles, leaders, cities, and significant events associated with the history of the Civil War in Virginia.” The series produced books that dealt with the role of various towns and counties in Virginia during the war, some biographies and memoirs, however the cornerstone of the series was its focus on the various battles and skirmishes that occurred in the Old Dominion state during the Civil War. To this day, some of these books still represent the only book-length work devoted to a particular topic, battle or engagement.
The H. E. Howard books were and are of interest to collectors for each title’s first printing was strictly limited to 1000 copies that were signed and numbered by the author on a special limitation page at the front of each volume. Further, every hardcover volume in the series was of uniform appearance, being nicely presented in a sewn binding of dark blue cloth with gold gilt lettering on the front and spine. To top things off, every title was presented in a rather austere though matching white dust jacket that featured nothing more than the book’s title, author, and series logo on the front cover and spine. Other titles in the series were listed on the back flap.
Howard’s equally impressive sister series is the Virginia Regimental Histories Series, which we’ll explore in another post.