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Local author releases series on the Civil War
0204 echoes
The cover of Barry Sheehy’s first volume in the Civil War Savannah series, “Savannah: Immortal City.” Sheehy will speak to the Historic Effingham Society’s spring meeting May 7. - photo by Photo provided

Barry Sheehy, an honored life member and financial benefactor of Historic Effingham Society, is releasing the first in a series of books being published to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. The first in the series, “Savannah: Immortal City,” is available in early February in bookstores, including Historic Effingham Society’s gift shop in the Effingham Museum on the north end of Pine Street just across from the old Effingham County Courthouse. You can also find the books at:

The 500-page first volume will be a great book appealing to all ages featuring photography of the buildings of Savannah, as well as the most interesting textual history on this subject that I have seen based on my sample summary pre-release copy. Not only are facts brought out but the pages come alive with characters and people of the day as their stories are meshed with the historical data.

Stepping back in time as you read makes one really understand what this time period in Savannah was like during the tumultuous years through people, places and events.

The military buff will also appreciate the series of books with significant sites from the war in Savannah and the surrounding area with descriptions of battlegrounds, equipment and technology and war strategy of the time as well as glimpses of the military figures during this struggle.

Sheehy, in the field of worldwide business consulting as an econometrician, is author of several books and over 50 published papers and articles. His keen interest in history has brought the native Canadian to do extensive research over many years here in the south where he now resides. Sheehy, along with accomplished photographer Cindy Wallace and Vaughnette Goode-Walker, who works in Historic Preservation, have together made available these books, like none other, published on the subject known in the south as “The War Between the States.” Savannah, known as “the untouched city,” still has many very old buildings and sites (some 1800), unlike many of the cities destroyed by Sherman in his vicious march across the South. These historically preserved buildings and places come alive in Cindy Wallace’s extraordinary photographs. The brilliant, sometimes digitally enhanced, pictures offer a real view of 1860s Savannah during and after the war that will remain timeless.

Daniel G. Carey, president and CEO of Historic Savannah Foundation, said of this book, “Savannah takes its history very seriously, so this book is rightly met with scrutiny.  Fortunately, ‘Savannah, Immortal City’ meets and exceeds all tests with excellent scholarship, engaging prose and transcendent photography. In this easy-to-digest format, readers will get an accurate, precise and spot-on depiction of antebellum and Civil War Savannah. This is a work worthy of high regard.” All of the authors’ net proceeds from the books are being donated for historic preservation in Savannah. It is the authors’ intention to distribute funds to all non-profit organizations that support Savannah’s preservation rather than just to one organization.

The second volume of the book series to be released in May, “Brokers, Bankers and Bay Lane-Inside the Savannah Slave Trade,” will provide information regarding slavery and the story of the economics of the industry in Savannah. One-third of the antebellum population of Savannah in 1860 was African-American and Sheehy felt it important to delve into what he calls “the painful subject.” He will explore the experiences also of “free persons of color” and the city’s vibrant black churches.

The third volume, “Savannah, Touched with Fire,” offers a history of Savannah’s Civil War cemeteries and the wartime generation buried here.

The final volume, “Savannah A Terrible Beauty,” is the authors’ examination of the many important military sites in Chatham and the surrounding area, showcasing the beautiful photography of Cindy Wallace.

The preview of this series offers just a glimpse of these volumes that will no doubt become very important historical documentation of a troubled period in our history during the Civil War and its outcome in the city of Savannah and our country. The books will be easy to read and captivating to the student, history buff, photography enthusiast, and military fan. I look forward to reading the books with great expectation and highly recommend that you read them, too.

Barry Sheehy, discussing “Civil War Savannah,” an epic four-volume history of the Civil War and Antebellum Savannah, will be the guest speaker for Historic Effingham’s Spring Picnic Meeting at noon on May 7. The meeting is open to the public. For more timely information regarding the luncheon and location of the meeting, call Effingham Museum at 754-2170 nearer the time of the event.  

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: