"Wilson's Creek" could have been yet another narrative of an American Civil War battle. Luckily, the authors recognized the opportunity given by the unique features of that engagement and wrote a book that provides not only an excellent analysis of the battle itself, but also a fascinating insight into political and social reasons for outbreak of the conflict in Missouri and its neighbor states.
In first part of the book, the authors concentrate on the developments that led to the battle at Wilson's Creek. Main personalities are described in great detail, giving the reader a great understanding of how their views and actions affected the course of events. Equal attention is given to the units that subsequently took part in the battle and especially their very special relations with the communities from which they were raised. I found this part of the book especially touching - private letters and articles from contemporary newspapers are frequently cited by the authors to accentuate the "local" nature of that battle, but in extension also of the war itself.
The battle itself is described in clear, analytical and objective style. Also here, the authors take the full opportunity of the fact that Wilson's Creek was a relatively small battle when compared with later massive engagements and often describe actions of individual companies. By doing this, they provide once again an insight into "nukes and crannies" of an American Civil War battle seldom seen in other similar books. Unfortunately, same level of detail isn't maintained in the maps that are included in the book. Sure enough, there are a few of them and they are most helpful in understanding how the battle developed. However, they are completely devoid of topographical information, which definitely detracts from their usefulness.
From a wargamer's perspective, "Wilson's Creek" should be of interest for every gamer interested in ACW period. Complete orders of battle are included in the book, while narrative of the engagement can be easily used to set up at least four different scenarios - entire battle, initial assault of Lyon, Confederate counterattacks against Union positions at Bloody Hill and finally, the adventures of Siegel's flanking column. I am also convinced that one could use this book as a foundation for a very interesting campaign, especially since total number of troops that took part in battle at Wilson's Creek was relatively small for American Civil War.