The author has produced a slew of photo studies with incisive text on the life and times of the U.S. soldier, and his Spanish and Mexican californio predecessors also. His specialty is in gathering together contemporary source material for the illustrations. This method has the great virtue of showing what was what and when. But if no photos are available, then something may be omitted. All of these books are vertical studies covering a period of years. Though sometimes the illustrations serve to identify individual items of equipment, these works are not intended for that purpose. They are not catalogs intended for materiel collectors. They are of such a length and of such a level of detail that they will serve the purposes of the general reader with a curiousity about what grandaddy did in WW II or great great great grandaddy in the Civil War and what he looked like and how he lived. This is not to say that the specialist such as myself cannot find useful nuggets herein. I can. I use these for general surveys of periods I do not study in detail, such as the Civil War, and the War With Mexico, etc. And to look up the odd facts. I have yet to be disappointed with any of them.
Depending on what the Civil War artillery aficionado is looking for, this book may be for you. If you are looking for an encyclopedia type categorization of artillery uniforms with color plates to use as a basis for designing your own uniform, you're not going to find it here. If you are looking for a listing of various types of artillery used during that time period, you're not going to find it here. It is, however, full of period photographs of various men in uniform, but few list the units they are assigned to. It is organized chronologically, so if you are looking for a particular unit, good luck finding it. There is no chapter organization, indexing or cross referencing. If you are a collector who must have every book written on the subject of artillery, add this to your collection. Otherwise, there are many others out there that would be better suited to your needs.