restricted access Carpetbagger from Vermont: The Autobiography of Marshall Harvey Twitchell (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS291 into white units, albeit for his own purposes. Carlson, however, does not deal with Robert Utley's contention that Shafter was "afflicted with barely concealed racism." Similarly, Carlson's account of Shafter's role in the Spanish-American War has many details about the campaign, but little about Shafter. There is no discussion of how Shafter functioned as commander. The size and scope of the Cuban campaign was clearly something for which he was unprepared. Despite Carlson's suggestions that the army won because of Shafter's leadership, others could argue that success came in spite of Shafter. Carlson's final chapter contains a brief analysis of the man and his leadership style. It suggests that Shafter succeeded in spite of his inability to command. Carlson makes no attempt to compare Shafter with his fellow officers in terms of education, approaches to leadership, and longevity. Paul Carlson's limited portrait of William Shafter is an interesting account of a typical officer in the Indian-fighting army who apparently attained high rank because of longevity rather than skills. As a biography, the book presents more information about the commander's units and less about the individual himself. Marvin Fletcher Ohio University Carpetbagger from Vermont: The Autobiography of Marshall Harvey Twitchell. Edited by Ted Tunnell. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1989. Pp. 216. $29.95.) Ted Tunnell has performed a great service for historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction by meticulously editing and publishing the full memoir of a Northern Republican in the South during the war and afterwards. Marshall Harvey TwitchelPs autobiography now joins company with those very few full-length works by significant political figures of the period. Louisiana can now claim two of these personal accounts, the first being the colorful reminiscences of the state's first Republican governor, Henry Clay Warmoth. Marshall Twitchell came to Louisiana from Vermont as a very young man, after serving in the eastern theater as a member of the legendary Vermont Brigade. He was wounded at the Wilderness in 1864, and subsequently served as an officer with the United States Colored Troops in Texas. After a short time, he came to New Orleans and began work with the Freedmen's Bureau in north Louisiana. He married into a very prominent Southern planter family, became business manager of his father-in-law's plantation, and prospered. He acquired his own lands, and most of his family moved from Vermont to Louisiana. 292CIVIL WAR HISTORY Twitchell's political future was virtually sealed from his arrival in the state. He was a Republican in the midst of a Democratic, rebellious population. Opportunity and his own political acumen soon brought him into positions of power, first in Bienville parish, and then in the newly created Red River parish. The remaining years of Republican rule in Louisiana were arguably the most violent, corrupt, and intriguing in Louisiana history. Twitchell himself was the central target of Democratic wrath in the northern part of the state. His recounting of the fraudulent elections of 1872, 1874, and 1876, the assassination of most of his family during the Coushatta Massacre, and the attempt on his own life in 1876, when he lost both of his arms, are the most compelling sections of this narrative. After the Compromise of 1877, Hayes appointed Twitchell consul at Kingston in Canada, where he remained until his death in 1901. The publication of this autobiography is important for many reasons, not the least of which is TwitchelPs insight into the conditions of nearanarchy in some parts of the state. Eric Foner has reminded us that politics was the central issue of Reconstruction. More specifically, the fight for control of the reins of power, particularly at the local level, dominated most issues. Twitchell pointedly reminds us that parts of Louisiana were in armed revolt against the legally recognized government during the early 1870s. The paths to power were many, but assassination was an acceptable political tool. One gets a clear picture from this work that Republican was not simply a party label, but a mixture of emotions, associations, and stereotypes that, at least in the minds of Democrats, was anathema. TwitchelPs rhetoric...