- Book Notes
Music and the Southern Belle: From Accomplished Lady to Confederate Composer. Candace Bailey. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8093-2960-1, 272 pp., cloth, $29.95.
Candace Bailey's exploration of music's social impact on southern womanhood clarifies the precarious position elite southern women held during the antebellum and Civil War periods. Young elite women's role of privately entertaining family guests with music eventually shifted to publicly supporting the Confederacy through patriotic compositions during the Civil War. Explaining how the female role in southern society was altered allows the reader to understand the basic outlines of womanhood in the patriarchal Confederacy.
Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles. Brian K. Burton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-253-22277-0, 544 pp., paper, $29.95.
Indiana University Press has released a paperback edition of Brian Burton's extensive chronicle of the Seven Days Battles around Richmond at the end of June 1862, first published in 2001. After some brief background information, Burton explores each of the major battles and maneuvers of this critical military campaign. Grounded in extensive maps and furnished with exhaustive [End Page 293] manuscript sources, the volume provides a wealth of details about the battles and the officers and soldiers who engaged in a desperate struggle around the city of Richmond. The volume pays close attention to the rise of Robert E. Lee as a military leader and how the campaign revitalized the morale of the Confederacy and nearly prompted European recognition of the Confederacy. Readers will appreciate the extensive appendixes, which include casualty figures, primary sources, and the organizational makeup of both the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia.
Mrs. Abraham Lincoln: A Study of Her Personality and Her Influence on Lincoln. W. A. Evans. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8093-2971-7, 432 pp., paper, $24.95.
Southern Illinois University Press has reprinted this classic work, first published in 1932, with a new forward by Mary Todd Lincoln scholar Jason Emerson. In one of the first published biographies of Mary Lincoln, Evans presented her life as a traditional biography intermixed with timelines. At the same time, the work included an analysis of her political leanings as a Whig and Republican, the roles of religion and society in shaping her views, and her physical appearance. Evans also delved into a discussion of her insanity, but he did not think historians should hold her responsible for her actions under mental duress. He also revealed that she died in a diabetic coma and chronicled her constant health issues, including hallucinations and headaches. Evans concluded that society had been extraordinarily unfair in its judgment of Mary Todd Lincoln. This reprint of his classic work will certainly inform and enrich readers who are seeking more information about one of the most debated women in American History.
The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History. Eds. Gary W. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-253-22266-4, 240 pp., paper, $19.95.
In this new paperback edition (first published a decade ago), Gary Gallagher and the late Alan Nolan have assembled a thought-provoking collection of essays from some of the most distinguished scholars in the field of southern history. The essays explore the Lost Cause and its place in shaping the memory of the Civil War. Highlights include Gary Gallagher's investigation of Jubal Early, Brooks Simpson's exploration of Lost Cause critics and U.S. Grant, Lesley J. Gordon's discussion of LaSalle Corbell Pickett, Jeffry Wert's examination [End Page 294] of James Longstreet, and Charles Holden's essay on Wade Hampton. Nolan opens the volume with a discussion of the Lost Cause, while Lloyd Hunter concludes it with a new look at Lost Cause religion. Two additional articles probe the Lost Cause regionally: Keith Bohannon's look at CSA reunions in Georgia and Peter Carmichael's investigation of the last generation of slave-holders in Virginia.
Soldiers to Governors: Pennsylvania's Civil War Soldiers Who Became State Leaders. Richard C. Saylor. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2010. ISBN 978-0-89271...