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96CIVIL WAR HISTORY more than one or two engraved portraits of Lincoln at $10.00 if for the money we received by return mail a $5.00 Federal Reserve note. CURTIS L. JOHNSON Western Springs, Illinois. Rebel Brass: The Confederate Command System. By Frank E. Vandiver. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1956. Pp. xvii, 143. S3.00) as the first modern war, the CTViL war was the testing ground for many of war's implements. As such, it was not limited to provisional weapons but spread in its four years' course to embrace the whole national complex of the adversaries, from the mine and shop to die training area and battlefield. Organizations and ideas created by truly national war were bom and tested; and, as a change in weapons must overcome the inertia of tradition and custom, organizations and ideas North and Soutii were met with the same frustrations and obstacles. In the South, however, the very idea for which it was fighting set up an inhibiting factor which controlled its effort to such a degree tiiat piece-meal defeat was inevitable. Frank Vandiver, in Rebel Brass, is taking a look at the struggle within the Confederate hierarchy to cope with modem war—the coordinated total effort of a nation bound by die terms of reference prescribed by "States' Rights." In so doing, he has not attempted a deep searching analysis or criticism of the Confederate state, but has provided an oudine for development in many areas so far relatively untouched by historians. He treats command as it must be treated in modern war—the direction and coordination of the whole national effort, and discusses intelligently die fundamental problems of the Confederate High Command. Southern culture was well prepared for the classic compaigns of the 18th Century. But the jolt of modernity could not change die classic positions of Governors Vance and Brown; and die conflict between civil ideology and military requirements remained unsolved . The President, his cabinet, and his generals were continually perplexed bydie principles for which they were fighting—most of them were not conducive to the application of the principles of war on a national scale. There were some exceptions. Mr. Vandiver's treatment of Confederate resources and their exploitation notes the success of General Josiah Gorgas, and of the finally unified blockade-ninning effort. The germ of the idea was diere, but the degree of recognition afforded it spelled out die time the Confederacy would exist. Mr. Vandiver has given us some sharp portraits of the Confederate civil leaders in action. His development of die Confederate War Office and its leaders through the war is one of the most excellent I have read, especially as it concerns the Secretaries and their Chief. Rebel Brass should be a strong stimulant to study groups of our national classic (and could be reviewed with profit by those considering problems of today). A must for the Civil War bookshelf—and one of the very best for the scholars whose studies are not localized by the rivers, mountains, and hedge-rows within which piece-mealed the Confederate military effort. CHARLES C. ETRE Iowa City, Iowa. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
p. 96
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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