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264CIVIL WAR HISTORY ing loyalties at the behest of their readership. Yet, he concludes that their influence was important in eroding the fundamental conservatism of the southern people. Nor does the author deal satisfactorily widi the inadequacy of relying almost exclusively upon editorials as indices of mass public opinion. The broadest illustration of this danger is the fact that while unionist newspapers were a small and decreasing portion of the whole, political feeling was much more narrowly divided on secession, even in the lower South. Editors Make War may ultimately prove more useful as a source of newspaper positions and quotations than as a source of insight into the southern mind in the secession crisis. Steven A. Channing The Johns Hopkins University Confederate Shipbuilding. By William N. Still, Jr. (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1969. Pp. xi, 110. $3.00.) Confederate Shipbuilding is a brief but good account of the construction of ships within the bounds of the Confederate States of America. On February 21, 1861, the Confederate Congress created a navy department and shortly thereafter appointed Stephen R. Mallory as Secretary of the Navy. Mallory appears to have been a man willing to permit innovation in the naval service, a necessity for the Confederacy. Early in the war the navy received little support from either Jefferson Davis or the rest of the Confederate government. There was a great shortage of rolling mills and machine shops in the Sout├Či, but it was the shortage of iron which was the greatest factor in limiting construction. Mr. Still proves this contention by pointing out that the mills and shops were frequently closed due to the lack of metal. Naval ordnance, while scarce at the commencement of hostilities, was never as critical a problem. Mr. Still suggested that the lack of skilled labor not only slowed naval construction but also led to the production of inferior products. A labor shortage would have existed in any event, but the refusal of the Confederate government to exempt skilled workers from military service made the situation nearly impossible. The use of large numbers of slaves and free Negroes was probably the only way the shipyards could operate at all. In his discussion of the use of Black labor the author has added an interesting and needed section to the story of Negroes in southern manufacturing. An inability to obtain copper for covering the bottoms of Confederate vessels caused all of them to be very short-lived. The disintegration of southern railroads because of hard use and Union destruction was greatly accelerated by the seizure of railroad iron for shipbuilding. This transportation breakdown complicated by poor coordination and the lack of rolling stock caused intolerable delays in ship construction all over the South and prevented completion of a large part of the vessels laid down in the Confederacy. Mr. Still had shown clearly the problems of Confederate shipbuilding and the magnificent efforts of an agrarian economy to improve in- BOOK REVIEWS265 dustry. This is well illustrated, not by die failures which were legion, but by the successes which were remarkable. This book is well written and researched and constitutes a muchneeded addition to Civil War naval history. Most of the records for Union shipbuilding are readily available at the National Archives. On the other hand, the Confederate documents are scattered, and although a large part of the operational accounts are published in the Official Records the business, supply and construction records were largely left out of this publication. As a result die audior has done a remarkable job of collecting this scattered and fragmentary material, providing an excellent , readable account of this very useful subject. Frank Lawrence Owsley, Jr. Auburn University From Slavery to Public Service: Robert Smalls 1839-1915. By Okon Edet Uya. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Pp. 166. $6.00.) Okon Uya's book is one of a series of biographies of black Americans and black Africans being produced by die Oxford University Press to fulfill the need for biographies of black historical figures. The central figure of Uya's biography, Robert Smalls, born a slave in 1839, and trained as a boat pilot, became a hero on May 13, 1862...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 264-265
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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