In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

86CIVIL WAR HISTORY After a brief sojourn in "disgusting" Washington, he spent October and half of November on a swift grand tour of the nation's interior. He passed through Wheeling, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Louisville, and other areas and came away much impressed with the heartiness and vigor of western Americans. His third and final diary covered the last and most dramatic month of his American Odyssey and brought him through bustling Nashville to embattled Chattanooga. There he stood near General U. S. Grant ("the model ... of a modest and homely but efficient Yankee general") and witnessed the spectacular Lookout Mountain-Missionary Ridge battles which hurled the battered rebel army back into Georgia. He was buoyed by the Union victory but so sobered by the widespread carnage that he developed a permanent distaste for war. This pro-American Englishman soon left the battle area and returned to New England where he concluded his third diary in mid-December and returned home. Henry Yates Thompson's great-nephew, Sir Christopher Chancellor, has assembled these three short diaries and some related family letters and papers and many pertinent illustrations—including some of Thompson 's original sketches—and made an interesting monograph. Chancellor , former head of Reuters, insists that his work "lays no claim to serious scholarship," and certainly the inadequacy of the index, footnotes, biographical notes, and bibliographical information, occasional printing errors, and a few weaknesses in the introductory sections are all troublesome . Still, Editor Chancellor is too modest. His volume will not only delight the general reader but also give scholars easy access to some manuscripts of real significance. Yates Thompson observed much and wrote perceptively. Persistent white hostility toward blacks, the booming northern economy, a steadily growing Yankee determination to win with mild, educated people often the most fanatic, the awful aftermath of a modern battle—these and many other grassroots phenomena come alive again in a book which effectively recreates the human reality of a bygone era. Author Thompson, Editor Chancellor, and the New York University Press have combined past and present talents to produce a fine little monograph. F. N. Boney University of Georgia White Terror: The Ku Klux Khn Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction . By Allen W. Trelease. (New York: Harper and Row, 1971. Pp. xlviii, 557. $15.00.) A satisfactory history of the Ku Klux movement of the mid-Reconstruction period has finally been written. Allen W. Trelease's White Terror clearly supersedes earlier accounts—Klansmen John C. Lester and David L. Wilson's Ku Klux Khn (1884), an apologetic memoir; Stanley Horn's Invisible Empire (1939), a fanciful and unscholarly pro- book reviews87 Klan tract; and William P. Randel's The Ku Klux Khn, A Century of Infamy (1965), a revisionist but episodic sketch—and will likely long remain the standard, perhaps definitive, treatment of one of the most violent and despicable organized criminal societies in American history. The writing of Klan history poses several tough methodological, interpretive , and organizational problems which have long discouraged historians from attempting a comprehensive narrative. Professor Trelease , however, has refused to be intimidated by such difficulties. Rather, he has faced them squarely and resolved them sensibly and consistently . Primary sources pose the most serious dilemma. Since Klan-like organizations were secret, few Klansmen left records; since Klanism was illegal, few nightriders were candid when interviewed by state and federal investigative committees or newspaper reporters; since Klan violence was more often than not politically inspired, available sources are highly contradictory; since both Klansmen and their victims were usually nonentities, there is little opportunity for the historian to test individual witnesses' veracity. Professor Trelease has coped admirably with this admittedly bad situation. He has not attempted an inner history of the Ku Klux Klan and kindred organizations (one can not be written); instead, he has traced in detail the violence which Klansmen actually committed. When necessary, he has settled for circumstantial evidence of Klan membership. Unlike Klan apologists, he often gives more weight to Negro testimony regarding atrocities than to denials by "respectable" Conservatives, who were "out to save their own personal and political skins . . . [and] out to defend a white supremacy which was menaced by majority rule...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 86-88
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.