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BOOK REVIEWS265 Even though the author's research is extensive, he has not given adequate attention to the administration side of the issue. Tredway has relied heavily on state newspapers, private papers, and government records—county, state, and federal. Yet because he has examined the controversial issue of wartime dissent primarily from the perspective of Indiana Democrats, it sometimes appears that there were no bad Democrats, and that there were no good Republicans. The Lincoln administration, right or wrong, believed it could not countenance opposition from a section of the country so open in Southern sympathies. In addition, if the President was as repressive as Tredway believes, it seems illogical that his alleged draconian policies could have disappeared so easily into his projected liberal reconstruction program. The dilemma is that Tredway is dealing with the problem of motive . One may assume, as he does, that lack of support for Lincoln among Indiana Democrats derived from sincere dissatisfaction with his policies, and that this attitude for the most part was separate from pro-Southern tendencies. Yet one cannot discount the fact that many of their criticisms were similar to those posed by the South on the eve of secession. More than a few Indiana opponents of the administration , as Tredway recognizes, had either direct or indirect connections with the South before the Civil War. A number of them had migrated from the South, and as several studies of the antebellum Middle West have shown, many were deeply concerned about the national government 's policy toward blacks. It therefore seems possible that a number of Indiana's Democrats protested Lincoln's policies because of Southern ties, and that some of them merely found it convenient to label the Republican government oppressive. These comments, however, do not detract from Tredway's contribution to Civil War historiography. For too long historians have dismissed the Copperheads as traitors. Now, in line with the studies of Frank L. Klement, Tredway has demonstrated how diversified these dissenters were. Unfortunately for them, the Lincoln administration—engaged in a civil war threatening the nation itself—found it inconceivable to defend constitutional liberties which if left uncontrolled could have undermined the safety of the Union and the Constitution, the guarantors of these principles. Howard Jones University of Alabama Merchant of Terror: General Sherman and Total War. By John Bennett Walters. (Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1973. Pp. 267. $10.00.) Mr. Walters' book is definitely not intended for the reader who is seeking a biography of William Tecumseh Sherman or a study of the military aspects of his Civil War campaigns. Sherman's early life is sum- 266civil war history marized in the introduction and his postwar career is not mentioned at all. Major strategy decisions and battles are disposed of in single paragraphs. Instead, the author has attempted an in-depth analysis of Sherman's theory and practice of the concept of "total war," i.e., war against civilians. The result is basically two books in one. In Part One, an almost psychiatric examination of Sherman's personality and character is utilized to chronicle his development of the total war philosophy. It is here that Walters is at his best, as, by means of quotations from the personal correspondence of Sherman and his family and friends, as well as official records, he presents the thoughts and feelings of the general. However, the picture of the man thus painted by the author is so extremely uncomplimentary that one may be left with a nagging question as to whether the issue has been presented fairly and without a preconceived prejudice. It is in Part Two, a description of the application of the concept by Sherman's troops, that Walters rapidly loses the interest of the reader. Taking Sherman from the fall of Vicksburg to the Carolinas, this half of the book consists of countless excerpts from contemporary letters, diaries, newspapers and reports detailing the destruction of property by federal soldiers and the resulting hardships suffered by the populace . Filling over one hundred pages with such repetitious material goes far beyond what is necessary to establish that total war, as waged by Sherman, was not a pleasant experience for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 265-266
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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