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278civil war history onel Hiram Berdan of the 1st Sharpshooters, who successfully defied the bureaucracy despite some questionable actions. Davis also points out that although the rifled musket has been considered only a short range weapon, it actually doubled or tripled the range of the older smoothbore musket thereby forcing tactical changes. Arming the Union is worth reading for campaign students and arms collectors. The reader learns that Brigadier General James Wolfe Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, did communicate with his superiors about the deficiencies of his department. Davis makes a special effort to point out that Congress hamstrung the harried Ordnance Department by failing to authorize the clerical and officer staffs required for minimal efficiency. Bureaucratic -minded Ripley and his successor, Lieutenant Colonel George D. Ramsay, were not incompetent but did lack imagination. In response to the arms panic of 1861-1862, many old foreign weapons were brought to the United States. These were only randomly inspected by non-ordnance officers before being issued, causing early and understandable prejudice against foreign arms. Arming the Union not only describes the problems of the Ordnance Department but reviews the breech-loading controversy and the pitfalls of early American arms manufacturers. The breechloading arguments raged through the war until September, 1864 when the capable Ordnance Chief, Major Alexander B. Dyer, who had expanded the Springfield Armory, took charge and changed policy by ordering the conversion to breechloaders. Although this book is primarily a bureau history, more information about James Ripley, Christopher Spencer, Samuel Colt and Alexander Dyer might have added zest to a sometimes bland text based largely on Ordnance Department records, government reports and some unpublished theses. The role of Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, in obtaining small arms early in the war, would perhaps have added more balance to the book. It is revealing that none of Arcadi Glukman's Civil War arms reference books, including US Muskets, Rifles and Carbines, were cited in the bibliography. Perhaps an appendix of Civil War Union arms, an Ordnance Department organization chart or a list of armories would have added helpful information to the book. Arming the Union is an accurate study, with good photographs, and is a worthy addition to the Civil War arms literature and belongs on the reference shelf of arms collectors and Civil War researchers. Alan C. Aimone USMA Library Economic History of Wisconsin During the Civil War Decade. By Frederick Merk. (Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, First Edition 1916, Second Edition, 1971. Pp. 414. $10.00.) It is a rare occurrence when an author can savor the reissue of his first BOOK REVIEWS279 book over fifty years later and even write a new preface. Frederick Merk, emeritus professor of History at Harvard University, enjoyed this enviable experience when the Wisconsin Society Press published a second edition of this long unavailable, but much sought after, study of economic "take-off" in Wisconsin in the Civil War Era, 1857-1873. In separate chapters, Merk ably describes the state's industrial and commercial progress in the areas of agriculture, lumbering, mining, manufacturing , banking, retail trade, railroad construction and rate regulation , and commerce on Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The general conclusion is that the Wisconsin economy, and indeed the entire Midwest, prospered during the War years and provided the nation with the "sinews of war." Happily, the book remains as useful today for Civil War historians as it was in 1916. Robert P. Swierenga Kent State University Through One Mans Eyes: The Civil War Experiences of a Belmont County Volunteer. Letters of James G. Theaker. Annotated by Paul E. Rieger. (Mount Vernon, O.: Printing Arts Press, Inc., 1974. Pp. xx, 177. $6.95.) All Quiet on the Yamhill: The Civil War in Oregon. By Royal A. Bensell . Edited by Gunter Barth. (Eugene: University of Oregon Books, 1959. Pp. xx, 226. $5.00.) A Webfoot Volunteer: The Diary of William M. Hilleary, 1864-1866. Edited by Herbert B. Nelson and Preston E. Onstad. (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1965. Pp. viii, 240. $6.00.) The Douglas Diary: Student Days at Franklin and Marshall College, 1856-1858. By Henry Kyd Douglas. Edited by Frederic Shriver Klein and John Howard Carrill. (Lancaster...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 278-279
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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