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BOOK REVIEWS85 ventions, political action, and the emergence of vigorous and militant leaders. Independence replaced dependence; assertiveness , reticence. The anticipation was that where ambivalence had reigned, unity of purpose would follow; where defeat had been, victory would be. Success, however, eluded the antebellum emigrationists . Ambivalence did reign. Major leaders moved back and forth between emigration and its opposite, and as elsewhere bickered over leadership, ideologies, and petty nothings. Why did antebellum emigration fail? Largely eschewing the contention that Black victory depended on whites, Miller posits that Blacks were the victims of their own acceptance of current reform premises. Their leaders sought only skilled, sober, and industrious settlers; they were (often harshly) paternalist; they believed that Black failure betrayed flaws of character. Finally, their self-help philosophy paradoxically demanded that Blacks succeed at home. A second question touches the heart of the search for Black Nationalism. Was ambivalence really substantive, or simply tacking and trimming against a hostile sea? Was it a sign, in Miller's words, of ideological instability; or was there beneath it an ideological bed-rock? That Miller wishes the latter, his pointing prospectively to the later nationalisms of Bishop Turner, Marcus Garvey, and W. E. B. DuBois makes clear. But his answer is not precise. Nor need it be: the question transcends the bounds of the book. That is why it is so good a book. Floyd Miller has made it imperative to get on with exploring wherein lay—or did not lie—the community and conjunction among all ante-bellum free Blacks. Wiluam H. Pease University of Maine at Orono The Iron Brigade: A Military History. By Alan T. Nolan. (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1975. Pp. xii, 412. $12.00.) Parker's Virginia Battery, C. S. A. By Robert K. Krick. (Berryville, Va.: Virginia Book Company, 1975. Pp. 400. $15.00.) Three Years with Company K. By Austin C. Stearns. Edited by Arthur A. Kent. (Cranbury, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1976. Pp. 346. $15.00.) In recent years, Civil War history has been the beneficiary of immense scholarship. Exhaustive research, balanced presentations and judicious interpretations have enhanced immeasurably such endeavors as campaign studies, biographies, thematic analyses and general histories. Yet little attention—and hence little scholarship— has been paid to one area: unit histories. This is strange. To understand the machinery of an army, one must know the machina- 86CIVIL WAR HISTORY tions of its components. However, assumption and oversight have been the rules. These works under review are exceptions, and they show the varying levels at which unit studies can be written. The brigade was the fighting arm in Civil War armies, and no brigade on either side demonstrated more fighting qualities than the Iron Brigade. Organized in the autumn of 1861, and consisting of the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan , it was the only all-Western brigade in the Union's Army of the Potomac. The "Black Hat Brigade" (as it was first called) had its baptism in battle at Second Bull Run. Two weeks later, at South Mountain, George B. McClellan asserted that the brigade fought as if made of iron. The nickname stuck; and under such skilled commanders as John Gibbon, the Midwestemers won glory at Antietam , Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. It stumbled from the lastnamed engagement with less than 100 members. That it led all Federal brigades in percentages of battle deaths is but one testimonial to its extraordinary valor. When Alan Nolan's history of the brigade first appeared in 1961, reviewers hailed it as "a model unit history" and "military history at its scholarly best." Such evaluations have grown with the years. Nolan's depth of research, grasp of intricate facts, skillful presentation and balanced judgements make this book the best brigade study on the Northern side. This edition is not a simple reissue of the original. New preface, more illustrations and an overview introduction by T. Harry Williams have made a good book even better. The dozen maps included are as unique in design as they are useful in content. Robert Krick's history of Parker's Battery is the first scholarly treatment of an artillery unit in at least...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 85-87
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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