The Civil War Letters of General Frank "Bull" Paxton, C.S.A.: A Lieutenant of Lee & Jackson, and: Texas in the Confederacy: Military Installations, Economy and People (review)
- Civil War History
- The Kent State University Press
- Volume 26, Number 3, September 1980
- pp. 282-284
- Additional Information
282civil war history "attitudes on race did not differ substantially from that [sic.] ofJefferson, Jackson, or Lincoln" (p. 228). To be sure, all four of these men believed in the superiority of whites. But the intensity of some of the statements that have been attributed to Johnson suggests that he may have given greater priority to these attitudes than did Jefferson, Lincoln or even Jackson. In his assessment of the views of Johnson and the views of historians about Johnson, Castel is a model of fairness and balance. Yet his own views on Johnson and Reconstruction, though always kept well in the background, are nevertheless candidly acknowledged. He believes, for example, that "Johnson was correct in asserting that ultimately the blacks in the Soudi would have to come to terms with the whites and that it would be the whites who would set the terms . . ." (p. 229). Personally, I see less inevitability in the outcome of Reconstruction. The Southern whites had not been able to set all the terms of race relations even when the Confederacy still had armies in the field. It seems to me that, with some luck, the men and women who ended slavery might have carried out even greater changes in the American system of racial stratification; or, by the same token, had things gonebetter forPresident Johnson, they might have accomplished less. These speculations, however, detract nothing from Castel's book. William McKee Evans California State Polytechnic University, Pomona The Civil War Letters of General Frank "BuW Paxton, C.S.A.: A Lieutenant of Lee ir Jackson. Edited by John Gallatin Paxton. Introduced by Harold B. Simpson. (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Jr. College Press, 1978. Pp. v-viii, 102. $8.50.) Texas in the Confederacy: Military Instalhtions, Economy and People. By Bill Winsor. Introduction by Colonel Harold B. Simpson. (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Jr. College Press, 1978. Pp. iii-xiv, 154. $12.50.) Elijah Franklin "Bull" Paxton was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on March4, 1828. He was graduated from Washington College at the age of seventeen in 1845. Later he attended Yale University and dien entered the Law School of the University of Virginia. After his admission to the bar he spent several years engaging in land speculation in Ohio. In 1854 he returned to Lexington, Virginia, where he commenced the practice of law and soon married. Failing eyesight forced him to discontinue his law practice in 1860, so he retired to a nearby estate. "Bull" Paxton became a close friend of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, a professor at Virginia Military Institute and a resident of Lexington. Paxton was a staunch supporter of secession and of Virginia's joining the Confederacy. His poor eyesight did not deter him from entering the BOOK REVIEWS283 army in 1861 as first lieutenant of the Rockbridge Rifles (Company B), 5th Regiment, Virginia Infantry which became a part of the famed Stonewall Brigade. Paxton fought at First Manassas and later became Chief of Staff of Jackson's Corps. It was his old friend Jackson who recommended him for a brigadier generalship and command of the Stonewall Brigade. In this capacity he fought at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Court House. On May 3, 1863, while leading his troops during the second day at Chancellorsville, Paxton was killed. Later he and Stonewall Jackson were reburied only a few feet apart in Lexington Cemetery. Paxton was only thirty-five years of age at the time of his death, and the Confederacy lost one of its finest brigadiers. John Gallatin Paxton, "Bull's" son, compiled and edited this collection of letters which he printed in 1905. Until now, however, they had never been published. Paxton's first letter to his wife is dated April 21, 1861 at New Market, and the last is ascertained to be about April 27, 1863. Because Paxton wrote these letters to his wife, they naturally contain considerable personal material which reveals the man's love and concern for his family. The bulk of the correspondence, though, deals with Paxton's military adventures, and the campaigns and batdes in which he took part. They are, then, a valuable addition to Civil War literature. Although Harold B. Simpson takes credit only for the "Introduction...