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BOOK REVIEWS273 open letter attacking Leopold's rule in the Congo resulted from this journey. Franklin did a masterful job ofchronicling the life and works of this man whom he pursued for nearly forty years through libraries, archives, musty records, and failing human memories. This biography exemplifies the best product of the historical craft. The author claims neither too little nor too much for his subject. He remains throughout the detached, objective observer, evaluator, and recorder. One searches in vain for the telltale stain of at least one of die author's symbolic tears, shed perhaps in frustration over the bloody ground traversed by both him and Williams or in celebration of his subject's accomplishments or in sorrow over his human failings. "Williams," Franklin concluded, "was one of the small heroes of this world; but it is well that one should not try to make more ofhim than what he was—a flawed but brilliant human being" (p. 241). Arvarh E. Strickland University of Missouri, Columbia Boy Colonel of the Confederacy: The Life and Times of Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. By Archie K. Davis. (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1985. Pp. 406. $29.95.) If authors and publishers were required to title their books in accordance with the regulations which govern food products and list die contents in the order of their volume, this book would be titled The Times and Life of Henry King Burgwyn, Jr.: Boy Colonel ofthe Confederacy. Unfortunately we do not really get to know Harry Burgwyn. We learn that he and his father very much wanted him to go to West Point, but he was never admitted. He eventually attended the Virginia Military Institute which serves as justification for the space devoted to the exploits of one of Harry's instructors there, Thomas J. Jackson. Indeed, while the "Boy Colonel" is presumably defending east Carolina, the author takes the reader to the Shenandoah Valley and presents him with an excellent description of Stonewall's campaign, especially the final battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic. Occasionally there are quotations from Henry's letters and diary, but even then the picture which emerges of this young Southern gentleman is not one to inspire sympathy. He appears as an intelligent but spoiled, overconfident and ambitious young man (by the time he left on his final campaign he was aspiring for a promotion to brigadier general). Harry was indeed a complex combination of the romantic Southern aristocrat and a "progressive" thinking realist. On a number of occasions he offered advice to his father. Harry thought his father should put his money in slaves, preferably fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds and mostly females, so that with breeding they would multiply by die end of the war when he expected slaves to bring thousands ofdollars ahead (p. 232). Davis is alittle 274CIVIL WAR HISTORY disturbed by this seeming flaw in the character of such an upstanding young man since this "poses the question ofhis sensitivity to human value" (p. 233). An excellent opportunity to pierce the aristocratic armor of the young officer comes when the author introduces us to Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew, a true romantic Southerner in the old tradition. After an excellent discussion of Pettigrew and his character, Davis draws a comparison between Henry Burgwyn and his brigade commander. Unfortunately Henry's armor remains intact. The last chapters are devoted to the events leading up to that first day at Gettysburg when Colonel Henry King Burgwyn ofthe Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment led his men into McPherson's Woods occupied by the redoubtable wool-hatted Iron Brigade. The Twenty-sixth emerged victorious but their colonel, shot through both lungs, bled to death and was buried under a walnut tree near the Chambersburg Pike. His entire life, as told by Davis, seems to have been directed toward this glorious end. This is a "drums and trumpet" book for Civil War buffs, especially those with an interest in the role of North Carolina in the early years of the war. Because ofhis inability to come to grips with the "Boy Colonel," the author would have been better advised to center the story around the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 273-274
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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