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88CIVIL WAR HISTORY way and without condemnation. Although he indicated that the depredations would demoralize southerners, his main justification for the pillage was the need to sustain the large Federal army, which was far from its supply lines. Osborn emphasized that the march was no lark for the men, especially in the swamplands of lower Georgia and South Carolina. Confederate resistance to Sherman's campaign was also greater than has been generally assumed, though only one major battle—Bentonville— was fought by the armies. Civil War students will be especially interested in Osborn's graphic description of the famous Columbia fire that occurred when Sherman's forces occupied the South Carolina capital. Osborn, in agreement with other Federal accounts, claimed that the inferno began when retreating Confederates piled cotton in the main streets of Columbia and set it on fire. Osbom wrote that he would never forget "the scene of pillaging, the suffering and terror of the citizens, the arresting of and shootingnegroes, and our frantic and drunken soldiers" as the fire engulfed the city (p. 131). His account ends with a description of the grand review of the victorious armies in Washington on May 23-24, 1865, "a sight certainly not to be seen again while we live" (p. 220). In a fine introduction, the editors not only review Osborn's career but also evaluate the importance of the campaign and Sherman's accomplishments . A careful reader will quibble with only a few points. The editors' claim, for example, that Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton after Lincoln's assassination tried to take advantage of the emergency to exercise nationwide martial authority will appear farfetched to the political historian of this period. William C. Harris North Carolina State University Class and Tennessee's Confederate Generation. By Fred Arthur Bailey. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987. Pp. x, 205. $21.00.) Long before Frank Owsley, Fletcher Green, or W. J. Cash sought to establish the egalitarian and democratic nature of the white antebellum South, two far more obscure scholars made a unique attempt to prove the same point. Ironically, their work resulted in what has become one of the more significant challenges to those assumptions. As head of the Tennessee State Archives in 1915, Vanderbilt sociologist Gustavus W. Dyer developed a questionnaire that he distributed among all known Civil War veterans then living in the state. Seven years later, his successor , John Trotwood Moore, revived and completed the project. Through this effort to provide "a true history of the Old South," they elicited from over 1600 respondents detailed autobiographical accounts, focusing on their antebellum situations, social attitudes, wartime expe- BOOK REVIEWS89 riences, and postwar lives. But this wealth of historical and sociological data was simply stored away with little further attention paid to it until the early 1980s when Fred Bailey undertook an extensive and systematic analysis of the questionnaires, of which this book is the final product. Perhaps the reason that neither Dyer nor Moore followed up on thenrich raw materials (Bailey never provides an explanation) was that, far from confirming the presumptions of white solidarity in the Old South, their veterans revealed that before, during, and after the Civil War Tennessee was "more a land of social cleavages than social consensus" (p. 76). Their responses reveal considerable distinctions in antebellum lifestyles , education, mobility, work ethics, and economic opportunity between poor whites, yeomen, and planters. Even more significant is the revelation that each of these groups was very much aware of what distinguished diem from their neighbors above or below them on the socioeconomic ladder. Such discrepancies continued in the Confederate army. Though the tensions between soldiers and their officers that Bailey discusses have been well documented elsewhere, he has also gleaned intriguing details from his sources. Among veterans imprisoned in federal camps, for instance, slaveholders were far more likely to attempt escape than nonslaveholders. Tennessee soldiers had great respect and even affection for the more approachable generals Johnston and Forrest , but deeply resented the aristocratic hauteur of Bragg and Hood. Responses concerning postwar experiences indicate that the war, as central as it was to most veterans' lives, had little effect on either their subsequent economic status...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 88-90
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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