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176CIVIL WAR HISTORY inner conflicts it created in Morgan could only be reconciled through guerilla activity. Morgan's high-risk raids blotted out his depression and recreated the emotional stability that the war had taken from him. It is a fascinating and complex argument, which becomes even more so when Ramage adds to the equation Morgan's marriage in December 1862 to the beautiful "Mattie" Ready. By providing him with the emotional stability that his guerilla activity had previously provided, she may have taken the edge off his military skills and driven him to the last desperate gamble that cost him his life. Perhaps the least persuasive of Ramage's contentions in all of this is that guerilla warfare was entirely consistent with the notion of Southern honor which supposedly drove Morgan's life. Certainly many other Southern men of honor, Robert E. Lee among them, did not find it so. It seems more likely that there were fundamental contradictions between the two ways of life, and the nation undoubtedly benefited immensely from the fact that there were. Ramage might well have asked himself why so few Southerners sought to maintain their honor in the irregular manner of Morgan. He might also have observed just how different the war might have been had more Southerners followed Morgan's example . Nevertheless, Rebel Raider is a stimulating work, a model of how deep research and fresh insights can breathe new life into the muchcultivated field of Civil War history. Lawrence Frederick Kohl The University of Alabama Back Door to Richmond: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, AprilJune , 1864. By William Glenn Robertson. (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1987. Pp. 284. $38.50.) General U. S. Grant's strategy for 1864 in Virginia called for a coordinated , two-pronged advance on Richmond. The massive Army of the Potomac would strike southward through the Wilderness and hold Lee in its grip as it drove for the Southern capital. Simultaneously, an unopposed force, the 40,000-man Army of the James, would move from its tidewater base, proceed northwestward along the James River, and similarly strike the Confederacy's major bastion. On paper, it seemed to be a can't-lose plan. It failed. The major blame has always been placed on the Army of the James. According to popular belief, that army's commander, Major General Benjamin Butler, was politically potent but militarily pathetic. Butler began the campaign by marchingupriver speedily and establishing a base at Bermuda Hundred Landing. Then, for the Federals, everything appeared to disintegrate. Butler maneuvered his way back and forth in the corridor between Richmond and Petersburg; he fought a BOOK REVIEWS177 handful of small but sharp engagements against inferior numbers; then, following defeat at Drewry's Bluff, Butler withdrew his army into the thirty square miles of the Bermuda Hundred peninsula. Confederates quickly constructed entrenchments across the opening. Butler and his army, snorted Grant, resembled "a bottle strongly corked." The campaign had collapsed so ingloriously that "Butler's Fiasco " seemed a too-charitable assessment. From Grant and Halleck, through Catton and Nevins, to present-day textbook authors, the Bermuda Hundred Campaignhas been so viewed. Now William Robertson, a member of the US Army Command and General Staff College faculty, challenges all of the standard interpretations . He does so with deep thought and much documentation. This book began as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Virginia. Hence, while it is highly revisionistic, it is a study that cannot be dismissed out of hand. Robertson follows the opposing forces hour by hour through the twomonth campaign. For the first time, he presents meticulous descriptions (with excellent maps as well) of such little-known engagements as Port Walthall Junction, Nottoway Bridge, Swift Creek, Chester Station, Flat Creek Bridge, and the major battle at Drewry's Bluff. Not only is the reader able to follow command decisions and large troop movements; Robertson also provides an abundance of observations by Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs down in the ranks. This is pure military history at its best. What will provoke controversy, however, are the author's judgements . Robertson asserts that Butler—a man most Civil War buffs love to hate—actually achieved a large measure...


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