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188CIVIL WAR HISTORY nors of Confederate Kentucky. The sketches are written by scholars with special knowledge of the governors and their times. Of the thirtythree contributors, twenty-three are professors of history and the others hold archival or editorial positions. Individually and collectively they have handled their difficult assignments well. The sketches average about 1,200 words each. There is generally a paragraph or two on family background, education, and early experiences ; one or two on the campaign and election; and one or two on the term as governor. As good historians are trained to do, the authors develop the causes and consequences of gubernatorial decisions and give consideration to significant national developments. The book begins with an overview of the governorship by Thomas D. Clark. Although the Bluegrass State has had four constitutions, the powers of the governor have remained basically the same since 1792. He or she serves a single four-year term; a second term can be sought after a four-year hiatus. Clark traces the constitutional and political evolution of the office and ably describes its joys and sorrows. Particularly pithy is the comment of an old ex-govemor who told a group of Kentucky politicians that the two things in his life he never wanted to have again were "gonorrhea and the governorship of Kentucky." A few of the governors have been of national stature—Isaac Shelby, John J. Crittenden, and Simon Bolivar Buckner. Many more have been colorful and dramatic. Happy Chandler is among this group as is William Goebel, who served only three days before being assassinated. The only criticisms of the book rise from its nature. Being a book of parts, some of the parts are better than others. However, most are very good, some are excellent, and even the weaker entries are at least good. Being a short book, some things are left unsaid. For example, in 1871 the Democrats were divided into Bourbons, Standpatters, and New Departure Democrats. The eventual winner, Preston Hopkins Leslie, "began voicing New Departure principles." The reader is never told what these principles were or if they were important. On the whole this is a fine book which is enthusiastically recommended . Jerome G. Taylor Cleveland State Community College "We Were the Ninth": A History of the Ninth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry April 17, 1861, to June 7, 1864. By Constantin Grebner. Translated and edited by Frederic Trautmann. (Kent: Kent State University Press, 1987. Pp. xxv, 322. $24.00.) Of the many regimental histories of participation in the Civil War, only one treats the activities of a German-speaking unit. In 1870, veterans of BOOK REVIEWS189 the Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which consisted of German immigrants from Cincinnati, organized an association to celebrate their contribution to the winning of the war. In the 1890s, the association engaged the services of Constantin Grebner, a German-bom adventurer with considerable literary skills, to write the history of their regiment. Not a veteran himself, Grebner drew upon diaries, memoirs, interviews, and numerous documents to produce this history, first published in 1897 in the German language. The Ninth Ohio was organized in April 1861 and shortly thereafter its members took an oath to serve for three years. Ordered first to West Virginia and later to Kentucky and Tennessee, the Ninth fought several minor engagements before major participation in the battles of Chickamauga , Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge in November 1863. In the following May, the Ninth accompanied Sherman throughnorthern Georgia until the regiment was mustered out of service on its third anniversary , May 20, 1864. The value of this regimental history to Civil War studies is limited. The ground has been covered before; it is doubtful that the account adds anything new. Similarly, in the field of ethnic studies it offers meager nourishment. It is so burdened by filiopietism that serious ethnic historians will find little to accept at face value. Tedious in its praise of German military prowess, valor, endurance, and German-American dedication to the Union cause, it skates lightly over failures, cowardice, and incompetence. Be that as it may, the translator and editor has done his job well. The account is rendered in excellent English and enriched by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 188-189
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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