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book reviews335 The last volume under review, Jones' Hood's Texas Brigade: Sketch Book (introduction by Simpson), is more than a "coffee table" volume; rather. Sketch Book gives readers a realistic glimpse of the personal paraphernalia ofTexas'Confederate soldiers going to war. That paraphernalia was just about whatever the soldiers wanted it to be—"bowie" knives with 24-inch blades, instead of sabers; double-barreled shotguns, instead of repeating rifles; and uniforms ofeverydescription. Section "A"ofthe volume includes drawings ("photographic interpretations") which depict various officers and enlisted men in their "dress" uniforms, with the uniforms being as varied as the men who wore them; section "B" depicts more uniforms and accouterments such as weaponry; sections "C" and "D" depict battle standards (some new, some worn, torn, and bullet-riddled) and military statuettes (as popular art). Again, realism is the byword of Jones' effort. As Simpson notes in his introduction, Jones manages to capture the "drama" ofthe brigade, bringing it to life. Jones in his section "A"—again as Simpson notes—even manages to capture the "certain cockiness, an air of self-assurance and even defiance" in the faces of the men (v). In sum, all four books under consideration here add significantly to the "detail" of the Civil War. Notably, the autobiography by Graber and the biography by Gallaway give insight into the war from the "ground up," from the vantage ofindividual, "average"enlistees. Simpson then enlarges the panorama by providing much detail on Texas' most famous fighting unit, while Jones makes "it" all come alive. Historians of the Civil War era, along with their colleagues studying Texas and military history should add these volumes to their list of books to examine. James Smallwood Oklahoma State University Battle Tactics ofthe Civil War. By Paddy Griffith. (New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 1989. Pp. 239. $25.00.) Dr. Paddy Griffith Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England Dear Paddy: You will not like what I am about to write and you will be right. But before I write it, let me assure you that I am not the least bit anglophobic or (given your first name) gaelophobic, nor do I in any way consider it presumptious for non-Americans to deal with the American Civil War. "Outsiders " can see things that escape the oft-times parochial vision of Ameri- 336CIVIL WAR HISTORY can Civil War historians, as is amply demonstrated by G. F. R. Henderson, J.F.C. Fuller, B.H. LiddellHart, and A. H. Burne, all ofwhom made excellent contributions to the study ofthe subject. It is only because, for strictly scholarly reasons, I find that your book does not make such a contribution that I say what I will say about it. Its thesis in essence is this: Despite their greater range and accuracy, rifled muskets and cannons provided little actual advantage over smoothbores on the Civil War battlefield, with the result that tactically the 1861-65 conflict, instead of being the "first modern war," was the "last Napoleonic war." Furthermore,judged by Napoleonic standards, both the Union and Confederate armies performed in an inept and inferior fashion. This was particularly so when it came to infantry attacks. Owing to the baneful influence of the prewar tactical doctrines espoused by West Point "engineers" such as Mahan, Halleck, and McClellan, too much emphasis was placed on defensive fortifications. Along with poor training, amateurish leadership, and insufficient offensive spirit among the troops, in particular veterans, this caused battles, notably after 1863, to degenerate into mere firefights that rarely achieved decisive results. Had true Napoleonic tactics, embracing the "attaque à outrance" by infantry relying on the bayonet, concentrated artillery bombardments at close range, and the large-scale employment of saber-wielding cavalry as a "corps de chasse," been utilized, battles would have had Napoleonic outcomes and the war ended sooner. As you are fully aware, this thesis runs diametrically counter to what long has been the standard view among American Civil War historians (and British ones as well). It is an article of faith with them that the Civil War foreshadowed modern war, that the combination of the rifle and the trench made the defense tactically dominant over the offense, and that consequently Napoleonic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 335-338
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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