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BOOK REVIEWS343 able to occupy the capital city with little difficulty within three days following the landing. By the time he decided to move toward his true objective, Butler found that the Confederates, through herculean efforts, had managed to assemble a force strong enough to frustrate the efforts of the Yankeees—which they accomplished at the Battle of Drewery's Bluff on May 16. How the Confederates reacted to the sudden appearance of a Union army only fifteen miles south oftheir seat ofgovernment is one ofthe more interesting aspects of the narrative. The roles played by the leading government officials and soldiers—President Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War James H. Seddon, Adjutant General Samuel Cooper, Braxton Bragg, Pierre Gustave T. Beauregard, and George E. Pickett, among others—are clearly explained. Pickett, in particular, performed a vital function at Petersburg during the days immediately following the Federal landings, although his exertions appear to have nearly caused him a nervous breakdown . Dr. Schiller's descriptions of the tactical movements and operations of the opposing forces throughout the campaign are clear and detailed. Twenty-two maps assist the reader to more easily understand these operations . In addition, sixty-two illustrations are provided. Butler's mission was subsidiary to those of Meade and Sherman. The author argues convincingly, however, that had the Army ofthe James been properly led and successfully accomplished its mission, the length of the war could have been considerably shortened, perhaps by as much as one year. William D. Matter Harrisburg, Pennsylvania An Irishman in Dixie: Thomas Conolly's Diary ofthe Fall ofthe Confederacy . Edited by Nelson D. Lankford. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988. Pp. xi, 154. $17.95.) After the Civil War, Colonel Garnet Wolseley (later Lord Wolseley) recalled the "breathless interest and excitement" with which he and fellow British soldiers viewed the American conflict. A steady stream of foreign visitors to the Confederacy echoed his sentiment in published accounts of their travels. Some of these works, the diaries of British soldier Sir James Fremantle and Times of London correspondent William Russell for example , stand out as classics of Civil War literature. Most of these travelogues depict life and events in the South during the first two years of the war. By 1 864, however, tourism in "Secessia" was about all played out; few foreign commentaries on the final days ofthe Confederate States of America have appeared in print. For this reason, Nelson D. Lankford's edition of An 344civil war history Irishman in Dixie: Thomas Conolly 's Diary ofthe Fallofthe Confederacy raises expectations of correcting this imbalance. More English than Irish and a member of the landed gentry, Thomas Conolly sat for County Donegal in Parliament. In 1 864 heconceived a plan to revive family fortunes and satisfy his own "breathless interest" tn the Confederacy by underwriting and participating in a blockade-running venture . His plans for riches fell through when the steamer purchased for the trip was damaged in a storm. Hitching a ride on the CSS Owl, he found himselfashore near Wilmington, North Carolina on February 27, 1865. He kept just ahead of Sherman's advancing army as he moved through the backwoods of North Carolina on his way to the Confederate capital. Richmond society greeted the British MP with warmth and bewilderment; no one seems to have knownjust why he had come to visit, but they opened their homes to him nonetheless. While in Richmond, he spent time with President and Mrs. Davis, visited General Lee's headquarters, and dined with Admiral Raphael Semmes after viewing the Confederate fleet at Drewry's Bluff. He left Richmond shortly before the Yankees marched in, crossed over into Maryland, and earned his passage to Baltimore by working as a deckhand on a coastal trader. From Baltimore it was on to Philadelphia , New York and the voyage home. In short, Tom Conolly was the kind of character novelists often create to combine high adventure and commentary on great events. Despite the promising title of this work, those looking for profound insights into the last days of the Confederacy will be disappointed. Conolly records his observations as a tourist takes snapshots; he does not seem to notice the great...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 343-345
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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