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246CIVIL WAR HISTORY Grimsley writes a fine essay on Robert E. Lee based on the latest research and also presents a moving narrative on "Stonewall" Jackson. Again there are surprising omissions, such as George B. McClellan and Philip Sheridan, Braxton Bragg and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Even considering its limitations, this set of books is on the whole meritorious. It is likely to be especially attractive to amateur and professional scholars who are beginning to build up their libraries and who can especially benefit from the book's breadth of coverage. It will introduce them to a host of subjects and a legion of often distinguished authors. As to more advanced scholars, there are few who will not find something new in the massive work and who will not find it helpful to mine this vast lode. Frank L. Byrne Kent State University The Confederate General. Vol. 1: Adams, Daniel W., to Cobb, Howell. Edited by William C. Davis. (Harrisburg: National Historical Society, 1991. Pp. x, 109. $29.95.) Does the world need an updated version of Generals in Gray? The answer is yes—if it is as good as this one. William C. Davis, with expertise in Civil War history and iconography, and his collaborators plan a sixvolume set comprising biographies and images of all the "official" Confederate generals, plus a number who were never formally nominated or confirmed, most notably those in Kirby Smithdom. These sketches, written by Civil War scholars, are substantially longer than their counterparts in Ezra J. Warner's classic— 1,000-1,500 words, compared to Generals in Gray's average 200—and they incorporate recent scholarship, correct errors, and use information from the generals' compiled service records at the National Archives; some have additional bibliographical citations. Many include quotations from primary material and from the subjects themselves, and a number of the contributors offer analysis along with the basic biographical data. For example, George T. Anderson was "a good enough officer . . . but never good enough to be promoted" (21); Turner Ashby had "unquestioned courage" but was a poor disciplinarian and administrator (48); Albert G. Blanchard had "little insight into the limitations of his talent" (105); Theodore W. Brevard was "capable but not outstanding," with a "cachet of competence" (129); and James Cantey was "at best . . . a mediocre brigade commander" (161). The sketches are well done and are by historians whose names are familiar— Gary Gallagher, Richard J. Sommers, editor Davis, Robert K. Krick, and Ed Bearss, to name a few—but who are not identified in this volume. Another aim of the edition is to present "every known photographic portrait in uniform that can be located" (ix). Copied from originals in book reviews247 numerous private and public collections and, in a few cases, from printed sources, the portraits are identified by date; details such as retouching and variations in insignia and uniform are noted. Most are the same that appear in Generals in Gray and, predictably, the images vary in quality. Some are improved in The Confederate General (Frank C. Armstrong, William E. Baldwin, John S. Bowen) and some are poorer (William Barksdale, William L. Brandon). A few are truly memorable, particularly the death portrait of Turner Ashby. For some of the subjects the portraits show change through the war years, but is it really useful to have twelve images of Beauregard and eight of Cheatham? Likewise, the editors have chosen to print very similar likenesses taken at the same photographic session (James P. Anderson and James J. Archer, for example). For its well-rounded biographies and evocative portraits, this handsome edition will be an excellent source for scholars and buffs alike. Lynda Lasswell Crist Rice University Civil War Virginia: Battleground for a Nation. By James I. Robertson, Jr. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991. Pp. ix, 188. $18.95.) Mosby's Confederacy: A Guide to the Roads and Sites of Colonel John Singleton Mosby. By Thomas J. Evans and James M. Moyer. (Shippensburg , Pa.: White Mane Publishing Company, 1991. Pp. xi, 134. $29.95.) It now appears that the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century will be noted as one of the greatest epochs in the writing of the Civil...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 246-247
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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