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BOOK REVIEWS255 Massachusetts. This excellent work will appeal to Civil War scholars and laypersons alike. James W. Geary Kent State University The Journal ofArchibald C. McKinley. Edited by Robert L. Humphries. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991. Pp. xlviii, 259. $30.00.) The journal kept by Archibald C. McKinley offers the reader a rare glimpse of the day-to-day life of an upper-class farmer on a Georgia sea-island and his relationships with the local freedmen during the turbulent years of Reconstruction, 1869-77. The son of a prominent middle-Georgia planter-politician, McKinley at age eighteen helped raise a company for Confederate service, saw combat as a lieutenant, and was wounded. After the war he returned to Baldwin County, became a successful cotton farmer, and married Sarah E. Spalding, whose family owned most of Sapelo Island. Here McKinley agreed to begin farming cotton and corn with his wife's brothers in 1869. He rented a home on the coast at Ridgeville, a summer resort for planters whose homes there had not been torched when Union forces burned nearby Darien, and soon built a home on Sapelo. The twelvemile -long island, three miles wide at its widest point, was heavily forested and had a population of eighteen mulattoes, 294 blacks, and twentyfour whites. McKinley's journal is similar to the commonplace books kept by many Southern farmers. He frequently labored from dawn to dusk clearing , planting, and harvesting; subsequently, he entered the lucrative business of raising and slaughtering cattle to sell to the ocean-going vessels that stopped at Darien to take on timber. Overwork, sometimes in extremes of temperature, eating spoiled food, and lack of a nutritious diet contributed to his many illnesses; rattlesnakes, which were killed on sight, and swarms of mosquitoes and sand flies pestered him. Nevertheless , he enjoyed the beauty of the place, describing a rain storm as it approached across the sound from fifteen miles away as simply "grand" (74). McKinley with family and friends hunted deer and birds and fished the creeks and inlets for recreation and food. He precisely recorded every kill and catch. With the local gentry, McKinley and his wife helped organize the Altamaha Boat Club in Darien, which held an annual regatta and dinner. Unraveling McKinley's relationships with blacks is complicated by his cryptic journal entries. The cooks and hands he hired usually departed after only a brief stay, and on one occasion black laborers refused to 256CIVIL WAR HISTORY enter a written contract with him, all of which may dramatize the freedmen 's new assertiveness. Significantly, McKinley names a new stallion "Ku Klux" but comments no further. He refers disparagingly to Tunis Campbell, the local black leader, but when he learns of the death of Scott, the "camp servant" who nursed him when he was wounded during the Civil War, McKinley recalls that Scott was as "true as steel" and "one of the few negroes who was a friend of the whites" (36). An excellent introduction by Russell Duncan, an authority on Reconstruction Georgia, helps place McKinley's Journal in the context of the times. One disappointing aspect of the book is its lack of photographs of persons mentions in the narrative and their magnificent, pristine surroundings. Recommended for scholars and anyone interested in the natural beauty of coastal Georgia, McKinley's Journal is indeed a timely publication. Readers will be reminded that the logging operations now allowed on Sapelo by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources only can be harmful to the fragile ecology of this now-state-owned island that Archibald McKinley once worked and loved. Walter J. Fraser, Jr. Georgia Southern University A Mexican View ofAmerica in the 1860s: A Foreign Diplomat Describes the Civil War and Reconstruction. Edited and translated by Thomas D. Schoonover. (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991. Pp. 271. $39.50.) This is the second volume of Matías Romero correspondence to be edited by Schoonover. The first volume, Mexican Lobby: Matías Romero in Washington, 1861-1867 (1986), included 133 memorandums written by the Mexican chargé and minister to the United States. The new volume provides 126 summary reviews of political and military events in the United States...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 255-256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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