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76CIVIL WAR HISTORY Harbor crossroads. According to Lowry, the key to Grant "was his determination" (19). Undaunted by the failures of Banks, Sigel, and Butler, he remained confident of ultimate success. If Lowry does not tell us anything new, he certainly tells it in an insightful manner. He asserts that Grant's war was not a war of attrition; from the beginning he tried to manipulate Lee into open-field combat, where sheer Union superiority would destroy the enemy. Lee turned it into a war of attrition by matching Grant's moves and challenging him with a defense at every turn. In this new kind of relentless, ceaseless warfare, Grant pledged to fight it out if it took all summer. At the conclusion of the Wilderness campaign, the Army of the Potomac was not the same army, since some sixty-five thousand Union soldiers (threefifths of the total number of combat casualties suffered by the Army of the Potomac during the previous three years) had been killed, wounded , or missing since May 4. In contrast to the exhaustive works of Noah Trudeau's Bloody Roads South (1989) and William Matter's IfIt Takes AU Summer (1988), Lowry attempts to analyze how the costly Wilderness campaign integrated into Grant's broader plans for bringing the conflict to a quick and decisive conclusion. It is a complicated story because of the shifting of operations from one theater to another, not to mention the shifting of both armies. Lowry magnifies the complexity by highlighting the particulars of daily maneuvers, which results in a writing style frequently as dense as the Wilderness woods. The amassing of such detail has, in this case, slightly marred the overall focus of Lowry's work, and still there is much we are not told. For example, the treatment of the rank and file soldier during these brutal campaigns requires more investigation. What can the mental and physical state of these men during May and June tell us about Grant and the war in 1864? Although Lowry has given readers of the Civil War a well-conceived and keenly illustrated assessment of Grant's campaign of 1864, Grant appears larger than life, while Lincoln appears as a military amateur. T. Harry Williams's Lincoln and his Generals (1952) refuted this depiction by assessing Lincoln as a skillful strategist. Although this book should attract a wide readership, the absence of scholarly research and documentation implies that the author did not intend this work for scholars. But surely those who seek to better understand Grant's campaign might start with No TUrning Back. Stephen D. Engle Florida Atlantic University Jedediah Hotchkiss, Rebel Mapmaker and Virginia Businessman. By Peter W. Roper. (Shippensburg, Pa.: White Mane Press, 1992. Pp. xii, 300. $29.95.) At first glance the most striking aspect of Peter Roper's biography of Confederate cartographer Jedediah Hotchkiss is how few and brief are BOOK REVIEWS77 the chapters covering his Civil War career: a mere two chapters comprising only fifty-nine pages. This is something of a shock, given the work's title, until the reader discovers—as the author clearly intended—two significant facts. First, chapter 10 is a detailed and marvelously well-crafted essay on Hotchkiss as mapmaker, which is capable of being appreciated by itself and is alone almost worth the price of the book. Roper specifies the details not only of the conditions under which Hotchkiss worked ("My drawing board was the head of a barrel; my seat the half of another barrel") but also the tools and techniques he employed. There is also space given to his assistants and peers, dispelling at least partially the idea that Hotchkiss personally created every topographic map for the Army of Northern Virginia in the same fashion that much of the public attributes every Civil War photograph of note to Matthew Brady. There is certainly enough meat in this biography to satisfy the Civil War scholar, however narrowly defined. The second discovery, upon closer examination of the book, is that Roper made the correct decision in limiting his coverage of Hotchkiss's war service in order to place those days in the context of his subject's entire life. Born...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 76-77
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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