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80CIVIL WAR HISTORY The other chapter is the epilogue. Here the author traces the fate until death of those regular army officers who survived the war. This is not primarily a biography of George Sykes even though he is a central part of the story. Instead it is the history of many officers and men who were on active duty before the war and who were absorbed into the forces commanded from McDowell to Meade. Without doubt this is a very scholarly book. Reese has delved deeply into the Official Records as well as documents housed in the National Archives. The bibliography is extensive. Citations include rare books from the 1860s all the way to the 1980s. The notes at the back of the book are interesting to read for their own content. Another worthwhile portion of this work is the tables, statistics, and maps. There are also photographs with annotations on those who play a part in the narrative. This study is undoubtedly a labor of love. The author is not an academic historian teaching at a college or university. This research and writing has been done away from his regular occupation. One drawback is that there is perhaps too much here. Had there been a bit more distillation the book would be more appealing to those with less than an obsession with the Civil War. The publisher—McFarland and Company—is to be commended for the printing and binding, which is of high quality. Located in North Carolina and publishing since 1979, the company specializes in scholarly books and reference works. In summation, this is a book that should be in libraries with a commitment to Civil War studies and in the possession of individuals who are interested in regimental histories and tactical engagements. Lewis H. Croce Mankato State University The Civil War Diary of Sarah Morgan. Edited by Charles East. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991. Pp. 626. $34.95.) The Civil War diaries of Louisiana's Sarah Morgan are, as their editor Charles East claims, as important as Mary Boykin Chesnut's more famous diary and memoirs for the narrative they provide of the Confederate homefront during the Civil War. Like Chesnut, Morgan's perspective is from the planter class, but she is by no means simply a younger version of the South Carolina matron. Besides being nineteen years apart in age, the women inhabited opposite corners of the Confederacy and possessed significantly different temperaments. Thus The Civil War Diary of Sarah Morgan is a welcome addition to the growing number of published contemporary accounts of the Civil War authored by women. BOOK REVIEWS81 A rather haphazardly and heavily edited version of the diary was first published in 1913 under the title A Confederate Girl's Diary. Charles East has done an admirable job of restoring the expurgated entries and annotating the diary throughout. His new introduction to the volume is immensely useful and provides both a biographical and analytical context for the observations of Sarah Morgan. Not all of East's assertions about Morgan's beliefs, however, are borne out by reading the diary itself. For example, East asserts that although "the conflict between her feminism and her commitment to the old order was never resolved," Morgan should be viewed as "one of the nineteenth-century feminists" (xxxvii). Although Morgan may have indeed moved toward advocating a broader public role for women after the Civil War, there is nothing in her wartime writings that indicates a feminist at work. The evidence that East cites for such a conclusion is Morgan's frequently stated preference for remaining an old maid rather than risking an unhappy marriage, and her critical remarks about those women of her class who preferred ornamental, pampered lives rather than useful activities. East believes such remarks made Morgan a rebel of sorts against the dictates of her society; in fact, they seem more to indicate a perfectionist than a feminist. In no way do they contradict the prevailing notions of the "good" woman described in published tracts about the nineteenth-century Southern family. Certainly, East's remark that Morgan "wants no man for her 'lord and master'" (xxiii) is contradicted by Morgan's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 80-82
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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