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192CIVIL WAR HISTORY his onslaught on life: town developer at Eureka Springs, railroad promoter, and until 19 12 the man who controlled Republican party patronage in Arkansas . His was as extraordinary career. What Clayton has needed is an extraordinary biographer. However, Clayton himself preempted the field by publishing his own memoirs. In spite of a few human touches, they are modeled on Caesar's Commentaries. His personal papers disappeared, and only his years as ambassador to Mexico and his correspondence relating to patronage affairs in Arkansas left a significant paper trail. Given these limitations, William H. Burnside has produced a balanced biography exploring Clayton's various roles. He is at his best in the chapters treating Clayton's diplomatic and patronage roles. By contrast, the Reconstruction chapter is very disappointing and fails to come to grips with the embattled governor or his milieu. In the end, Burnside fails to explain (or even discuss) why Clayton became the most hated man in Arkansas, a man whose very name was invoked in elections into the twentieth century and whose portrait alone among all the governors of Arkansas was banned from the state capĂ­tol until 1976. This toosanitized account leaves out too much of the color and tells few of the anecdotes . Burnside places Clayton as a figure from the age of robber barons; but while Clayton's character as a baron is explored, his career as a robber is too discreetly covered up. The book contains a number of illustrations and photographs, but the absence of an index is inexcusable. Michael B. Dougan Arkansas State University The Civil War Memoirs of Captain William J. Seymour: Reminiscences of a Louisiana Tiger. Edited by Terry L. Jones. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. Pp. 162. $19.95.) In the spring of 1862, newspaper editor William J. Seymour accepted an appointment as aide to Brig. Gen. Johnson Kelly Duncan and began his service in the Civil War. For the next three years, he would record his experiences in a personal journal which he later utilized to write his recollections of those days, finally edited here as The Civil War Memoirs ofCaptain William J. Seymour : Reminiscences of a Louisiana Tiger. Possessing the trained eye of a journalist, as well as a wry and critical wit, the author began the volume with Fort Jackson and ended, abruptly and inexplicably, with the Battle of Cedar Creek. His observations prove an invaluable source of information for many of the major military engagements. Seymour himself led a colorful and fascinating life. When fighting broke out between the states, he did not volunteer immediately. Instead, he remained in New Orleans as editor of the Commercial Bulletin. But the lure of BOOK REVIEWS193 service was too great, and he accepted a position with Duncan's forces, defending the Louisiana coast, from their post at Fort Jackson, until New Orleans fell. When Benjamin Butler, commander of occupation forces, pardoned Seymour, he went back to publishing the paper. Shortly thereafter, however, Butler had him imprisoned at Fort Jackson for two months; he had written a "patriotic obituary of his father" (4). In the spring of 1863, he obtained a new appointment as staff officer for Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hayes, ist Louisiana Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. In this capacity, Seymour acquired impressive experience, serving at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness and in the Shenandoah Valley. Indeed, the reminiscences recall these campaigns in great detail and with an interesting style. The author is as often critical of the Confederate actions as of the Federals. His language is descriptive yet clear and concise. The horrors are plainly evident; he romanticizes nothing. But even through the harshness of reality, anecdotes also present the human side of war and provide an immediacy lacking in secondary sources. Overall, Terry L. Jones, author of Lee's Tigers: The Louisiana Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia, does a fine job of editing the volume. His style is pleasantly readable, and he is truly devoted to telling Seymour's story. But while his introduction is informative, it is not insightful; the same is true of the explanatory paragraphs which begin each of the six chapters . And an epilogue...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 192-193
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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