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BOOK REVIEWS259 in the West featuring the Missouri brigade. Frequent repetition is also annoying ; too often the reader is reintroduced to a character. Also, in footnotes and the text, titles are underlined. This is difficult to understand, since titles in the bibliography are italicized. The major problem with Thomas's book is his overuse of superlatives. No battle unit could possibly be as perfect as the author pictures the Missourians, both the rank and file and the officers. Thomas's prose is sometimes puzzling. For example, when noting the presence of a black soldier in the ranks of the 5th Missouri regiment, he writes, "After years of brutal servitude on the plantations of the Deep South, the young African American was eager to tangle with the Yankees"(i37). In the final analysis, though both these unit histories benefit the historiography of the war in the West, neither quite measures up to the accomplishments of their subject. Michael B. Ballard Mississippi State University The Campaign for Georgia and Sherman's March to the Sea: Essays on the 1864 Georgia Campaign. Vol. ? . Edited by Theodore P. Savas and David A. Woodbury. (Campbell, Calif.: Savas Woodbury Publishers, 1992. Pp. vi, 201. $15.00.) At long last the Atlanta campaign is receiving its due from Civil War military historians. The publication of Albert Castel's prize-winning Decision in the West (1992) marked the first serious and original study of the campaign to appear in this century, and the recent avalanche of biographies of the major participants, especially William T. Sherman, has also inspired renewed interest in what Shelby Foote has called a "red clay minuet." The publication of these essays is therefore timely, although one must qualify the timespan indicated by the title, since at least in the volume the "March to the Sea" is ignored. What remains will nevertheless attract attention. Steven Woodworth examines the options available to Jefferson Davis as he pondered who would command the Army of Tennessee at the beginning of the campaign and concludes that Davis erred not only in appointing Joseph Johnston but also in not elevating other generals to corps command so that they could gain the experience necessary to command an army should Johnston fail. An excerpt from Castel's study, covering Peachtree Creek, is followed by Stephen Davis's lengthy and impassioned defense of the generalship of John Bell Hood. By taking inflated estimates of casualties at face value, neglecting to evaluate contemporary sources while accepting accounts colored by hindsight , and failing to examine Hood's battle plans and their execution, historians , according to Davis, have failed to give Hood his due for attempting to cope with an impossible situation, for in any case the fall of Atlanta was inevitable . James J. Cooke's examination of Sherman's logistical planning and 2OOCIVIL WAR HISTORY Phil Gottschalk's recounting of the Battle of Allatoona add to previous accounts , while Terry L. Jones's history of the 19th Michigan Infantry and the reports of Confederate general William B. Bate, ably edited by Zack C. Waters , offer perspectives from below the top echelons of command. One's interest in these essays depends in large part on how interested one is in the Atlanta campaign. Of widest interest are the contributions by Woodworth and Davis, for together they offer fresh looks at the problem of command in the Army ofTennessee. Although Woodworth and Davis disagree on Hood's relative merits, they share a critical perspective on the abilities of Joseph Johnston. It is too bad that the editors failed to include a similar discussion on the overall performance of Union commanders, especially in light of Castel's analysis of the relative merits of Sherman and George Thomas in Decision in the West. The editors also might have considered having contributors share their findings with each other in several cases instead of publishing essays seemingly composed in total ignorance of each other. How, for example, would Davis have reacted to Woodworth's arguments? Would some of the authors—especially Gottschalk—have revised their reporting of casualty figures in light of Davis's piece? Sometimes the whole is less than the sum of its parts, as is occasionally the case...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 259-260
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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