In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWSI73 that graphically illustrates how close many generals were to the fighting. It is easy to run out of superlatives in praising Medical Histories of Confederate Generals—a browser's delight if there ever was one. Many readers of Civil War History will want this volume within easy reach. George C. Rable Anderson University The British Foreign Service and the American Civil War. By Eugene H. Berwanger. (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1994. Pp. xi, 215. $28.00.) The dustjacket heralds this book as "the first comprehensive investigation of Anglo-American relations during the Civil War," but the author, Eugene H. Berwanger, more modestly asserts that his purpose is less ambitious: to analyze the problems faced and influence exerted by the British consuls and legation on the Foreign Office's policies toward the American Civil War. He thus focuses on the issues arising within the Union and the Confederacy—arbitrary arrests, property rights, conscription—and hence does not deal with the Trent and other matters that plagued the Union's relationship with Britain during the war. British consuls in the North had direct communication with the minister, Lord Lyons, in Washington; those in the South, however, were cut off from the legation because of the nature of the conflict and communicated directly with the foreign secretary in London, Lord John Russell. By May 1864, Berwanger insists, the conscription issue caused as much tension between the Union and Britain as had the Trent in 1861 and the Laird rams crisis in 1863. Fortunately for the Union, the issues in the North were more susceptible to resolution (particularly as Secretary of State William H. Seward showed a growing inclination to negotiate), whereas those in the South festered, leading to increasingly raw relations when the British repeatedly rejected its pleas for diplomatic recognition. Berwanger offers several noteworthy conclusions relating to the interventionist crisis. Especially intriguing is his argument that Britain's longbeleaguered consul in Charleston, Robert Bunch, was merely indiscreet in building friendships among Southerners and was not pro-South. Indeed, by mid- 1862 Bunch expressed doubt about the South's ability to win the war and thereby confirmed the ministry's wisdom in adhering to neutrality. More support for this view came from the British consul in New York City, Edward Archibald, who warned that intervention might cause war with the Union. And yet, as Berwanger 's work correctly confirms, the chances for British intervention were very real during the autumn of 1862. Rather than basing their feelings on sympathy for the Confederacy, an increasing number of British spokesmen—most notably Russell—were appalled by the war's atrocities and by President Abraham Lincoln's seemingly hypocritical crusade against 174CIVIL WAR HISTORY slavery. Was not this belated move a calculated effort to bring down the South by fomenting slave insurrections? Would not this despicable policy widen the struggle into a race war and ultimately drag in other countries? Berwanger's well-researched and carefully argued work underlines the importance of foreign relations to the Civil War. For too long historians have dwelt almost exclusively on battles and military leaders. The fact is that the Union's welfare rested as much on the policies of Britain and other Old World governments as it did on the challenges posed by the Confederate army. More studies of this sort are needed to provide the well-rounded picture required to understand the foreign as well as domestic repercussions of this tragic event in America's history. Howard Jones University of Alabama Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: The African-American Church in the South, 1865-içoo. By William E. Montgomery. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1993. Pp. xvi, 358. $29.95.) Since the mid-1960s, two ofthe most active research topics in Southern history have been the black experience and religion. The two topics come together in this long, detailed narrative that is clearly built upon the great body of scholarship of the past three decades. This book will be of primary interest to nonspecialists who want a detailed narrative ofblack religious institutions after the Civil War; it will be less useful to specialists because it offers a comparatively...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 173-174
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.