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256CIVIL WAR HISTORY stunned when his superiors unconditionaUy surrendered that fort and its army, and while many Confederates successfully escaped, Barber was captured and sent to Camp Chase near Columbus, Ohio. Soon he was transferred toJohnson's Island near Sandusky, where he remained until exchanged in late 1862. He traveled to the Vicksburg area, where he fought in the campaign to hold thatlast Confederate outpost on the Mississippi. Next he moved eastto participate in the campaign to stop Sherman's advance toward Atlanta. He was wounded on May 14, 1864, and died the next morning. During these adventures from 1861 to 1864, Barber maintained ajournai, and four volumes are now located in the Indiana University library. One volume, from the period oflate August through early December 1862, is missing, creating the only gap in his account. The meat ofthejournal Ues in Barber's accounts of the struggle to hold Donelson, the defeat of Sherman at Chickasaw Bayou near Vicksburg, and his experience as a prisoner of war. We have thousands of battlefield descriptions, but it is Barber's prison experiences that are especially illuminating in contrast to all of the horror stories about Civil War prison Ufe. At Johnson's Island Barber complained mat Ufe was monotonous but described his day as one with breakfast soon after 7 a.m., roU call at 8 a.m., newspaper reading from 9 to 12 noon. After dinner at noon a "siesta" followed as prisoners "lay about in the shade." At 5 p.m. supper was served, and thereafter the men "walked about . . . discussing rumors ofwar and exchange" (53). The journal is written in an extraordinarily flowing narrative fashion. Every sentence is complete and written in correct grammar, almost too perfectly. In an eleven-line statement of editorial policy the editor, a distinguished historian, states that he has created chapters, amended paragraphs, and otherwise allowed Barber's words and punctuation to stand as written. Beyond these brief statements no details of editorial decisions are included. Annotation is minimal and printed in tiny type at the back of the book. The appendix lists the roster ofthe Third Tennessee Infantry, and a generous number of maps and iUustrations accompany the text. The dates of entries are set in itatics but not bold type, and readers wiU not be able to locate a specific date with ease. This book raises the question ofwhether every extant Civil War diary should be published in book form. In this instance Barber's account probably could have been as weU served in an essay focused on his unusual experiences as a Confederate prisoner. Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins The University of Alabama Shark of the Confederacy: The Story of the CSS Alabama. By Charles M. Robinson, ??. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. 230 pp. $25.00.) Although historians have paid relatively little attention to the naval side of the Civil War, literature abounds on the CSS Alabama and her mustache-twisting book reviews257 skipper, Raphael Semmes. The two are inevitably linked, for the Alabama was the most successful commerce raider in American history and Semmes the most colorful character in the Confederate navy. In the nineteenth century, Alabama crewmen and their contemporaries produced a spate of accounts of their experiences on board die ship and of her famous battle with the USS Kearsarge. In the twentieth century, historians and authors of popular histories have written more than a dozen volumes about Semmes and the Alabama, including at least three children's books. Furthermore , numerous, broader works, particularly those by Adrian Cook, George W. Dalzell, and Warren F. Spencer, treat die economic, diplomatic, poUtical, and legal aspects of commerce raiding, and there are many histories of other Confederate commerce raiders and lives of their captains. Do we really need another book about the Alabama? This famous ship naturaUy looms large in the plethora of Semmes's biographies, the best of which is John M. Taylor's Confederate Raider (1994). Edward C. Boykin's Ghost Ship ofthe Confederacy (1957) is both a history of the Alabama and a biography of Semmes while he was her captain. Charles G. SumerseU (1985) and Norman C. Delaney (1989) have also written histories ofthe ship. It would seem that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 256-258
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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