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3i8CIVIL war HISTORY In Rebel Georgia, Professor Boney presents a succinct popular history of the turbulent Civil War period in the Empire State. His presentation of the secession crisis and subsequent mania, though pared down for the layman, is cogent and eloquent. Every facet of the war as it affected the state is covered as he shows the progress of the conflict as reflected in events in Georgia: The state's industrial efforts to meet the rising demands of the military, the sometimes maverick Governor Joseph Brown, the paralyzing shock of the Great Invader, the erosion of the people's will; all are presented in engaging prose. Key Confederate figures from Georgia, military and political, are discussed in their proper time and milieu, albeit one wonders just what General John B. Gordon did at Chancellorsville that had him "emerging as one of Lee's ablest lieutenants" (38). He had already proven himself at Sharpsburg the year before and was to do much more in 1864-65. Another eminent Georgian, General William T. Wofford, neglected by the author, accomplished more at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg than Gordon and busied himself in early 1 865 feeding the people and restoring law and order in northwest Georgia. The author ties the past to the present with frequent similes which deal with popular movies and/or well-known works of twentieth-century literature such as All Quiet on the Western Front. Eminently readable, this book does much to provide the reader with a closer understanding ofthe tumultuous years of 1 86 165 in Georgia. Gerald J. Smith Paine College Civil War Journal: The Battles. Edited by William C. Davis, Brian C. Pohanka, and Don Troiani. (Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1998. Pp. xii, 468. $29.95.) The "Civil War Journal" series has been enjoyed by many viewers of the History Channel. This volume, the second ofthree, is an attempt to convert some of the televised episodes into book format. In the documentary style made famous by Ken Bums, narration is interspersed with comments from historians and other specialists, as well as briefquotations from persons who participated in or observed the action. Illustrations are an integral part of virtually every page. Most chapters include a map and occasionally several. All of this suggests a nice book appropriate for the Civil War enthusiast. But this volume has significant problems, beginning with the selection of contents. No one would argue that a book focused on Civil War battles should, or even could, include every one. Nor is it likely thy anyone would object to including Fort Sumter, First Manassas, the Monitor vs. the Virginia. Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga and Chattanooga. But these comprise only eight out of seventeen chapters. While it is perhaps helpful to have a chapter on "The Foot Soldier's Life," there are two more chapters on book reviews319 the "Iron Brigade" and the 54th Massachusetts regiment (no Confederate unit receives its own chapter). Even worse is an excessive concentration on Gettysburg. Undoubtedly Gettysburg was an important battle, but should it receive /oar chapters? Only one ofthese chapters is actually devoted to the battle, the others focus on the civilians, selected "unsung heroes" who died during or soon after the battle, and Lincoln and his "Gettysburg Address." This does not seem to be in keeping with the alleged focus on battles. Furthermore, after the Chickamauga-Chattanooga chapter (which barely mentions Chickamauga) only one campaign is included—Franklin and Nashville in late 1864. How can a book on Civil War battles omit Shiloh, Chancellorsville, everything in the eastem theater after Gettysburg, and all of Sherman's campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas?To present Franklin and Nashville as the only battles after 1 863 gives a very strange picture of the Civil War indeed! Each of the numerous illustrations is accompanied by a caption, frequently long enough to function as a sidebar. Some of the information in these captions is very useful, explaining the illustration or expanding upon the text. At other times it is repetitious of text material. Unfortunately, there are numerous discrepancies between the text and the captions. For example, did Farragut's boats break the chain across the Mississippi River below Near...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 318-319
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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