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

74CIVIL WAR HISTORY analysis. Power's chronicle of campaigns and battles is competent and wellwritten but offers little that is new. The book's last chapter offers more explicit analysis than preceding ones and places Lee's Miserables within the context of other Civil War scholarship. Power does an excellentjob in revealing the reactions of Lee's men to important events, including the 1864 presidential election, the Hampton Roads Conference , and proposals to recruit slaves into the Confederate Army. He likewise provides an insightful look at morale in the Army of Northern Virginia. During the Overland Campaign, Power reveals, the majority of Lee's soldiers maintained good spirits despite the enormous carnage and physical and mental strain of nearly nonstop fighting. Even when the Southerners fell back to the defenses of Richmond and Petersburg, many felt that holding off Grant's army would convince Northerners that the cities were impregnable and the Union could not win the war. The Confederate soldiers' abiding faith in Robert E. Lee and their belief that the Army of Northern Virginia constituted the main hope for Southem independence is clearly evident throughout the book. Attrition from battle losses and desertion had severely weakened Lee's forces by the summer of 1 864, but Power traces the army's final collapse to the winter of 1864-65, when acute hunger in the trenches and terrible conditions on the homefront resulted in a dramatic rise in desertions. These desertions combined with losses from battle and disease contributed to the army's inability to hold its position against Grant's attacks on April 2, 1865, and ultimately to the surrender at Appomattox a week later. Although Power provides an enlightening look at the neglected topic of desertion , more statistical data might have strengthened his conclusions. How many men in a typical regiment left the ranks during the final year of the war due to desertion or other causes? An examination of the losses sustained by a sample group ofregiments from May 1864 toApril 1865 would have made this study more valuable. This quibble aside, Lee's Miserables is one of the finest works ever written on the Army of Northern Virginia and belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in that command or the Civil War's eastern theater. Keith S. Bohannon Penn State University Lincoln's Admiral: The Civil War Campaigns ofDavid Farragut. By James P. Duffy. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Pp. x, 276. $27.95.) Admiral David Glasgow Farragut: The Civil War Years. By Chester G. Hearn. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998. Pp. xxi, 382. $37.50.) The Civil War produced no naval commander with the stature or enduring appeal of a Grant or Sherman. But David Glasgow Farragut came close. As with the two Union generals, there was little in Farragut's prewar military career to BOOK REVIEWS75 mark him for future greatness. However, his dash past the forts guarding the approaches to New Orleans in 1862 established the sixty-year-old captain as the navy's premier fighting flag officer. Promoted to rear admiral, the first in the navy's history, Farragut went on to secure his professional reputation as well as his celebrity status in later actions along the Mississippi River and against the port of Mobile. His defiant order to "Damn the torpedoes" during the battle of Mobile Bay also earned him a permanent place in the nation's folklore. Given the dearth of works on the Union naval effort in general, there is certainly reason to welcome a well-researched study that takes a fresh look at the North's highest ranking and most accomplished naval officer. By coincidence, a pair of books purporting to do exactly that have come along within twelve months of one another. As their subtitles indicate, neither is a full-dress biography . While both devote some space to chronicling Farragut's life before and after the Civil War, their foci fall squarely on the admiral's fateful three years as commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Ofthetwo, Lincoln'sAdmiral, byJames P. Duffy, makes perhaps the weightiest claims on the dust jacket, promising to deliver new insights based on recently discovered primary source material. But...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 74-76
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.