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

BOOK REVIEWS87 Squier's letters contain the usual laments about mail service, high prices, loneliness, and boredom, but they also have nice individual touches. He does not shy away from dealing with the carnage of battle and wryly refers to the regimental surgeon as "Instent death" (6). Although Squier claims "we are not allowed to write the particulars about battle," his own letters belie this assertion . The lengthy report on Shiloh and his superb account of Stone's River nicely combine vivid detail with sensitive reflection. His candor is refreshing. At Stone's River, for example, he notes that the 44th ran and even admits stripping some of the Rebel dead. For students of nineteenth-century political culture, Squier presents the paradox of a man with limited education—at least in spelling—who nevertheless was keenly interested in public questions. He was an ardent abolitionist with a great reverence for the Constitution. A deeply religious man who claimed to be one of only four in his company to abjure swearing. Squier saw an intimate connection between God's will and the Republic's fate. For him, the Confederacy represented rebellion against the creator as well as against the government . Paying close attention to the election of 1864, he railed against George B. McClellan and Copperheads and saw Abraham Lincoln as the "Saviour of our nation." Ridiculing the whole idea of Southern honor, he dismissed Robert E. Lee as nothing but a traitor. Despite Squier's strong antislavery sentiments, his postwar letters revealed a chastened idealism including states rights objections to Black suffrage. Like any good collection of letters, this one offers some unusual details. For example, Squier encountered a patriotic East Tennessee woman bedecked in a garish outfit ofred, white, and blue. He reports the desertion ofKentucky troops after the appearance of the final Emancipation Proclamation and considered William S. Rosecrans a much better general than William T Sherman. The arrests of a few soldiers for rejoicing over Lincoln's assassination receives detailed attention. This well-edited volume will enhance any Civil War collection. But then this is true of all the volumes in the University of Tennessee Press's Voices of the Civil War series—clearly one of most valuable publishing projects in the Civil War field. George C. Rable University of Alabama A Heritage of Woe: The Civil War Diary of Grace Brown Elmore, 1861-1868. Edited by Marii F. Weiner. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997. Pp. xlviii, 225. $40.00.) The publication of another Confederate diary suggests that scholars have not yet exhausted the rich manuscript collections of libraries and archives throughout the South. Marii Weiner, who teaches at the University of Maine, discovered 88CIVIL WAR HISTORY Grace Brown Elmore's compelling diary at the South Caroliniana Library several years ago and has provided a judiciously edited version here. This heart-wrenching, extremely personal journal does not lend itself to easy reading. Grace Elmore, twenty-one years old when the Civil War began, was the ninth of twelve children in a distinguished, privileged South Carolina family . Much of the first half of her diary is intensely introspective as she wrestles with her faith and how to lead a Christian life. Family relationships were difficult for her, and she relates numerous quarrels and misunderstandings with her mother and siblings. Elmore also felt trapped by her personal circumstances. Though she craved independence from her family, she complained of the responsibilities that accompanied it when facing poverty and working for a living after the war ended. One of the most compelling accounts in Elmore's diary is her detailed description of Sherman's attack on Columbia. While family members fled the city as the Yankees neared, Elmore and her mother remained in the city to try to protect their family home. The gradual approach of the enemy, the marauding Union soldiers who burned and looted, and Elmore's loathing of these invaders make fascinating reading. She detestedYankees, at one point writing, "My God! that such a race should blot the earth" (73). Another interesting portion of the diary is Elmore's response to life after the War, which confirms many assumptions about Southern White women. She struggled with the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 87-88
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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.