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92CIVIL WAR HISTORY In addition to what in my judgment are conceptual and analytical problems, the work suffers from inadequate copyediting. Some examples: "may" is repeatedly used for "might" (e.g., 138, 156, 177, 199, 222, 252, 287); one reads of "an full beard" ( 148) and "a empty wagon yard" (277); 'Irwin' is used for "Irvin" (79 and passim) and "effect" for "affect" (81); the last sentence on page 168 even stands unfinished. Certain other sentences are complete but still confusing . While Six Years ofHell will prove useful to those with a particular interest in Harpers Ferry, Hearn is a better writer and L.S.U's. is a better press than this book would suggest. A. Cash Koeniger Virginia Military Institute Randolph B. Campbell. Grass-Roots Reconstruction in Texas, 1865-1880. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998. Pp. x, 251. $35.00.) Vast and varied as is the literature of Reconstruction; virtually no scholarly monograph has ever before been written on what Randolph B. Campbell refers to as "grass-roots reconstruction." Although control of such key offices as sheriff , county judge, and election commissioner was vital to the selection of delegates to state constitutional conventions, the enforcement—or lack of enforcement—ofthe laws, the registration ofvoters, and numerous other means of supporting or defying national reconstruction policy, the men who held these positions—by election or appointment—have been almost totally overlooked. In one of first scholarly studies to deal with the issue of Reconstruction on the county level in any Southern state, Campbell presents the results of an exhaustive examination of census data, service records, court minutes, election returns, Freedman's Bureau archives, tax returns, and personal papers to draw a clear and convincing picture of six counties in Reconstruction-era Texas. From this research, he has gleaned evidence of the racial or ethnic origins of countylevel office holders, their antebellum political affiliations and involvement, and their military or political service during the war. Although all six ofCampbell's samples are in the eastern two-fifths ofpresentday Texas—a region that overwhelmingly supported secession and the Confederacy —Campbell discovers vast differences from county to county. Colorado County was a slave-holding, cotton-producing area, but one with a sufficient German minority to tip the balance of power into the Republican camp. Dallas, a new, frontier county, was located too far west to have yet developed a transportation system sufficient to support the cotton culture and therefore had neither a significant Black minority nor a particularly strong commitment to secession. Harrison, on the Louisiana border, supported a "typical" lower South plantation economy with a Black majority and a White population immigrated almost exclusively from the old South. Jefferson, a central-Texas county that grew almost no cotton, nevertheless had a sizable Black minority. McLennon, BOOK reviews93 another central-Texas county, was only by the time of secession emerging from frontier status into the cotton kingdom, and Nueces, located in South Texas and committed to a ranching economy, counted very few Blacks but a significant Hispanic population. This series of case studies, Campbell believes, permits "reasonably precise comparisons of how the various regions of Texas experienced the years from 1865 to 1880" (4). It also provides a means of analyzing the impact of such factors as the ratio of planters to yeoman farmers in the general population; the number of foreign-born citizens in any given county; access to transportation facilities; proximity to the western frontier; and, of course, the number of former slaves in the population in the process of reconstruction. Campbell quickly admits—indeed, a great deal of his purpose is to demonstrate —that local conditions were so varied in Reconstruction-era Texas as to make comparisons of one county within his sample group to another almost impossible. In his concluding chapter he nevertheless attempts to draw at least a tentative set ofgeneralizations. Grass-Roots Reconstruction adds further proof to the assumptions that the presence of Federal troops and Freedman's Bureau agents aided the cause of Republicans, that those counties with the highest percentage of freedmen witnessed the greatest degree of political controversy and armed violence, and that the counties with the highest rate of Reconstruction...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 92-93
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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