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BOOK REVIEWS Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters ofMarion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia. Edited by Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges. (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press 1998. Pp. xxi, 227. $29.95.) This fine collection of letters written by Georgia Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick first appeared in print in 1975. Since then the letters have been reprinted twice, once in 1982 and ten years later as an appendix to a historical novel entitled Red Dirt and Isinglass. These earlier editions all lacked adequate introductions or footnotes. Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges, the editors of this latest edition, have done an admirable job of providing a new introduction and annotations that flesh out the lives of Marion and Amanda White Fitzpatrick and their families. Marion Fitzpatrick, a teacher and farmer from central Georgia , left his eighteen-year-old wife, Amanda, and their infant son in the spring of 1862 to enlist in the 45th Georgia Infantry. Although the reasons he delayed enlisting are unknown, it was not from a lack of support for the Confederacy. The hundred letters included in this volume, written between May 1862 and March 1 865, strikingly exhibit his intense patriotism and willingness to die for the fledgling Confederacy. As late as January 1865, Fitzpatrick informedAmanda that he had "no distant dream of ever giving up. Yankees may kill me but will never subjugate me" (194). The letters also reveal a man with a keen sense of observation who provided his wife with a wealth of information about common soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia. Marion Fitzpatrick served in most of that army's campaigns and composed graphic accounts of many bloody contests. Wounds received in 1862 at the battles of Frazier's Farm and Fredericksburg failed to diminish his ardor in combat; at Chancellorsville in May 1 863 Fitzpatrick claimed he "was ambitious to be the first or among the first to mount the [enemy's] breastworks" (71). In March 1864 the young Georgian eagerly joined a battalion of sharpshooters formed in his brigade. Several of his subsequent letters provide fascinating details about the training and tactical employment of these little-understood organizations. AlthoughAmanda Fitzpatrick's letters have, unfortunately, not survived, many of her wartime experiences can be gleaned from her husband's letters. Like countless other white Southern women, Amanda Fitzpatrick assumed new responsibilities during the Civil War, including raising livestock and crops, man- BOOK REVIEWS249 aging small numbers of slaves, and facing shortages ofnecessities such as shoes and salt. Marion Fitzpatrick showed constant concern for the well-being of his wife and son but realized that he could do little to manage his farm in absentia. He told Amanda, whom he referred to as a "true heroine," "You are my overseer and manager now" (m). Marion Fitzpatrick's ConfederateArmy service ended in tragedy. He received a mortal wound on April 2, 1 865, in the fighting that resulted in the Confederate evacuation of Richmond and Petersburg. Although cared for by ladies in the city of Manchester, south ofRichmond, Fitzpatrick succumbed to his wound on April 6, only three days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Keith S. Bohannon Penn State University Fort Riley and Its Neighbors: Military Money and Economic Growth, 1853— 1895. By William A. Dobak. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. Pp. xvi, 241. $29.95.) My mother worked as a civil servant at Fort Riley, Kansas, during the 1960s, validating passports and travel plans for army personnel aill over the world, including ports of call for soldiers going to Vietnam. The memory of Fort Riley that stood out most clearly in her mind concerned the ancient stone barracks, which were so drafty that at times she found snow drifting across her desk. William Dobak has written the first scholarly study of how and why those old stone buildings were constructed. Fort Riley and Its Neighbors addresses the first forty years of the fort's existence . It was built in 1853 at the confluence of the Republican and Smokey Hill Rivers in northeastern Kansas. This seemed to be an ideal location for an army post, which could serve as the focal point of riverboat traffic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 248-249
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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