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BOOK REVIEWS255 But providing a wide-ranging, statistically sophisticated view of public opinion based on contemporary correspondence (as James McPherson did for military culture in For Cause and Comrades) is clearly not the real goal of this book. Letting the reader peek over the shoulder ofAbraham Lincoln (or ofJohn Hay, screening his chief's correspondence) is what The Lincoln Mailbag is about, and in that it succeeds admirably. Gerald J. Prokopowicz The Lincoln Museum The Paper ofAndrew Johnson. Vol. 15: September 1868-April 1869. Edited by Paul H. Bergeron. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999. Pp. xxviii, 656. $55.00.) This fifteenth volume of the well-edited collection of The Papers ofAndrew Johnson covers much of the period following the president's acquittal in the impeachment trial as well as a small part of the post-presidential era. Careful reading of the documents and footnotes shows clearly that at the time, Johnson that time was indeed a "president in limbo," comparatively powerless to accomplish anything in view ofcontinued congressional opposition. The appointments he tried to make were generally buried by Congress; the laws he vetoed were passed over his objections, and his recommendations were disregarded. Yet he still enjoyed the loyalty of a great number of admirers who shared his ideas of the Civil War and Reconstruction, especially his insistence that the states were still in the Union, that Congress had usurped powers that constitutionally belonged to the executive, and that Reconstruction had ushered in a rule of utter tyranny worse than that under which the colonies suffered prior to independence . Frequent assurances that history would eventually do him justice must have been most pleasing to him. The majority of the documents included in this collection concern matters of patronage. A most interesting portion of the volume is devoted to the unsuccessful effort to come to grips with the whiskey frauds and the complications arising from investigations in Brooklyn. The president's difficulties in solving this problem might have been explained a bit more fully, but the extant documents are most revealing. Johnson's effort to have Horatio Seymour enter the campaign in person reflects his interest in the election of 1868, and several letters reveal the conviction of his supporters that he would have been a more successful candidate. Other matters of importance concern Johnson's failure to act upon reports of atrocities in the South, his pardoning policies, and his proclamations of amnesty. The inclusion of several of his speeches and his vetoes, such as his fourth annual message with its reiteration of his views on Reconstruction , his interviews with newspapers, and his farewell address with a similar message shows his continued belief in his own rectitude. Repetitious as they are, they are most indicative of his character. 256CIVIL WAR HISTORY In the portion of the book dealing with the period following his leaving office , the renditions of his various speeches are again good examples of his tendency to stick to his convictions. In constantly harping on the rectitude of his intentions, the outrageous way in which he was allegedly treated, and his happiness of having been released from the trammels of office, he appears as a true Cincinnatus willing to retire from politics. Of course he never ceased plotting for a return to office, an effort which finally succeeded in 1 875, when he was elected to the Senate. The typically self-centered speeches of the ex-president reveal him as unwilling ever to recede from previously formed opinions and go far to explain his unpopularity. As usual, these problems are clarified by a well-written introduction—perhaps a bit too brief, but very informative. Bergeron has once again done an excellent job in making available these papers of Andrew Johnson. Hans L. Trefousse City University of New York The Black Civil War Soldiers of Illinois: The Story of (he Twenty-ninth U.S. ColoredInfantry. By EdwardA. Miller Jr. (Columbia: University ofSouth Carolina Press, 1998. Pp. xi, 267. $29.95.) Interest in all aspects of the Civil War continues to grow. Still, relatively little attention has been given to the African American experience in the war. Most concern remains fixed on Massachusetts's black regiments, especially the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 255-256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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