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266CIVIL WAR HISTORY From a Canadian point of view, however, Marquis's subject is of considerable import. For ifthe idea that New Brunswick's puny forces—or all of British North America's forces, for that matter—could really have thwarted a sudden American invasion seems improbable, the fear that impelled British North Americans to concern themselves with such a question also contributed to the drive to bring their provinces into a confederation, as four provinces did in 1867. While In Armageddon's Shadow thus has interesting things to say about the American Civil War, it also provides important background for students of the Confederation of Canada. It therefore contributes to a debate little known in the United States, though occasionally fervent in Canada—namely, the extent to which the American Civil War contributed to the birth of the Canadian nation. Unlike many of his Canadian compatriots, Marquis, a lectprer in history at Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia, believes that the American war's importance in that regard—particularly the way the war helped shape pro- and anti-confederation debates—was great. On the one hand, some British North Americans advocated confederation as a way to create a common front against an imperialistic United States; on the other, some cited the war itself as proof that a confederacy of the British provinces would not work. In either case, the war mattered. In Armageddon's Shadow is rich in details, perhaps too much so. Occasionally laden with superfluous points, it often reads like the sort of history most students rightly dread: One damn thing after another. But it is a useful and very welcome work, and one hopes that it.will pique more than a few Americans' interest in the nineteenth-century history of the United States's northern neighbor. Preston Jones Sonoma State University Irish Rebels, Confederate Tigers: A History of the 6th Louisiana Volunteers, 1861-1865. By James P. Gannon. (Campbell, Calif.: Savas Publishing, 1998. Pp. xvi, 453. $32.95·) The author, a journalist and former editor for the Wall Street Journal, spent years combing libraries, archives, and research institutions to gather material for a history of the 6th Louisiana Volunteers. Based on numerous primary resources , including muster rolls, letters, and diaries, as well as newspaper accounts , Gannon presents a thorough history of these Louisiana Tigers, from the "bottom up." In addition to the battles fought by these Southern Sons of Erin, the author analyzes the ethnic make-up of this regiment, its heritage and belief systems, and just who these men were and where they were from. Compared to the estimated 150,000 Irish who donned the Union blue, the South yielded only 30,000 Irish-born immigrants who fought with the Confederacy . While by no means the only Irish unit to fight for the South, "No state produced as many Irish Confederates as Louisiana, and no city as many as New Orleans" (iii). After seceding on January 26, 1861, the war effort in the Cres- BOOK REVIEWS267 cent City accelerated with the news of the firing on Fort Sumter. A call to arms posted in the Daily Picayune, aimed at Irish immigrants, yielded thousands of eager volunteers. Enlistees in the 6th Louisiana were primarily common laborers with little if any formal education. It is not surprising then, given their education and background, that the men of this unit hardly left a written record of their experiences; especially when those most able to tell the story of the regiment (Colonels. Isaac Seymour, Henry Strong, and William Monaghan) perished leading their troops into battle. The author's research amply rectifies this discrepancy in Civil War literature by publishing the first history of this unique regiment. Gannon guides the reader from the unit's inception and training at Camp Moore, Louisiana, through its string of victories and defeats in the Eastern theatre ofthe war. The 6th's battle honors include Jackson's Valley Campaign, the Seven Days' battles, 2nd Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and the costly assault against the Union line entrenched on Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg. The "Bloody 6th" continued its service at Rappahannock Station, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, and the Valley Campaign of 1 864: Monocacy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 266-267
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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