Thursday, May 31, 2007

CWL --- Writing History: Answers to the Name of 'Soldier'

"The Blue and Gray in Black and White: Assessing the Scholarship on Civil War Soldiers," Aaron Sheehan-Dean in The View From The Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, ed., University of Kentucky Press, pp. 9-30.

Accounts written by soldiers during the war are highly prized by researchers. Postwar memoirs and article length reminiscences on occassion substitute interpretations for how it actually was in the face of battle. Answers to questions, running the gamut from emancipation and race to family and masculinity, are being readily mined today from 1860-1865 primary sources. Sheehan-Dean traces this trend to the work of Bell Irvin Wiley during the 1940s and 1950s. The author also calls attention to Albert Burton, on CSA conscription, and Ella Lonn, on army desertions, as being forerunners of Wiley in his perusal of frontline soldiers primary sources.

The movement to rejuvenate soldier studies by using the primary sources of 1860-1865 was encouraged by a 1970s study of European soldiers, The Face of Battle by John Keegan. The emergence of this historiographic movement in the 1980s is due to the growth in the sophisication of social history, the immediacy of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement during the 1970s.

Sheehan-Dean surveys the work of Reid Mitchell, Gerald Linderman, Mark Grimsley, Earl Hess, Chandra Manning, Joseph Glatthaar, James McPherson, Drew Gilpin Faust and several others. In these authors' works the attitudes of families, communities, and soldiers are being explored in a manner unlike any previous effort during the 145 years of writing about the American Civil War. In particular these studies of Southern and Northern counties and the soldiers they provided are setting forth new understandings of the war. In this field the work of Peter Carmichael, Martin Crawford, and Ward Hubb are revealing.

Families set in the context of communities, as illustrated by the work of James Marten and others, provide a picture of men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers that is not like the Victorian paintings that provide illustrations for book jackets. The bibliographic notes to Sheehan-Dean's chapter provide a wealth of book and article titles that any reader having an interest in soldiers should examine.

Help Note: This chapter can be obtained by using your local library's inter-library loan services or by contacting me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Classic: From the Iron Brigade to the USCT

As If It Were Glory: Robert Beecham's Civil War Fom the Iron Brigade to the Black Regiments, Robert Beacham (author), Michael Stevens, (ed.)Rowan and Littlefield, 256 pp., index.
This classic (left) is coming out in paperback (right) this autumn. Glatthaar, African American soldier specialist, Herdegen and Nolan, Iron Brigade specialists, and McPherson, soldiers' motivation specialist, have heavily praised this work and rightfully so.

"This bold and refreshing memoir tears away at the growing shroud of myths during the postwar era of reconciliation. . . . For Beecham, like Abraham Lincoln before him, African-Americans made as good soldiers as any, and in Beecham's eyes, sometimes better."
Joseph T. Glatthaar, author of Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers

"Robert Beecham's outstanding memoir is marked by insight and humor. He never forgot that he was marching to history's drum whether with the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg or on the drill field with his black regiment. This is a front-rank look at the American Civil War." Lance J. Herdegen, author of The Men Stood Like Iron: How the Iron Brigade Won Its Name

"An exceptional memoir by an unusually idealistic and sophisticated Iron Brigade soldier who fought from Bull Run to Gettysburg and who finished the war as an officer in a Black regiment. Beecham understood the war in terms of freedom and rejected the racist and counterfactual postwar myth of the Lost Cause. Highly recommended." Alan T. Nolan, author of The Iron Brigade: A Military History

"Beecham pulls no punches in this lively memoir of his service as a soldier in the famed Iron Brigade and as an officer of African-American troops. Unlike most Civil War memoirs, this one does not romanticize the war nor does it make any concessions to the Confederacy, which Beecham in 1902 considered to have been as wrong and baneful as he had four decades earlier when he gave four years of his life fighting for Union and freedom." James M. McPherson, author of The Battle Cry of Freedom

In this powerful and moving memoir, Robert Beecham recounts his Civil War experiences, both as an enlisted man in the fabled Iron Brigade and as an officer commanding a newly raised African American unit. Serving from May 1861 through the end of the war, Beecham saw action with the 2nd Wisconsin at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg, where he was taken prisoner by the Confederates. After being exchanged, he was promoted to first lieutenant in a black regiment. Leading the men of the 23rd USCT in fierce fighting at the Battle of the Crater, Beecham was wounded, again captured, and after eight months in a Confederate prison, escaped. In addition to telling his exciting account, Beecham describes the daily life of the Civil War solider. His stories range from lively accounts of foraging expeditions to describing conditions in military hospitals. In his narrative, Beecham celebrates the ingenuity of the enlisted man at the expense of officers who are often arrogant or incompetent. He also chides the altered recollections of fellow veterans who remember only triumphs and forgot defeats. In one of the most powerful parts of his memoir, Beecham pays tribute to the valor of the African Americans who fought under his command and insists that they were "the bravest and best soldiers that ever lived." "As If It Were Glory" is an unforgettable account of the Civil War, unclouded by sentimentality and insistent that the nation remain true to the cause for which it fought.
(text supplied by the publisher)

CWL --- To Torch or Not to Torch? Limited War as Practiced by William Sherman

War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign. American Crisis Series. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 2003. 152 pp. Maps, notes, bibliographical essay, index. $17.95 (paper)

Reviewed by: Kathy L. Jones, Department of History, University of South Carolina. Published by: H-CivWar (January, 2007)

Sherman's War of Words

The famous proverb "actions speak louder than words" often rings true. Yet, sometimes words have more impact than actual deeds in historical memory. This is the case that Anne J. Bailey explores in her book, War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign. Since the end of the Civil War, many southerners have depicted William T. Sherman as an evil warmonger. He was, and still is in some circles, blamed for the destruction of countless southern towns and the deaths of innumerable southern civilians. In short, Sherman has become one of the great villains in the epic story of the Lost Cause.

Was Sherman really so evil? Did he introduce the South to the horrors of total war? What effect did his actions really have on the outcome of the war? Bailey addresses these questions and makes the argument that Sherman's words were far more effective than any of his actions. He used the language of total war to strike fear in the minds of Georgians, yet did not fully act on those threats.

Bailey's main argument throughout the book is that Sherman's "war of words was far more devastating to the Southern nation than the actual events along his route" (p. xiv). The book begins with a tour of Savannah and southern Georgia during the early years of the Civil War. Bailey argues that the residents of Savannah were so far separated from the violence and destruction of the front lines, that they believed they were "immune from invasion" (p. 9). As Sherman got closer to the city and his threats filtered into the ears of Savannah residents, the result was extreme psychological fear.

In the course of the book, Bailey visits several of the sites that made Sherman infamous in the South. Sherman has been vilified for his occupation of Atlanta ever since he and his troops marched out of the city in November 1864. During and after the war, southerners accused Sherman of "turning out helpless women and children" (p. 25) when he expelled the residents from the city. Rather than doing this to punish the citizens of the city, Bailey explains, Sherman needed to prepare for his march and had neither the time nor resources to care for these refugees. He knew that he had to be prepared to leave the city quickly, which could not be accomplished with hundreds to thousands of refugees draining away necessary resources.
According to Bailey, when Sherman began his march his "goal was to break the South's will to fight, not to devastate the land and murder the people" (p. 31). To demonstrate this, Bailey points out that Sherman set rules limiting what specific property could be confiscated or destroyed. Only in cases where towns actively harbored Confederates or engaged in actions to hinder the progress of the Union forces was property destroyed or taken. Likewise, the Union forces were to concentrate on destroying only factories, mills, depots, warehouses, and public buildings. For the most part, Sherman kept his men from destroying private residences.
Of course, Bailey also points out that Sherman and the officers under his command could not watch every one of their men. Vandalism, murder, rape, and pillaging did occur when officers were not watching. Technically, however, Sherman and his officers never sanctioned these actions, and in some cases even prosecuted and punished the offenders (p. 79).

By the time Sherman was marching through the Georgia piedmont, news about the destruction of Atlanta had spread throughout the state. Bailey argues that this news had a profound psychological effect on the residents of the state--even if the written and verbal accounts did not exactly match up with actual deeds. For example, one of the towns Sherman was notorious for destroying, Griswoldville, was devastated only because it was composed mostly of factories involved in war production. The house belonging to the town's founder, Samuel Griswold, was not destroyed and the town itself disappeared only after its founder died in 1867. The state capital during the war, Milledgeville, was pillaged not by Sherman's men but by civilians who looted its houses after the troops left. Likewise, the residential section of the town of Sandersville was spared from destruction even though Confederate vigilantes had previously killed several Union soldiers nearby.

The fact that destruction did occur in the wake of Sherman's army cannot be denied. But Bailey is careful to point out that Sherman was infrequently responsible for this destruction. For example, the town of Louisville experienced a fire that spread through the residential area of the town. The fire, however, started before Sherman's troops even arrived in the town. Incidences like this actually played well into Sherman's hands, according to Bailey. The rumors of these events spread throughout Georgia and the blame was laid squarely at Sherman's feet. Georgians in Sherman's path believed that only destruction lay ahead for them.

Bailey does not paint a blameless portrait of Sherman. For pragmatic reasons, Sherman knowingly bypassed Andersonville prison instead of liberating it. In addition, he was less than kind to the newly freed slaves that followed his troops through Georgia. Sherman's contraband policy was to only allow those that could work to stay with the troops, as long as there were enough supplies and food to support their numbers. In one incident, Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis of the Union Army prevented a group of freed slaves from crossing a creek near Savannah on a pontoon bridge with his troops. Several of these freed slaves drowned while trying to swim across the creek, fearing that they would be left behind to be re-enslaved or killed by a group of nearby Confederates. Sherman not only condoned Davis's actions, but also endorsed them. In both of these cases, Bailey argues that Sherman made decisions based on military necessity. He could not take care of a large group of weak and starving prisoners, nor could he feed and support refugees who chose to follow the army. His goal was to complete the march to Savannah, not to care for the people along the way.

When Sherman and his troops finally reached Savannah, they did not harm the city at all. None of the buildings were burned down or destroyed. In fact, Savannah was filled with celebrations in the days following Sherman's arrival. Confederate supporters in the city were allowed to remain in the city peacefully or leave without being harmed. Again, Sherman demonstrated with his actions that he did not wish to physically harm the people of Georgia. His goal was mainly to strike fear in their minds and in the minds of their loved ones far away fighting for the Confederacy. As Sherman himself stated to a southern friend who was living in New York, "you do me but justice in thinking that I am not the scourge and monster that the Southern Press represents me, but that I will take infinitely more delight in curing the wounds made by war, than in inflicting them" (p. 126).

War and Ruin is a concise and well-written summary of Sherman's journey through Georgia in 1864. The advantage of this slim volume is that it is quick and almost effortless to read, owing mainly to Bailey's enjoyable style of writing. She provides just enough description to paint a picture of both Sherman and Georgia that is engaging and not tedious. The shortcoming of the book is that it does not cover any new territory. Many historians have written about this topic in much more thorough detail. This weakness is also a strength, however, in that lay readers and scholars of the Civil War will find this book both understandable and interesting. In addition, the book would be extremely useful for introductory and upper-level courses on the Civil War.
What is different about War and Ruin is Bailey's interesting interpretation of the subject matter. Instead of just summarizing Sherman's March and listing the events that took place along the way, Bailey tells the story through the minds of Georgia's civilians. The parts of the book where she discusses the effects of Sherman's words and the rumors of his deeds on the southern people are the most engaging aspects of the book. In fact, the reader is left desiring more of this kind of information.

Bailey effectively demonstrates that Sherman was not responsible for all of the horrendous things he has been accused of. In doing so, she clearly places this work historiographically in a group of recent studies examining whether or not Sherman introduced "total war" to the South. Like Mark Neely, Mark Grimsley, and Lee Kennett, Bailey does not see the Civil War as a "total war."[1] Sherman's aim was to destroy property, not to take civilian lives. Every action he took had a pragmatic reason behind it. None of these reasons included revenge against the people of Georgia. Sherman realized that in order to become one nation again, these things could not occur. As Bailey concludes, "he had waged war against Southern civilians, but within limits, for true total war would have resulted in an irreparable schism" (p. 138).

[1]. Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Lee Kennett, Marching through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians during Sherman's Campaign (New York: HarperCollins, 1995); and Mark E. Neely Jr., "Was the Civil War a Total War?" Civil War History 37 (1991): 5-28.

Citation: Kathy L. Jones. "Review of Anne J. Bailey, War and Ruin: William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign," H-CivWar, H-Net Reviews, January, 2007. URL:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CWL --- Walking Gettysburg's Battlefield: The Lutheran Seminary Hospital

The Hospital on Seminary Ridge at the Battle of Gettysburg, Michael A. Dreese, McFarland Publishing, Illustrations, maps, notes, appendices, bibliography, index, 200 pp, 2002, hardcover $45.00, 2005 paperback $29.95.

“How goes it?” “Well, John. There’s the devil to pay!” The red brick, 19th century building was made popular by the by the film Gettysburg; its cupola was made iconic by Union generals Buford and Reynolds. The Lutheran Seminary building, now named Schmucker Hall, was one of the centers of learning and religion in the Gettysburg of 1863. Luther probably would not have winced at Buford’s declaration; there is much in Luther’s theology that holds that the Devil indeed would ask to be paid war’s wages.

In this book, Michael Dreese pays homage to the building, the lives, and this particular (using Joshua Chamberlain’s words) ‘vision place of souls.’ A stop on the National Park Service’s real and virtual tours, this four story structure from basement to the attic witnessed the agony or death of slightly less than 1,000 souls.

Dreese’s story begins on March 2, 1826 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Carlisle, Gettysburg and Hagerstown made the short list of locations chosen by the ten founding members of the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In the same spirit that possesses local government today, Adams county residents raised $7,000 in subscriptions for a seminary if the location would be Gettysburg; as an added inducement, the free use of the Adams County Academy building until the seminary structure could be completed was offered. Using short, focused chapters, the author sketches community, church and student leadership and their efforts to found, build and maintain a theological seminary.

Samuel Schmucker, 27 years old founder and 64 year old seminary professor and president during battle, is present on almost 20% of the pages. Charles Krauth, selected for the second professorship in 1850, and his family is similarly covered. All three seminary buildings: Schmucker’s house, Krauth’s house, and the classroom and dormitory are literally soaked in blood during the battle and it’s aftermath. Student members of the 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia have left memoirs that Dreese presents. The McFarland family which lived in the basement of the ‘Old Dorm’ and provided housing, grounds and building maintenance services passed through the battle. As they fled out the front door of the building the Slentz family, tenants of the McPherson farm located to the immediate west of the seminary, ran through the back door and stayed in the Slentz’s apartment.

In detail, the week before and the first day of the battle is covered. Anecdotes of civilians and soldiers reveal seminary students passing through Rebel lines to preach sermons. Henry Jacobs, a student of Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College recalls an 1861 dream that is prescient of July 1, 1863. Lt. Jerome, of the Signal Corps and attached to Buford’s cavalry division, recollects his service in the seminary building’s cupola. The building begins to fill with Federal cavalry wounded then infantry wounded. After 6 pm the Rebels pass through the buildings and steal all the Federal First Corps medical implements and medicines, leaving about 700 wounded and their doctors to their agonies and devices.

During the remainder of the book, Dreese presents stories of desperate doctors treating both Federal and Confederate wounded. As limbs pile up outside of the three buildings, graves are dug in the gardens and yards of the seminary. For the months of July, August and September, the seminary is a war hospital; the U.S. Sanitary Committee and the Christian Commission, a forerunners of the Red Cross, provided food, supplies and staff to care for residents. It is not until October that seminary classes resume.

Dreese’s book is an excellent work. Depending largely on personal recollections found in newspapers of the era, personal diaries, letters and reported conversations, Dreese offers a civilian story well balanced with a military story. Readers of Gettysburg Magazine will find familiar, detailed coverage of battle events and, possibly, unfamiliar coverage of civilian events. Priced somewhat high at $30 for a paperback, it is worth every cent. Those smitten by the events at the Seminary may feel compelled to aid the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation (SRHPR).

Currently, the Old Dorm is occupied by the Adams County Historical Society , which is in its first year of fundraising for a new building to be located east of Barlow’s Knoll. Within five years, it is expected, the Society will be moving and the Preservation Foundation will begin work on the restoration of the building. At this time three of the four floors are open for viewing. The attic is closed uto visitors unless they are on an SRHPF tour. Contributors to the foundation may enter the cupola during SRHPF open houses. The view is one of a kind.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Forthcoming: Stunning Photographs, Crisp Text

In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee: The Wilderness Through Cold Harbor,Gordon C. Rhea (Author), Chris E. Heisey (Photographer), Louisiana State University Press,hardcover, 144 pages, 24 Halftones, 61 Color Illustrations, 15 Maps, September 2007

In early May 1864, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant initiated a drive through central Virginia to crush Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. For forty days, the armies fought a grinding campaign from the Rapidan River to the James River that helped decide the course of the Civil War. Several of the war's bloodiest engagements occurred in this brief period: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor. Pitting Grant and Lee against one another for the first time in the war, the Overland Campaign, as this series of battles and maneuvers came to be called, represents military history at its most intense. In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee, a unique blend of narrative and photographic journalism from Gordon C. Rhea, the foremost authority on the Overland Campaign, and Chris E. Heisey, a leading photographer of Civil War battlefields, provides a stunning, stirring account of this deadly game of wits and will between the Civil War's foremost military commanders.

Here Grant fought and maneuvered to flank Lee out of his heavily fortified earthworks. And here Lee demonstrated his genius as a defensive commander, countering Grant's every move. Adding to the melee were cavalry brawls among the likes of Philip H. Sheridan, George A. Custer, James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart, and Wade Hampton. Forty days of combat produced horrific casualties, some 55,000 on the Union side and 35,000 on the Confederate. By the time Grant crossed the James and began the Siege of Petersburg, marking an end to this maneuver, both armies had sustained significant losses that dramatically reduced their numbers.

Rhea provides a rich, fast-paced narrative, movingly illustrated by more than sixty powerful color images from Heisey, who captures the many moods of these hallowed battlegrounds as they appear today. Heisey made scores of visits to the areas where Grant and Lee clashed, giving special attention to lesser-known sites on byways and private property. He captures some of central Virginia's most stunning landscapes, reminding us that though battlefields conjure visions of violence, death, and sorrow, they can also be places of beauty and contemplation. Accompanying the modern pictures are more than twenty contemporary photographs taken during the campaign or shortly afterwards, some of them never before published.

At once an engaging military history and a vivid pictorial journey, In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee offers a fresh vision of some of the country's most significant historic sites.

The Authors
Gordon C. Rhea is the author of four books on the Overland Campaign: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864; The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern, May 7-12, 1864; To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864; and Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864. He is currently writing the fifth and concluding volume in the series. A frequent lecturer on military history and a practicing attorney, he lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, with his wife and two sons.

Chris E. Heisey is coauthor of Gettysburg: This Hallowed Ground. He is a photojournalist for the Roman Catholic Diocese in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and lives in Mechanicsburg with his wife and son. [text supplied by publisher]

CWL --- Personal Shock and Awe: Sharpshooters, Army of Northern Virginia

Shock Troops of the Confederacy: The Sharpshooter Battalions of the Army of Northern Virginia, Fred L. Ray, CFS Press, hardcover, maps, illustrations, index, notes, 432 pages, 2006, $35.

"Thoroughly researched. " "Offers new material on the common soldier." "Worth every penny." "Wonderful to read." Ever use remarks like this about a book? If so, have you used each of them for the same book? Well, you can say each of those things about Fred Ray's Shock Troops of the Confederacy.

New: Sharpshooters, please. Not Snipers.

U. S. Sharpshooters: Berdan's Civil War Elite, Roy M. Marcot, Stackpole Books hardcover, 128 pages, 28 color photos, 127 b/w photos, 14 drawings, 4 paintings, 1 map, index, no endnotes,$30 (Summer 2007)

This detailed and beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Col. Hiram Berdan s brilliant conception: the U.S. Sharpshooters, a specialized 2-regiment unit of marksmen recruited from the farming and backwoods communities of the North. Known for their distinctive green uniforms, Sharps breech-loading rifles, and risky tactics, the Sharpshooters fought at battles such as the Peninsula, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. The book covers their training, tactics, and weapons and is a must-have for Civil War enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of special forces. Features paintings by acclaimed Civil War artist Don Troiani.

Roy Marcot has written several books, including Remington: America's Oldest Gunmaker, The History of Remington Firearms, and Hiram Berdan: Chief of Sharpshooters. He is a member of the American Society of Arms Collectors. Text From Publisher

Forthcoming: Classic Antietam Study

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman's Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam, Ezra A. Carman, Joseph Pierro, ed., Routledge Publishing, hardcover, fall 2007.

Batchelder never wrote his book on Gettysburg but Ezra Carman wrote his book on Antietam. Antietam/Sharpsburg scholars have told me they are anxious to get their hands on the Carman study of the campaign. The publisher has a release date of August 2007 and a cover, but no information on maps, illustrations, page numbers, index, endnotes, etc. The publisher will be updating me on the details and the arrival of the book. At $95 I expect that the book will be in hardcover for a long while and the paperback is in the far distant future. Write Santa.

Monday, May 21, 2007

CWL --- Too Fond of War: What Was R. E. Lee Thinking?

"We Should Grow Too Fond of It": Why We Love the Civil War, Drew Gilpin Faust, Civil War History, Volume 50, Number 4, 2004, pp. 368-383.

His exact words were not written down at the time they were uttered and to whom they were addressed never reported them. Douglas Southall Freeman, a Lee biographer, wrote the famous version of the remark, "It is well that war is so terrible--we should grow too fond of it." He may have found it in John Esten Cooke's 1871 biography of Lee or in Edward Porter Alexander's Military Memoirs of a Confederate. This path of attribution was described in Gary Gallagher's 1995 book, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock.

If we, like Robert E. Lee, recognize that war is "both terrible and alluring" and full of both honor and horror then we may understand why we love the American Civil War. Many readers have been motivated to look critically at the attraction of war after they have read Dispatches, Michael Herr's 'unflinching ... portrait of the horror" of the Vietnam War. This author returns from the war changed "like everyone else who has been through a war: changed, englared and ...incomplete...coming to miss the life so acutely.... A few extreme cases felt that the experience there had been a glorious one, while most of us felt that it had been merely wonderful. I think the Vietnam was what we had instead of happy childhoods." (382-383)

Writers and storytellers(here I am thinking of Ron Maxwell's films)have made war possible from ancient days(thank you Homer for the Illiad and the Odessy) to the present. War can be idealized and romanticized. For Faust, 'war by its very definition is a story.' War imposes an 'orderly narrative on what without its definition of purpose and structure would be simply violence.'
Robert E. Lee loved war because of its stories, ones in which he had been a character in the Mexican-American War and ones that he, and the Army of Northern Virginia, were creating in December 1862. The terribleness of war became very real to Robert E. Lee in the late afternoon of July 3, 1863 and, I suspect, his fondness for the war's story drained away, even to his very last day on earth.

Help Note: This chapter can be obtained by using your local library's inter-library loan services or by contacting me.

Now Available: Three Books about Civilians on Both Sides of the Mason Dixon Line

Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War, A. Wilson Greene,
Hardcover, 384 pages, University of Virginia Press (Spring, 2007), ISBN: 0813925703

In the past ten years, the urban and civilian aspect of the American Civil War has started to be addressed. Gettysburg, Atlanta, New York City, Charleston, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Pittsburgh, and Knoxville have been received attention. Greene, historian working at Pamplin Park, Virginia and author of essays considering the character and memory Stonewall Jackson, addresses the urban wartime history of Peterburg, Virginia

Few wartime cities in Virginia held more importance than Petersburg. It's written history has lacked both an adequate military and civilian home front work. The noted Civil War historian A. Wilson Greene now provides an expertly researched and eloquently written study of the Virginia city that was second only to Richmond in size and strategic significance. Industrial, commercial, and extremely prosperous, Petersburg was home to a large African American community, including the state's highest percentage of free blacks.

On the eve of the Civil War, the city elected a conservative, pro-Union approach to the sectional crisis. Little more than a month before Virginia's secession did Petersburg finally express pro-Confederate sentiments, at which point the city threw itself wholeheartedly into the effort, with large numbers of both white and black men serving. Over the next four years, Petersburg's citizens watched their once-beautiful city become first a conduit for transient soldiers from the Deep South, then an armed camp, and finally the focus of one of the Civil War's most physically and environmentally damaging campaigns.

At war's end, Petersburg's antebellum prosperity evaporated under pressures from inflation, chronic shortages, and the extensive damage done by Union artillery shells. Greene's book tracks both Petersburg's civilian experience and the city's place in Confederate military strategy and civilian administration. Employing unpublished sources, the book weaves a uniquely personal story of thousands of citizen-free blacks, slaves and their holders, factory owners, merchants-all of whom shared a singular experience in Civil War Virginia.

A People at War: Civilians and Soldiers in America's Civil War, Scott R. Nelson and Carol Sheriff, Hardcover: 384 pages, Oxford University Press, $25.00 (Spring 2007)

Claiming more than 600,000 lives, the American Civil War had a devastating impact on countless numbers of common soldiers and civilians, even as it brought freedom to millions. This book shows how average Americans coped with despair as well as hope during this vast upheaval.

A People at War brings to life the full humanity of the war's participants, from women behind their plows to their husbands in army camps; from refugees from slavery to their former masters; from Mayflower descendants to freshly recruited Irish sailors. We discover how people confronted their own feelings about the war itself, and how they coped with emotional challenges (uncertainty, exhaustion, fear, guilt, betrayal, grief) as well as physical ones (displacement, poverty, illness, disfigurement). The book explores the violence beyond the battlefield, illuminating the sharp-edged conflicts of neighbor against neighbor, whether in guerilla warfare or urban riots.

The authors travel as far west as China and as far east as Europe, taking us inside soldiers' tents, prisoner-of-war camps, plantations, tenements, churches, Indian reservations, and even the cargo holds of ships. They stress the war years, but also cast an eye at the tumultuous decades that preceded and followed the battlefield confrontations. An engrossing account of ordinary people caught up in life-shattering circumstances, A People at War captures how the Civil War rocked the lives of rich and poor, black and white, parents and children--and how all these Americans pushed generals and presidents to make the conflict a people's war.

Scott Nelson is Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction and Steel Drivin' Man: The Untold Story of John Henry and the Birth of an American Legend. Carol Sheriff is Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary. She is the author of The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862. (Text supplied by the publisher.)

Torn Families: Death And Kinship at the Battle of Gettysburg, Michael A. Dreese, McFarland Publishing, 232 pp. Spring 2007

The Battle of Gettysburg lasted only three days but involved more than 160,000 soldiers-Union and Confederate. Seven thousand died outright on the battlefield; hundreds more later succumbed to their wounds. For each of these soldiers, family members somewhere waited anxiously. Some went to Gettysburg themselves in search of their wounded loved ones. Some were already present as soldiers themselves. In this book are extraordinary-and sometimes heartbreaking-stories of the strength of family ties during the Battle of Gettysburg. Fathers and mothers, siblings and spouses all suffered together, even as they drew strength from one another. Their stories are told here with the help of excerpts from diaries, letters and other correspondence, which provide a first-hand account of the human drama of Gettsyburg on the battlefield and the home front. (Information taken from publisher)

Michael A. Dreese is the author of five books: 'The Hospital on Seminary Ridge at the Battle of Gettysburg' (2002) and 'The 151st Pennsylvania Volunteers at Gettysburg' (2000), 'This Flag Never Goes Down!: 40 Stories of Confederate Battle Flags and Color Bearers at the Battle of Gettysburg' (2004), 'Never Desert the Old Flag!: 50 Stories of Union Battle Flags and Color-Bearers at Gettysburg' (2002) and 'An Imperishable Fame: The Civil War Experience of George Fisher McFarland' (1997).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Forthcoming: Virginian for the Union

George Thomas: Virginian for the Union, Christopher J. Einolf, University of Oklahoma Press, 416 pp., 16 b/w illustrations, 12 maps, $29.95. (November 2007)

Most Southerners in the U.S. Army resigned their commissions to join the Confederacy in 1861. But at least one sone of a distinguished, slaveholding Virginia family remained loyal to the Union. George H. Thomas fought for the North and secured key victories at Chickamauga and Nashville. Thomas's wartime experiences transformed him from a slaveholder to a defender of civil rights.

Remembered as the "Rock of Chickamauga," Thomas became one of the most prominent Union generals and was even considered for overall command of the Union Army in Virginia. Yet he has been eclipsed by such names as Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan.

Offering vivid accounts of combat, Einolf depicts the fighting from Thomas's perspective to allow a unique look at the real experience of decision making on the battlefield. He examines the general's recurring confrontations with the Union high command to make a strong case for Thomas's integrity and competence, even as he exposes Thomas's shortcomings and poor decisions. The result is a more balanced, nuanced picture than has previously been available.

Probing Thomas's perosn character, Einolf reveals how a son of the South could oppose the views of friends and family. George Thomas: Virginian for the Union offers a fresh appraisal of an important career and lends new insight into the inner conflicts of the Civil War. (Text supplied by the publisher)

Monday, May 14, 2007

CWL --- What the Soldiers Really Saw At Gettysburg

Farms At Gettysburg, The Fields of Battle: Selected Images From the Adams County Historical Society, Timothy H. Smith, Thomas Publications, 2007, paperback $9.95

With this book, Timothy Smith continues sharing his successful search for photographs of the Gettysburg battlefield. These nearly 100 black and white photographs, with their extensive captions, reveal what the soldiers of 1863 saw and what they returned to during their post-war reunions. 'Farms At Gettysburg' is essential for anyone reading a general history of the battle or anyone preparing for the licensed battlefield guide exam. With this book, a visitor to the battlefield may be able stand in a particular spot and successfully imagine the soldiers view. The well written text is accessible to readers age 12 and above.

Forthcoming: The Maps of Gettysburg

The Maps of Gettysburg: The Gettysburg Campaign, June 3 - July 13, 1863, Bradley Gottfried, Savas Beatie Publishing, hardcover, 384 pages, $35.00 (June 2007)

More academic and photographic accounts on the battle of Gettysburg exist than for all other battles of the Civil War combined-and for good reason. The three-days of maneuver, attack, and counterattack consisted of literally scores of encounters, from corps-size actions to small unit engagements. Despite all its coverage, Gettysburg remains one of the most complex and difficult to understand battles of the war. The Maps Gettysburg: The Gettysburg Campaign, June 3 - July 13, 1863, by Bradley Gottfried offers a unique approach to the study of this multifaceted engagement.

The Maps of Gettysburg plows new ground in the study of the campaign by breaking down the entire campaign in 140 detailed original maps. These cartographic originals bore down to the regimental level, and offer Civil Warriors a unique and fascinating approach to studying the always climactic battle of the war.

The Maps of Gettysburg offers thirty "action-sections" comprising the entire campaign. These include the march to and from the battlefield, and virtually every significant event in between. Gottfried's original maps (from two to as many as twenty) enrich each "action-section." Keyed to each piece of cartography is detailed text that includes hundreds of soldiers' quotes that make the Gettysburg story come alive. This presentation allows readers to easily and quickly find a map and text on virtually any portion of the campaign, from the cavalry drama at Brandy Station on June 9, to the last Confederate withdrawal of troops across the Potomac River on July 15, 1863. Serious students of the battle will appreciate the extensive and authoritative endnotes. They will also want to bring the book along on their trips to the battlefield.

Perfect for the easy chair or for stomping the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, The Maps of Gettysburg promises to be a seminal work that belongs on the bookshelf of every serious and casual student of the battle.

Bradley M. Gottfried holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Miami University. He has worked in higher education for more than three decades as a faculty member and administrator. He is currently President of the College of Southern Maryland. An avid Civil War historian, Dr. Gottfried is the author of five books: The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guided Tour (1998); Stopping Pickett: The History of the Philadelphia Brigade (1999); Brigades of Gettysburg (2002); Roads to Gettysburg (2002); and Kearny's Own: The History of the First New Jersey Brigade (2005). He is currently working with Theodore P. Savas on a Gettysburg Campaign Encyclopedia.
(Text supplied by publisher)

Forthcoming: 100 Things to Know

The Battle of Gettysburg: 100 Things to Know, Sandy Allison, Stackpole Books, paperback, 80 pp., $9.95 (July 2007)

Well, a couple of thoughts:

only 100 things?

by an author whose previous works are on stained glass making and backyard bird feeding?

couldn't a licensed battlefield guide have be found with some spare time during the winter?

Preview on doesn't state whether the book has illustrations or maps.

Probable market is k-12 teachers who need to make crossword puzzles for the student field trip. And that is an important readership! I've held that job and have done just that!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Off Topic, Novel: Mercury Visions and the Human Heart

The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre: A Novel, Dominic Smith, 320 pages,
Atria/Washington Square Press, 2006/2007, hardcover/paperback, $24.00/$14.00

This novel peers into the mind and heart of the mid-19th-century French genius who invented the daguerreotype and into the mind and heart of a woman who refuses to be loved. In this story, the celebrated photographer Louis Daguerre suffers from the effects of the mercury process that creates the first photographs. He imagines of the end of the world, and launches on a quest to record a series of 10 images before the apocalypse.

Using an extended flashback, the author describes the intellectual progress, persistent experimentation and the physical hazards that Daguerre must surmount in order to achieve the breakthrough discovery before his competitors do. Smith renders an engaging portrait of Daguerre and his thinking, within a backstory of tumultuous times of political and social revolution.

Near the end of his career and fame, Daguerre enlists the help of bohemian poet Charles Baudelaire to help him find the settings of the portfolio, and together they prowl the underside of Paris in search of several of Daguerre's subjects and settings, including a beautiful naked woman, the perfect Parisian boulevard, and Daguerre's childhood friend and long-lost love, Isobel Le Fournier. As young adults, he held deep affections for her but she refused to be loved by him.

While visiting a Parisian brothel with Baudelaire, Daguerre encounters Isobel's daughter Chloe, who becomes the beautiful naked model in the photographer's portfolio. In addition, Smith details elements of two women's lives. The daughter rejects the mother because of the mother's rejection of romantic love; the mother rejects the unconditional love of a suitor because she does not believe that love is real.

Daguerre does achieve his portofolio before his own personal apocaplyse arrives, brought about by the mercury vapors of the photographic process. Besides being a rewarding experience, for the sake of the history of photography, the novel is also teaches, for this reader, something new about the human heart.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Forthcoming: The Age of Lincoln

THE AGE OF LINCOLN, Orville Vernon Burton, Hill and Wang Publishers, 432 pp, $27.00, Summer 2007.

(text from the publisher) Stunning in its breadth and conclusions, The Age of Lincoln is a fiercely original history of the five decades that pivoted around the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Abolishing slavery, though extraordinary, was not this age’s most profound accomplishment. The enduring legacy of the age was inscribing personal liberty into the nation’s millennial aspirations.

America has always perceived providence in its progress, but in the 1840s and 1850s, a pessimism accompanied a marked extremism. With all sides claiming God’s blessing, irreconcilable freedoms collided; despite historic political compromises, the middle ground collapsed. In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian Orville Vernon Burton shows how the President’s Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right protected by the rule of law. In the violent decades that followed, the extent of that freedom would be contested by racism and unregulated capitalism, but not its central place in what defined the country. (text from the publisher) blurbs from McPherson, Donald, Foner, Wyatt-Brown.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

CWL --- And Then There Were None: The 20th Massachusetts at War

Harvard's Civil War: A History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Miller, Richard F.,University Press of New England, maps, photographs, end notes, selected bibliography and index, 530 pp, $35.00, 2005.

James McPherson tells a story of a commander of the 101st Airborne, who while taking a tour of Antietam and viewing the Sunken Road, stated that "You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that." 'Like that' meant the 50% casualties that Union regiments suffered at the center of the Confederate line.
Why not? Is it because neither the soldiers nor the public would tolerate casualties of that magnitude?

McPherson suggests that the wrong question is being asked. The 1st Texas at Antietam, the 1st Minnesota and the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg suffered 80%+ casualties. What motivated these men and how did they endure the losses and return to battle? These are question McPherson has addressed in several books and articles.

Richard F. Miller in Harvard's Civil War offers a particular understanding of leadership as the answer to the question of motivation. The ideals of sacrifice, honor and duty, embodied in classical education of the era, were carried by the eight officers of the 20th Massachusetts Regiment who were killed in battle and the many who were wounded and the very few who were unscathed. Many of these men were descendants of the Revolutionary generation. Did the enlisted men, the non-commissioned officers and the commissioned officers disagree about slavery, about emancipation and about Lincoln's war aims and policies. Certainly. Yet the steadfastness and courage in battle of the 20th Massachusetts remained unaffected by the arguments over tactics, strategy and policy. The enlisted men did not select the commissioned officers; it was the prerogative of Massachusetts governor John Andrew to do so.

But these ideals were not limited to those with shoulder boards. John Kelliher, bootmaker in civilian life, first sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the 20th Massachusetts, was wounded at Spotsylvania in 1864; his lower jaw, an arm and shoulder blade, a portion of the clavicle, and two ribs were removed. In six months returned to the regiment as a major and finished the war in the active ranks.

Richard F. Miller's story of the 20th Massachusetts is among the best regimental histories that have been produced in the last 20 years but there are distractions between its covers. The book is not really about Harvard's Civil War. The institution is used as a frame for Miller's picture of the regiment. This book is not a history or biography of Harvard alumni. The ending of the story is rushed. In one paragraph, the 20th moves through 2nd Hatcher's Run in February 1865 to Farmville, Virginia, April 6th 1865. This paragraph is the fourth from the last paragraph of the book. Though the first chapter is entitled July 21 1865 and recounts the reception of Harvard's alumni who were now veterans of the war, it is not a fit as the end of the regiment's story.

Helpful for the reader would have been a chronology, a roster, and a brief section dealing what became of the significant surviving men and officers after the war. The maps are satisfactory as are the 34 photographic portraits of men of the regiment.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Forthcoming: Women in the American Civil War

Women in the American Civil War, Volumes 1 & 2, Lisa Tendrich Frank, ed., ABC-CLIO Press, November, 2007, $195.00

These volumes provide 400 entries of individuals, organizations, issues and roles of women. Twelve essays address women in the North and South, slave and free, before, during and after the war. The books also include portions of documents, diaries and letters.

Forthcoming: The Army of the Northern Virginia, Social and Institutional History

The Army of Northern Virginia: A Social and Institutional History, J. Tracy Power, 333 pp., ABC-CLIO Press, December 2007, hardcover, $85.00

Thsi introductory volume features a chronology of the army's history from its orgins in 1861 until is surrender in a 1865. Also, the book contains photographs, paintings, and engravings of the army's generals, officers and enlisted men, their weapons and uniforms. Significant battles and other incidents in the army's history is covered. Theater maps of northern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania along with maps of the army's campaigns and battles are included.

CWL --- The Story That Jackson Would Not Have Read: Sexual Misbehavior in the Civil War

Sexual Misbehavior in the Civil War: A Compendium, Thomas P. Lowry, 337 pp., index, endnotes, appendices, illus., Xlibris, 2007, $22.99.

Prostitution, rape, masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality, bad language and even a short history of illegal sexual behavior before, during and shortly after 1863 in Adams County, Pennsylvania are presented in 1,036 true stories gathered by Thomas Lowry. Delving into the National Archives, the Library of Congress and sundry other state and local libraries, Lowry has previously produced books on military justice, medical malpractice and sexual behavior. He has established a database of 90,000+ court-martial records of the Civil War era.

Reading this manuscript before its publication James I. Robertson, noted author of a biography of Stonewall Jackson, and Robert K. Krick, esteemed author of books on Stonewall Jackson's strategy and tactics, are enthralled with 'Sexual Misbehavior in the Civil War. "No historical endeavor delights me nearly as one that displays rich original material," blurbs Krick and this book for him is a significant contribution to the field of Civil War history. Robertson crows that Lowry's new book is "a necessary conpendium for any serious student of Civil War history." Possibly, 'Sexual Behavior in the Civil War' is the book that Stonewall Jackson wouldn't have read. Lowry addresses prostitution and rape in 19 chapters and covers it by state and region. Masturbation, homosexuality, bestiality, bad language, and Adams County are addressed with individual chapters.

The last chapter, A Vast Miscellany, contains a truely ghastly photograph of a victim of syphilis, clever horseshoe art, detailed minie ball sculptures, and casual coin disfigurement. As with any compendium, the reader should ask, "Is this trivia or is this obscure information?" Trivia is entertaining; obscure information is a detail that speaks to a larger and pertinent truth. Taken anecdote by anecdote, 'Sexual Behavior in the Civil War' presents trivia; yet, organized as it is, 'Sexual Behavior in the Civil War' presents obscure information that reveals that passion leads men to commit acts that are unlawful, stupid, and dangerous. Working from courts-martial records and surgeon general reports, Lowry has discovered that there were 183,000 reported cases of venereal disease in the Union army and that California regiments had infection rates of about 50%. Most prostitutes died in their mid-twenties as sufferers of alcoholism, syphilis and morphine addiction.

Lowry states that "it is apparent that the author (Lowry) has offered little in the way of comment, analysis or editorializing. This book is not a book of analysis, nor would the sheer volume of material allow for such pontificating." (p. 14) What value the book gives, is directed to academicians and graduate students. He sees it as a type of Rosetta Stone, a "vast finding aid for future research, a beginning point for monogpraphs, dissertations and other learned works." Lowry quoutes Lincoln (p.7), "sexual contact is a harp of a thousand strings." This book will play many melodies for many casual readers and diligent researchers.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CWL --- Unconquerable Rebels: Self-Deluded? Faithful to God?

Religious Belief and Troop Motivation: "For the Smiles of My Blessed Saviour," Jason Phillips, in Virginia's Civil War, Wallenstein and Wyatt-Brown, eds., Univesity of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 101-113.

The movements of a soul can be glacially slow, covering years. Captain Joseph Manson, 12th Virginia Regiment, instead of detailing camp life and the movements of regiments, described his "search for God and salvation beyond the terrors of war." Many soldiers stated that they wished to die facing the enemy; conversely, Manson hoped to be found at the moment of death facing "towards the Celestial City & my Armor on." Beginning the chronicle of his soul while in the summer trenches of Petersburg, Manson like many others in those trenches pondered religion because it afforded to gifts: an explanation which made sense out of war and a code of behavior to guide them through vices of camp life and the mortal peril of combat.

In Jason Phillips' essay on CSA troop motivation, the conviction that God would deliver indendence to the South is considered. The belief was embedded deeply into the soil of Southern religious culture. The Confederate nation came to be viewed as being sacred, that is set aside for a special destiny. In part, this belief motivated Southern troops. Nineteenth century Christians understood that God was an active force in the affairs of the nation; these Christians believed that God governs the universe, constantly improving it until it reaches a conclusive end. For them all history is the progess of Providence toward a Judgement Day that marks the final triumph of good over evil.

Phillips cites literature of the time as presenting that the "only proper view of this Revolution, is that which regards its a a child of Providence." Wearing these worldview spectacles, religious Southerners understood the carnage to be directed by spiritual agents and felt that they were pawns in the hand of a higher power. This reader recalls several of Robert E. Lee's remarks that reflect these sentiments. CSA soldiers, to a degree, were fatalists. "In a world where God's hand touched everything, a person's conduct could have far-reaching consequences," states Phillips.

The notion that God would trick and forsake the Confederacy was unthinkable. Confederates believed that the work of Providence would ensure Confederate victory and that Confederates were holier than the Yankees. These beliefs fostered the conviction that CSA soldiers were invincible. For many pastors in the South, God was unknowable but Providence was evidence of his movement. Providence's progress would be aided by the repetentant hearts of the soldiers.

Posssessing this point of view, the Confederate soldier repented and followed Providence, even into their deaths. The Army of Northern Virginia passed through three revivals: autumn 1862, and the winters of 1863-1864 and 1864-1865. Many CSA soldiers persisted beyond the point of logical endurance and optimism. Was the "unconquerable mentality a product of wartime self-delusion" or a product of Southern religious beliefs? Historian Reid Mitchell has calls it "insane Confederate optimism"; historian Richard Beringer has labels it "unrealistic bravado." (p. 110)

Phillips sees Confederate religion encouraging self-delusion, escapism and unwarranted optimism. Was the Confederate acceptance of their own invincibility insane and unrealistic?
"Our knowledge of psychology and the war's outcome must not supplant the fact that Confederates had a worldview different from our own today." Phillips understands that the Confederate worldview ill prepared them for the war's outcome; but the worldview's optimism was consistent with their religion. The naval blockade, the disintegration of slavery, and the deficient of supplies and manpower could be overcome by Providence so as to meet Providence's goals.

For this reader, the Confederate faith is similar to the faith of John Brown of Harper's Ferry fame. David Reynolds' John Brown, Abolitionist (2005) and John Stauffer's The Black Hearts of Abolitionists (2002) thoroughly describe the worldview of the abolitionists. Historians, writing from 1900 to 1975 found John Brown to be insane; currently there is little academic doubt that Brown was sane and believed that Providence would find a way to free the slaves.
Confederates were sane and believed that Providence would sustain the Confederacy's independence. Currently, this reader is looking for an essay entitled God's Will and Northern War Aims.

Thinking about that topic, maybe the essay has already been written and it's entitled The Second Inaugural Address delivered in March 1865.

CWL --- A Thin Line: Christian Love, Christian Hate

Christian Love and Marital Violence: Baptists and War--Danger and Opportunities, Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh, in Virginia's Civil War, Wallenberg and Wyatt-Brown, eds., Univesity of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 87-100.

Of all Virginians who were church members, 42% were Baptists; Virginia Baptists represented a substantial segment of white popular opinion during the war. Reconciling Christian love with state sanctioned violence was a delimma that fostered both despair for the cause of Christ and hatred for Northerners. The Army of Northern Virginia's religious revivals during winter encampments helped Baptists set aside their despair but not their hatred.

Before, during and after the 1860 presidential election, Baptist clergy were extremely reluctant to to engage in open political activity. During this season, pastors offer jeremiads, the style and content of which harkened back to sermons preached in colonial New England. Special destinies were linked to special obligations. Unfulfilled obligations merited punishments. Punishments led to penitance; penitance led to awakenings. From Baptist pulpits, jeremiads supported the cause of Unionism during 1860 and early 1861. The political faith of the Virginia Founding Fathers was the cause of Unionism. Falling away from this political faith would bring about punishments.

Despite their avoidance of politics before Lincoln's April 17 call for troops, the pastors embraced the rebellion the President's line in the sand. "Evangelicalism and Confederate nationalism were intertwined in a complex braid of meaning and causality . . . ." states the author. He dismisses Charles Royster's contention that Southerners had a Bible-generated tendency toward the acceptance of violence. Royster sees violence being moved forward by the Biblical notion of atonement, "a sacramental mystery, the central act of which is bloodshed." What Royster proports, Virginia Baptists deny. They do not exalt military slaughter as a necessary religious sacrafice states Hsieh.

Baptist clergymen did not call "for destructive and patriotic warfare but for a cautious recognition that the ends of God and man" may be vastly different. Did Virginia Baptists see the war as a means for atoning for sin? No. Did the Virginia Baptists see the war as a "stimulant for sin and demoraliztion? Yes. The occassion of war was an occassion full of temptations.
Drunkeness, gambling, immoral sexual behavior, and swearing were soldier's vices. The influence of hearth and family for moral behavior was absent in soldiers' camps. Separation from the home community was a separation from the affections, sympathies and influences of the Christian family.

Baptist authors feared that Southerners at war would fail to keep half of the Golden Rule. Love your enemy, even though he was a Federal soldier. Christians would have to be careful while striking the enemy; it must be done in the spirit of the Master. If this spirit was lacking, then hope for the Master's help would be disappointed. Conversely, some pastors would embrace the bloodlust of the war. F. McCarthy, a civilian minister who joined the CSA army possibly as an enlisted man, wrote to a Baptist newspaper in Richmond, "if any Southern man lacks the anger
. . . to march to the battlefield and butcher the monsters that have invaded our soil . . . [he should sit and reflect uopon the] putrid qualities of the Northern heart and their base designs upon us and ours . . . [and] no chain will be strong enough to keep him from their throats."

Most ministers understood salvation would not be enhanced by destructive bloodletting, but would be advanced though revival in the camps. In the late fall of 1962, and during the winters of 1863-1864 and 1864-1865, revivals swept through the Army of Northern Virginia. Though spiritually revived, did the Rebel army begin to lose battles because it had lost divine favor?

Historians Drew Gilpin Faust, Harry Stout, and Richard Grasso show that the answer is No. Revival buttressed Confederate nationalism, even during days of defeat. The author believes that Virginia Baptist pastors never wavered in support of the Confederate cause and deeply mourned its destruction. After the war, he finds no pastor declaring that God had judged the South, the arm of the Lord was the Federal army, and that punishment occured when Southern property was destroyed and Southern slaves were freed.