The NYMAS Newsletter

Summer 1998

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A Publication of

The New York Military Affairs Symposium

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© 1998 NYMAS & The Authors

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Special Civil War Issue

 

The volume of books being published on the Civil War almost seems to exceed that of works dealing with all other conflicts combined. This has left the Editor with a substantial backlog of Civil War materials. As a result, it seems appropriate to devote this issue of The NYMAS Newsletter to the nation’s epic conflict.

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Feature Review

 

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War

by James M. McPherson.

 

Reviewed by Richard L. DiNardo

 

Perhaps the historiography of no war has been as focused on the men in the ranks as has that of the American Civil War. Bell Wiley began the trend with his two famous works, The Life of Billy Yank and The Life of Johnny Reb.

Thereafter a number of historians have weighed in on this subject, including James 1. Robertson, Reid Mitchell and most recently Gerald F. Linderman and Earl J. Hess. Now James M. McPherson has produced a very fine piece of work on this topic.

Much like Hess' book on the Union soldier in combat, McPherson seems to be taking issue with Linderman's book Embattled Courage. In For Cause and Comrades, McPherson limits his subject to the motivation of the men who fought on both sides. Like Hess, McPherson regards the Civil War as a much more ideological struggle than has previously been thought. Going through the letters and diaries of over a thousand soldiers from both armies (429 Confederate and 647 Union), McPherson has done a most impressive job in researching the motivations of the men who were on both sides of the firing line.

McPherson carefully discusses the ideological factors that motivated men to fight and withstand the stress of battle. Of particular importance for McPherson is religion, a factor in American life and the Civil War that was completely lost on Ken Burns in his documentary. Also receiving careful attention are the factors of support from home, the concept of liberty as seen by Union and Confederate soldiers and the concepts of patriotism, courage and honor, which McPherson finds, contrary to Linderman, still held as much importance in 1864 as they did in 1861.

Consistent with his other works, McPherson stresses the importance of slavery as one of the principal ideological considerations as to why men fought. McPherson argues, convincingly in my opinion, that while many Union soldiers did not initially fight the war to end slavery, many did become convinced abolitionists by 1863-1864. His arguments about the motivations of the average Confederate soldiers who did not own slaves are less convincing. He holds that, because most non-slave holding Confederate soldiers did not mention slavery as a motivation to fight, they simply accepted slavery as the natural order of things, which I find a bit of an intellectual reach. His use of "Herrenvolk democracy" to describe this strikes me as a rather infelicitous turn of phrase, surprising in a book marked by very carefully crafted prose.

Taken all together, however, this is a very good piece of work, marked by the kind of quality we have normally come to expect from this very fine scholar.

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War by James M. McPherson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 237 pp. Append., biblio., index. $25.00 . ISBN: 0-19-509023-3.

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"Can I Have My Change in Sergeants?"

 

Soon after the Civil War broke out, both sides began taking prisoners. In the ancient tradition of warfare, they soon negotiated what was called an "exchange cartel,." an agreement to exchange prisoners.

A lot of complex negotiations went into the the exchange cartel. Normally, captured troops were "paroled" almost as soon as they were taken. That is, they signed a pledge not to engage in hostilities until exchanged. They would then be released, usually to reside in a training camp behind their own lines, or even to take a short leave. Sooner or later they would be notified that they had been exchanged, which would permit them to return to active duty.

Exchanges were made on the basis of rank, man for man. Of course it wasn’t always the case that one side’s bag of prisoners exactly balanced the other’s in terms of rank. So an elaborate table of "equivalencies" was developed.

 

Rank Value _

Pvt. 1 Private

NCO 2 Privates

2nd Lt. 3 Privates

1st Lt. 4 Privates

Capt. 6 Privates

Maj. 8 Privates

Lt. Col. 10 Privates

Col. 15 Privates

Brig. Gen. 20 Privates

Maj. Gen. 30 Privates

Lt. Gen. 40 Privates *

Gen. 60 Privates *

 

With this "price list" it was possible to calculate the value of one’s prisoners. In that way one could swap a major general for a lieutenant colonel, two captains, and eight privates. But one wonders if a major general really was worth 30 privates?

The exchange cartel began to break down in 1863, when the Confederacy refused to exchange black Union troops on a man-for-man basis.

 

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Reviews

 

A History of the Confederate Navy, by Raimondo Luraghi, translated by Paolo E. Coletta. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1996. xx, 514 pp. Illus, maps, notes, biblio., index. $45.00. ISBN: 1-55750-527-6.

Raimondo Luraghi, the author of a best selling Italian language history of the American Civil War, here attempts to tell the complete story of the Confederate Navy. The book has a great deal of useful material, notably some excellent personal profiles of people from the Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory down to individual officers. It also has a good account of operations, though the battle pieces are often quite uneven, with minor actions often given more space than major ones.

However, the work is flawed on several levels. Luraghi has an affection for "The Lost Cause," and it gets in the way of his work. The book has a distinctly Confederate tone. Thus, Union seamen are always "panicked" and "dismayed" when their greyclad opponents undertake some daring venture. Luraghi often comments on Union "violations" of the "law of nations," as for example when Union commanders put Confederate P/Ws to work clearing land mines, and goes out of his way to mention the occasional black sailor in Confederate service; There is, by the way, no mention of Robert Small’s gallant feat in stealing the steamer Planter from Charleston while escaping from slavery in the Confederate Navy.

Worse, there are some highly dubious conclusions, such as:

1) The ironclad Virginia won its duel with the Union Monitor, which seems hardly supportable by the evidence,

2) The Union blockade was a failure, though Luraghi fails to back this conclusion up with any statistics, and,

3) The Union "stumbled upon" a strategy of amphibious operations, hardly reconcilable with the fact that the first such operations took place within a couple of months of the onset of hostilities.

There are also some serious technical errors. For example, Luraghi several times suggests that 11-inch and 15-inch Civil War cannon were comparable with World War II pieces of those calibers.

The definitive history of the Confederate Navy has yet to be written.

--A.A. Nofi

 

The Irish Brigade in the Civil War: The 69th New York and Other Irish Regiments of the Army of the Potomac, by Joseph G. Bilby. Conshohocken, Pa: Combined Publishing 1998. xii, 269 pp. Illus, maps, append., tables, notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN: 0-938289-97-7.

A new history of one of the most famous ethnic organizations of the Civil War, the "Irish Brigade," would at first glance seem superfluous, given the old, but excellent The Irish Brigade and Its Campaigns by David F. Conyngham (Boston: Patrick Donahoe, 1869) and several other treatments. Nevertheless, Joseph G. Bilby has made an important contribution in retelling the story of the brigade, its components, the 63rd, 69th, and 88th New York, 28th Massachusetts, and 116th Pennsylvania.

By drawing upon materials not available to earlier researchers, Bilby is able to retell the story of the brigade’s experiences with greater accuracy, no small task since it’s battles read like a record of the Civil War in the East, from Bull Run to Appomatox, with a particularly notable performance at Fredericksburg. He also provides considerably more background, discussing not only some of the more notable soldiers of the brigade, such as its founder and first commander, Thomas Francis Meagher, but also some of the reasons patriotic Irishmen decided to fight for the Union.

Bilby also adds an interesting few words on the subsequent history of the 69th New York (165th Infantry), the only surviving unit of the Irish Brigade, a matter often overlooked in many Civil War regimental histories.

The book is very well documented, and the footnotes are themselves worth reading. A valuable addition to the recent spate of books on notable brigades in the war.

--A.A. Nofi

 

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Captain Armistead’s Treaty

 

In April 1859, Capt. Lewis A. Armistead’s Company F, 6th Infantry was assigned to Fort Mojave, in the Arizona territory. Armistead, who would die at "The Angle" at Gettysburg on 3 July 1863, had distinguished himself during the Mexican War, earning four brevets for gallantry. At Fort Mojave he quickly proved to be an able district commander as well.

Undertaking a series of aggressive patrols, within a few weeks he had convinced the Mojave Indians to discuss peace terms.

On the appointed day, 31 April, Armistead met with representatives of the tribe and attempted to begin negotiations. However, this proved somewhat difficult, for there were formidable language barriers to overcome. It seems that no one in the territory could speak both English and Mojave. Nor was there anyone who could speak English and something else that any of the Mojave could also speak. Finally, a painstaking method of negotiation was shortly worked out.

Armistead dictated his terms to an officer who could speak Spanish. This officer translated Armistead’s terms into Spanish for the benefit of to a Diegueño Indian. The Diegueño translated the terms into Yuma and communicated them to a Yuma Indian. The Yuma could speak Mojave, and thus translated Armistead’s words for the benefit of the Mojave chiefs. Their response was in turn translated into Yuma, then into Spanish, and finally into English. And thus went the negotiations, back and forth, back and forth, for some time. Finally both sides were in agreement. Surprisingly a treaty was concluded that very same day.

Now there’s an old Italian saying that goes "Tradutore, traditore – Translator, traitor!" No one actually has ever been certain as to what each side thought the other it had agreed to. Surprisingly, the treaty worked, bringing hostilities to an end, and leading to a long period of peace between the Mojave and the Army.

As for the veracity of the tale itself? Well, another old Italian saying may be applicable, "Si non e vero, e buon trovato!"

The Civil War Bookshelf

 

In Search of Robert E. Lee: A Photographic Essay, by Chuck Lawliss. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1996. 119 pp. Illus, append., index. $24.95. ISBN: 0-938289-74-8.

This is not a collection of photographs of Robert E. Lee. Indeed, there are no actual photographic images of Lee in it. As it’s subtitle says, it is an essay on Lee, the man and the soldier, using photographs and text. The images, all modern, vary from shots of monuments and buildings, to battlesites and rooms, all of which relate in some way to Lee and his career, to which is appended a short discussion of historical sites likely to be of interest to students of Lee.

 

Building the Victory: The Order Book of the Volunteer Engineer Brigade, Army of the Potomac, October 1863-May 1965, edited by Philip Katcher. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane, 1998. vi, 125 pp. Illus, maps, diagr., notes, index. $24.95. ISBN: 1-57249-080-2.

An annotated collection of the Volunteer Engineer Brigade’s General and Special Orders, from its creation in the autumn of 1863 through to the end of the Civil War. The editor’s annotations are immensely valuable in explaining the background tot he creation of the brigade, its duties, and the many technical terms to be found in the orders. This book will be useful for anyone interested in military operations, unit organization, administration, and engineering during the Civil War.

Black Flag: Guerrilla Warfare on the Western Border, 1861-1865, by Thomas Goodrich. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. viii, 171 pp. Illus, biblio., index. $24.95. ISBN: 0-253-32599-4.

An anecdotal survey of irregular warfare in the far western theater during the Civil War. The treatment actually takes up the story from "Bleeding Kansas" in the mid-1850s through to the end of the war. Much of it is told through first person accounts. A useful introduction to the subject., which is rather neglected.

 

Sherman’s Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign, by David Evans. Bloomington, Indian University Press, 1996. xxxvi, 645 pp. Illus, maps, tables, notes, biblio., index. No price given. ISBN: 0-253-32963-9.

An exhaustive study of Sherman’s cavalry from 3 July through 22 August 1864. The work delves deeply into all aspects of the cavalry’s activities, including organization, command, operations, supply, and much else besides. Heavily documented, and likely to remain the standard work on the subject for some time.

 

Collis’ Zouaves: The 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War, by Edward J. Hagerty. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1997. xv, 357 pp. Illus, maps, tables, append., notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 0-8071-2199-1

Collis’ Zouaves is not a good history of a regiment that served mostly with the Army of the Potomac from 1862 through Petersburg, but also gives the reader a wealth of information on the men, including such things as their occupational backgrounds, statistics on deserters, a correlation of casualties by age and occupation, and much else besides, while drawing upon many personal accounts to present an excellent picture of the common soldier.

 

Custer and His Wolverines: The Michigan Cavalry Brigade, 1861-1865, by Edward G. Longacre. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1997. 352 pp. Illus, maps, append, notes, biblio., index. $27.95. ISBN: 0-938289-87-X.

Longacre, who previous books on Union cavalry, The Cavalry at Gettysburg and General John Buford were well received, has produced a readable, solid account of the operations of one of the premier cavalry brigades of the Army of the Potomac, with a good look at the "boy general" who for a time led it as brigade commander from mid-1863 into 1864.

 

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NYMAS Membership Notes

 

Boardmenber and Treasurer Dr. Kathleen Broome Williams, presented a paper on the subject, "Scientists in Uniform: The Harvard Computation Laboratory in World War II" at the Siena College World War II Conference, held at the college, in Loudonville, N.Y., near Albany, on 3-5 June. In additin, her "That Wasn't Bravery: Hell, I Was Scared to Death," has been accepted for publication by Naval History.

Boardmembers Dr. Richard L. DiNardo and Dr. Albert A. Nofi represented NYMAS at the 135th anniversary observances of the Battle of Gettysburg, 1-4 July. They participated in the dedication ceremony of the statue of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, and in several signings of James Longstreet: The Man, the Soldier, the Controversy, which contains the edited proceedings of the 1993 NYMAS Military History Conference.

 

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The Iron Brigade

 

Perhaps the premier combat brigade in Union Army in the East, the "Iron Brigade," composed of five regiments from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, has always merited special attention in the literature. In recent years three good books have appeared on this unit, which was for a long time the 1st Brigade, of the 1st Division, of the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac, for which the Indiana University Press is to be thanked.

 

The Iron Brigade: A Military History, by Alon T. Nolan. Second edition. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994. xiv, 412 pp. Illus, maps, tables, append., notes, biblio., index. $18.95 paper. ISBN: 0-253-20863-7.

A careful operational history of the Iron Brigade, from its formation to the end of the war. There is an enormous amount of detail in Nolan’s account, some of it unfortunately buried in the footnotes. Despite its impressive detail and very scholarly character, the book is quite well written and eminently readable.

 

The Men Stood Like Iron: How the Iron Brigade Won its Name, by Lance J. Herdegen. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. xii, 271 pp. Illus, maps, notes, biblio., index. $24.95. ISBN: 0-253-33221-4.

Although just as scholarly as Nolan’s The Iron Brigade, the focus of Herdegen’s The Men Stood Like Iron is the common soldier, reflective of the contemporary tend upon which Rich DiNardo has commented in his review of James McPherson’s For Cause and Comrades, above. Battles are viewed from the perspective of the of the men in the ranks, their reactions to the great events in which their brigade took part, with many insightful and often moving quotations from their letters, diaries, and memoirs. Nor are the footnotes to be neglected.

 

On Many a Bloody Field: Four Years in the Iron Brigade, by Alan D. Gaff. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. xix, 499 pp. Illus, maps, tables, append., notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 0-253-33063-7.

On Many a Bloody Field focuses on even more minutely on the men of the Iron Brigade than does Herdegen’s The Men Stood Like Iron, concentrating on the soldiers of Company 8, of the 19th Indiana. Drawing heavily upon letters, diaries, and personal accounts, Gaff follows the men from their enlistment, through their training, into the test of battle and on to their discharges at the end of the war.

 

Special Book Offer to NYMAS Members!

 

By arrangement with Combined Publishing, the three hundred page hard cover volume James Longstreet: The Man, the Soldier, the

Controversy, edited by Richard L. DiNardo and Albert A. Nofi, embodying the proceedings of

the 1993 NYMAS Military History Conference,

regularly $29.95, is now available to NYMAS

members at the reduced price of $25.00, plus

$3.00 shipping and handling.

Order from:

Combined Publishing

475 West Elm St.

Conshohocken, PA, 19425

Make checks payable to "Combined Publishing," and identify yourself as a member of NYMAS. All proceeds from the sale of James Longstreet are to be split between the Longstreet Memorial Fund and NYMAS.

 

 

Two New Civil War Biographies

 

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut: The Civil War Years, by Chester G. Hearn. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998. xxi, 382 pp. Illus, maps, plans, notes, biblio., index. $37.50. ISBN: 1-55750-384-2.

Although Admiral David Glasgow Farragut focuses on the war years, in fact its treatment of the admiral’s early life is quite adequate. The book displays a good understanding of the naval profession in the mid-nineteenth century, a period of considerable technological change.

The treatment of Farragut’s activities during the war is told clearly and in some detail, with the operations fitted into the larger scheme of things, and provides a good look at the naval war as a whole. The author livens up the text with frequent citations from original letters, reports, and other documents, and is not afraid to include an occasional amusing anecdote.

The book is well written, and is likely to be of value to anyone interested in the Civil War.

 

The White Tecumseh: A Biography of William T. Sherman, by Stanley P. Hirshson. New York: John Wiley, 1997. xi, 475 pp. Illus, maps, append., notes, biblio., index. $30.00. ISBN: 0-471-17578-1

As the author himself observes, in recent years there have been a half dozen biographies of Sherman, some of them having considerable value. But, as Hirshson goes on to note, there are "few American generals whose lives were more confused and disorderly than Sherman’s."

The White Tecumseh does a good job of weaving together Sherman’s "confused and disorderly" private life with his equally "confused and disorderly" military career, usually in considerable detail. Battle pieces are fairly well drawn and accounts of operations are fitted into the overall pattern of the war. Unlike many other biographies of Sherman, Hirshson devotes several chapters to the general’s post-Civil War career.

Worth reading.

 

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That’s Why they Call it "War."

 

On May 21, 1864, Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, commanding the II Corps of the Army of the Potomac, was touring the lines held by his troops north of Richmond, when he came upon a new regiment which was under fire for the first time. A young officer approached him, saying "General, our breast-work is only bullet-proof, and the rebels are shelling us?"

"Killed anybody?" replied the general.

"Not yet, sir."

"Well, you can tell [your men] to take it comfortably. The rebels often throw shells, and I am sure I cannot prevent them."

 

 

Newsletter

Mailing Address Changes

 

Remember, all submissions for The Newsletter should be sent directly to the editor, by surface mail to:

 

A. A. Nofi

NYMAS

3506 Duval St.

Austin, TX, 78705-1716

or by email to: anofi@aol.com

Quotation from Chairman

Sherman

"See here, Cox, burn a few barns occasionally, as you go along. I can't understand those signal flags, but I know what smoke means."

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Cyber Review

 

The Civil War Forum

aol://1391:40-27780

 

The Civil War Forum is a serious, attractive site, with many options.

There are a great many downloadable files, covering everything from individual battles to biographies to odd bits about life and lore during the war. In addition, there are numerous links to many other sites.

But the real value of The Civil War Forum is that it is a forum, a place for the exchange of views. In fact, it is several fora. There are discussion groups on many aspects of the war, including military history. In addition, there are regular "guest appearances" by Civil War historians, novelists, artists, and others who exchange views online and answer questions.

A superior site.

 

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Some Recent Civil War References of Interest

 

Civil War Wordbook, Including Sayings, Phrases, and Expletives, by Darryl Lyman. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1994. 192 pp. Biblio. $11.95 paper. ISBN: 0-938289-25-X.

Essentially a dictionary of Civil War terms, the emphasis is on common usage. Terms relate to daily life, political and social trends and developments during the war, and everyday things. So we learn that a "mud lark," "possum." "slow deer," or "slow bear" was a pig who had the misfortune to encounter a foraging soldier, "Somebody’s Darling" referred to a dead soldier, from a song of the same name, and "Jeffdom" was a Union nickname for the Confederacy. But be warned, for many technical military terms are not included, such as "prolongue," for which one must resort to Mark Boatner’s classic A Civil War Dictionary..

 

Civil War Quotations, Including Slogans, Battle Cries, & Speeches, by Darryl Lyman. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1995. 318 pp. Indices. $11.95 paper. ISBN: 0-938289-45-4.

A companion to Lyman’s earlier work, Civil War Wordbook, reviewed above, this volume contains over 1,500 quotations, by everyone from Charles Francis Adams to Samuel Kosciuzko Zook, on everything from "abolition" to "Zou!," the nickname of the zouaves. The quotations are listed by author, but Lyman provides two indices, one of keywords and the other of subjects, to help the reader find something appropriate.

 

The Civil War Source Book, by Philip Katcher. New York: Facts-on-File, 1992. 318 pp. Illus, maps, tables, glossary, index. No price given. ISBN: 0-8160-2823-0

A cornucopia of information on the Civil War. The range is impressive, from an outline of the principal campaigns and battles, to uniforms and equipment, profiles of leading individuals, references, and more, including a look at pay and inflation. Very handy for anyone interested in the war.

 

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"That is an Order!"

 

The 1884 national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic was held in Minneapolis. The encampment was directed by Commander-in-Chief of the GAR, John L. Kountz, who was, by virtue of his office, usually addressed as "General." Kountz made some introductory remarks, which were followed by the reports of various officer holders. Then General Kountz called upon one of the many comrades present to say a few words.

The comrade, Commanding General of the U.S. Army William T. Sherman rose from his seat among and smilingly asked "Is than an order, or a request."

"That is an order," replied, "General" Kountz, whereupon the assembled veterans burst out in laughter as Sherman ascended the dais, to give a short speech on the importance of obeying the orders of one’s superiors.

 

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Off the Beaten Path

 

Civil War Curiosities: Strange Stories, Oddities, Events, and Coincidences by Webb Garrison. Nashville: Rutledge Hill, 1994. Illus, index. $9.95. ISBN: 1-55853-315-X.

The title and sub-title pretty much sum up the book rather well. There are numerous anecdotes, essays, and miscellaneous pieces, on an wide variety of subjects; An entire chapter is devoted just to flag-related anecdotes, another on the foibles of officers, and yet another titled "Never Say Die." While many of the pieces are funny or entertaining, many others are quite serious. But be warned, some of the anecdotes and tales are untrue. Bearing that in mind, this is usually an interesting, often an amusing, and sometimes a valuable book.

 

Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War, by David Madden. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996. 160 pp. No price given. ISBN: 0-87049-948-3.

The story of a young Unionist Tennesseean impressed into the Confederate Army, who serves as a sharpshooter and prison guard before the was ends, leaving him to spend the balance of his life coming to grips with his experiences. Interesting, and often moving.

 

Dr. Mudd and the Lincoln Assassination: The Case Reopened, edited by John Paul Jones. Conshohocken, Pa.: Combined Publishing, 1995. xiii, 280 pp. Map, append., notes, index. $24.95. ISBN: 0-938289-50-0.

The proceedings of a moot court that reviewed the case of Samuel A. Mudd, one of those convicted of participating in the Lincoln Assassination. Mudd, the physician who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg after the assassination, was tried as one of the secondary conspirators, and sentenced to a long prison term. Subsequently released, he was never formally exonerated. As a result, his family – which includes T.V. journalist Roger Mudd – regularly urges politicians to "clear" his name, and has been trying to secure a formal invalidation of all charges.

The popular tendency has been to view Dr. Mudd’s conviction as a travesty of justice. However, the proceedings of the moot court, in which F. Lee Bailey and several other noted attorneys took part, strongly suggest that, although his original conviction was seriously flawed, there is more than enough evidence that was overlooked at the time to suggest not only that Dr. Mudd was involved, but that the conspiracy may have reached high into the councils of the Confederate cabinet.

Worth reading, particularly in the light of recent evidence that the Confederate government was indeed involved aware of Booth’s machinations.

 

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Not Worth Reading

 

Normally we don’t review books that are really bad. But this one is particularly so. Worse, it has received surprisingly wide circulation; It is, for example, available in the major book chains and has been picked up by many libraries..

 

The South Was Right!, by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy. Gretna, La.: Pelican Publishing, 1994. 448 pp. Notes, biblio., index. $22.95. ISBN: 1-5655-4024-7.

An ultra-right wing secessionist diatribe masquerading as a learned discussion of the causes, course, and consequence of the Civil War. An interesting collection of misleading and often wholly false evidence. For example, they advance the claim that Southerners could not have been fighting for slavery since "only ten percent" of them owned slaves, which hardly refutes the initial charge, since more than a third of Southern families owned slaves. Not surprisingly the authors deny that anything untoward happened at Fort Pillow, and so forth.

Through the entire book Northerners are thieving and crooked, while Southerners are noble and gallant.

There are the usual conspiracy charges throughout, and the war essentially boils down to a conspiracy of Yankee bankers to subdue the South and steal its wealth and freedom.

A search of online reviews of this book turned up quite a few. Reading them suggests that most of the reviewers are die-hard Confederates, self-proclaimed anti-big government militia types, conspiracy buffs, or KKK-sympathizers, if not all of the above simultaneously. --A.A. Nofi

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