Wednesday, June 09, 2010

New and Noteworthy: Classic Writing on Rebel Generals

Confederate Generals in the Western Theater: Classic Essays on America’s Civil War, Volume One, Lawrence Lee Hewitt (Editor), Arthur W., Jr. Bergeron (Editor), Terrence J. Winschel, University of Tennessee Press, 7 maps, notes, bibliography, index, 312 pages. $45.95.

The following is a portion of a review at Civil War Books and Authors

This essay collection is the first volume in University of Tennessee Press's new Western Theater in the Civil War series. Dedicating its fifteen chapters to noted historian Thomas L. Connelly, general editors Larry Hewitt and the late Art Bergeron assembled for Confederate Generals in the Western Theater, Vol. 1 a who's who of scholars. Five additional series volumes are already in the works, three more for the West and a pair covering Trans-Mississippi generals. But why begin with a compilation of previously published essays? Most of the articles originally appeared in obscure publications, read by few, and the editors felt they were deserving of renewed attention for a wider audience. Because the demands of scholarship have become more exacting over time and interpretations necessarily change with the introduction of new source material and specialist studies, it is no surprise that the strength of the essays (one is almost 50 years old) varies, although the editors did go back and standardize the notations and some of the authors revised and updated their work for the new volume. Additionally, there are some editorial comments inserted within the notes.

The first essay, a brief and uncompromising composition by Grady McWhiney, takes note of Leonidas Polk's unbroken stream of military blunders and insubordinate behavior.

Continue the review at Civil War Books and Authors

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