The literature of American history : a bibliographical guide, in which the scope, character, and comparative worth of books in selected lists are set forth in brief notes by critics of authority online

. (page 53 of 145)
Online LibraryUnknownThe literature of American history : a bibliographical guide, in which the scope, character, and comparative worth of books in selected lists are set forth in brief notes by critics of authority → online text (page 53 of 145)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

uniformly uses the ' Present for duty ' on the returns
as giving the Federal strength, but declines to take

the same columns on the Confederate returns for the
same purpose. He uses the Confederate Present '
instead (which included all of the sick, extra-duty
men, and those in arrest), under an erroneous impres-
sion that the extra-duty men were such as would go
into ranks in a fight. As the Confederate conscrip-
tion placed everybody in military service, all team-
sters, etc., had to be detailed, and such constituted in
large part the ' extra-duty ' men on the returns. This
error is the more to be regretted because of the fair-
ness of tone and general accuracy of statement which
characterize this valuable contribution to the history
of the war." Nation, 35 : 385.

Second battle of Bull Run, as connected

with the Fitz-John Porter case. Cin. : P. G.
Thomson. 1882. [2151

" In this little book General Cox has presented some
ingenious arguments in opposition to the conclusions
arrived at by the Board of Officers (Generals Schofield,
Terry, and Getty) who reexamined the case of General
Porter. He seems to have felt it to be his duty to re-
iterate his belief in Porter's guilt, and he has applied
himself diligently to the maintenance of the truth of
this position. But we think a careful examination
of his work will show that he has approached his task
more in the spirit of an advocate than of a judge." J.
C. Ropes, in Nation, 34 : 404.

Crawford, Maj.-Gen. Samuel Wylie. Gene-
sis of the Civil War : the story of Sumter, 1860-
61. K Y. : Webster. 1887. [2152

"The story of Sumter is doubtless an important
chapter in the genesis of the Civil War, but it is by no
means the whole of it ; and Gen. Crawford's method
of telling the story, full of interesting matter as it is,
only makes it more clearly evident how impossible it
is to narrate the ' genesis ' without writing the full
history of the United States during the period imme-
diately preceding the war." General Crawford " took
active personal part in the transfer of the little garri-
son [of Fort Moultrie] to Fort Sumter, and in the de-
fence of the latter fort by Maj. Anderson until it was
surrendered to the Confederate army under Beaure-
gard. . . . His part in the historic defence of Sumter
led him to collect materials bearing upon all the events
connected with it, including not only what public re-
cords and printed books and pamphlets would furnish,
but what could be procured by private correspondence
or conversation with prominent characters on both .
sides, and from their private papers. . . . The story
of Sumter has grown out of all these sources, and is
centrally the military history of the forts in and about
Charleston harbor, the efforts at relieving them and
their reduction by the Confederates, with the political
history of the events most closely connected with the
fate of the forts and their garrison. In collating the
material he has collected, the author has avoided care-
fullytoo carefully, we think the expression of his
own judgment, preferring to let the principal charac-
ters speak through their own documents and recorded
conversations. The indications of quotation are not
in all cas3S complete." Nation, 46: 17.

Dahlgren, Eear- Admiral John Adolphus




TON. Memoir of John A. Dahlgren, Rear- Ad-
miral, U. S. N. Boston : Osgood. 1882.


"This book upon the whole is good, and throws
much light, direct and indirect, upon by-places as
well as high places of the Civil War. This is especially
true of the naval aspects of that war. An over-fond-
ness of praise, where the statement of the simple fact
would have been a more subtle eulogy, may well be
pardoned to the wife of a truly grand and heroic man,
such as Admiral Dahlgren certainly was. The defen-
sive documents by which his professional position is
herein vindicated are rather long and formal, but as
material for future history have value. His private
journal largely makes up the book, and is the most
valuable portion. The life is divided into three peri-
ods: 1. The navy of the past; 2. Ordnance record; 3.
The Rebellion." Literary world, 14: 38.

Dana, Charles Anderson. Recollections of
the Civil War : with the leaders at Washington
and in the field in the sixties. N. Y. : Apple-
ton. 1898. $2. [2154

Mr. Dana's experiences, first, as confidential reporter
to Mr. Staifton upon the situation in the army from
Shiloh till Vicksburg, then as Assistant Secretary of
"War, he has told in this book. " ' Recollections '
though they are and composed for the most part at
the very close of the veteran journalist's life, there
was a broad foundation of recorded contemporary
impressions upon which to build. There is little in
the book for which the authority o dispatches from
the field cannot be given. ... Mr. Dana's position
was unique. He lived at army headquarters ; he com-
municated unofficially and freely with all officers, low
and high; he made tours of inspection both alone and
with the generals ; and he was a listener at the coun-
cils of war. But he had no responsibility for the suc-
cess or failure of the plans adopted, and he was not
bound by military law to receive commands and obey
without question. It was his privilege to stand by
and observe and report. . . . His dispatches betray
no petty feelings, they are straightforward and sig-
nificant and he seems to have retained the respect of
all with whom he was associated, delicate as his rela-
tions with some of them must have been at times.
Mr. Dana made mistakes; in exciting emergencies
his judgment was sometimes at fault ; his own later
dispatches often contain corrections of the earlier.
. . . His final statement of the matter in hand seldom
fails to be convincing. . . . The general reader's inter-
est will be held by the perspicuous descriptions of
several great campaigns, by the numerous character-
sketches and by many passages of a high order of lit-
erary merit." Frederick W. Moore, in Am. hist, rev.,
4: 568.

Davis, Bear- Admiral Charles Henry.
Charles Henry Davis, Rear-Admiral, 1807-
1877. Boston: Houghton. 1899. $3. [2155

" The chief claim of this biography to public notice
is the light it throws on a number of interesting and
important events of the Civil War, in which its sub-
ject was a distinguished actor. . . . Captain Davis has

made an interesting addition to naval literature."
Roy C. Smith, in Am. hist, rev., 5 : 600.

Davis, Jefferson. Rise and fall of the Con-
federate government. N. Y. : Appleton. 1881.
2v. Subs. $10. [2156

Largely a history of the military operations of the
Civil War, adding few facts to the controversy. Pre-
faced by excursive essays to prove on historical au-
thority the right of secession. Probably the most
scholarly recital of the "states rights" arguments,
since it was written by the leader of the movement
after mature reflection. Concerning the Confederate
states it reveals little inside history; no personal
reminiscence; controversial rather than descriptive.
Closes with the earlier period of Reconstruction.

E. E. S.

Short history of the Confederate States

of America. N. Y. : Belford. 1890. [2157

The introductory chapters were written " to prove
by historical authority that the states had the reserved
power of seceding." The larger portion of the book
treats of the southern conduct of the war to show " how
thorough was their conviction of the justice of their
cause." Contrasts especially the conduct of the north-
ern and southern troops in the treatment of captives
and neutrals. The accuracy of the military details has
been challenged by certain Confederate generals. The
personality of the writer is kept in the background.
He closes the narrative with his capture. E. E. S.

ALFRIEND, FRANK H. Life of Jefferson
Davis. Cin.: Caxton. 1868. [2158

Written from a conviction that Davis was not re-
sponsible for the failure of the Confederacy. A strong
contrast to Pollard. The military conduct of the war
is very fully considered as the source of weakness.
The volume shows the heat of contemporary writing.

E. E. S.

CRAVEN, JOHN J. Prison life of Jefferson
Davis. N. Y. : Carleton. 1866. [2159

Written by the physician in attendance during the
imprisonment in Fortress Monroe from May 25 to De-
cember 25, 1865. A kind of diary of the daily life,
giving the gist of conversations. Written by a Union
man, but sympathetic and forgiving. Unlikely to
please the rabid element of either side. E. E. S.

Davis, ex-President of the Confederate States :
a memoir. N. Y.: Belford. [c. 1890.] 2v.


Mrs. Davis 's memoir furnished what her husband's
book greatly lacked : the story of the personal and
social life in the Confederate executive mansion. His
work was severely controversial : hers is an amiable
and vivacious presentation of men, women, and
events, drawn with insight and full knowledge. It
gives us valuable pictures and telling comments, and
must always have high rank in its sphere. No doubt
it also reflects in considerable measure Mr. Davis's
own opinions, softened in the presentation.

' J. D. C.




Jefferson Davis, with a secret history of the
southern Confederacy. Phil.: National Pub.
Co. [c. 1869.] [2161

Written by the editor of the Richmond (Va.) Exam-
iner to place the blame for the failure of the southern
Confederacy. A bitter arraignment of Davis, but
with little evidence of any secret history. The author
accuses him of duplicity, despotism, and cowardice.
The evidence submitted rarely substantiates the
charge. Many of the accusations were answered,
although Pollard is ignored, in the writings of Jeffer-
son Davis (see above, sect. 2156, 2157) and his wife,
Varina Howell Davis (see above, sect. 2160).

E. E. S.

Dawes, Brig. -Gen. Rufus R. Service with
the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers. Marietta, O. :
Alderman. 1890. [2162

The prime New England stocks of the Putnams, the
Cutlers, and the Dawes are mingled in the writer, a
child of the Massachusetts colony in Ohio. Recent
graduate from college, temporarily lumbering in Wis-
consin, he joined the Sixth Wisconsin in 1861. Its
service was in the Army of the Potomac and included
the Shenandoah campaign of '62, Second Bull Run,
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettys-
burg, and so on 'to the muster-out in the Petersburg
trenches, August, 1864. A full file of family letters
has helped Gen. Dawes to many authentic incidents,
and his abilities and unflinching candor make his
book weighty evidence of the nature and value of the
volunteer service. J. D. C.

Dicey, Edward. Six months in the federal
states. London: Macmillan. 1863. 2v.


On the publication of this book in 1863, the Atlantic
praised it for its timeliness, thoughtfulness, and ad-
mirable tone. " Mr. Dicey has a manly, English way
of accepting the preponderant evidence concerning
the crisis he came to study. He seldom gets entangled
in trivial events ; but knows how to use them as illus-
trations of great events." He saw the true signifi-
cance of the slavery struggle and stated his views
clearly at a time when the understanding and sym-
pathy of England were greatly needed by the Union.
" There is scarcely an offence against good taste or
good feeling in Mr. Dicey's volumes. . . . There are
small inaccuracies, . . . but . . . the total impression
of what Mr. Dicey has written bears honorable testi-
mony to the accuracy of his observation, as well as to
his powers of comparison and judgment." Atlantic
monthly, 12: 395.

Dix, Maj.-Gen. John Adams. Dix, MOR-
GAN, comp. Memoirs of John Adams Dix.
N. Y.: Harper. 1883. 2v. $5. [2164

"The biography has an individual and personal
rather than a historical quality." It does not, "ex-
cept in a few instances, throw much light on the gen-
eral history of the time. ... It might fairly have been
expected that we should learn much that was new of
the Albany Regency, of which General Dix was a mem-
ber, and of the inside history of the Democratic party

from 1830 to 1860. . . . But Dr. Dix seems to have been
so absorbed in the central figure of his biography that
he has ventured but little into the wider field of gen-
eral history. ... In the last hours of Buchanan's ad-
ministration, with driveling timidity in the White
House and bold treason in the cabinet, General Dix
was called upon to take charge of a bankrupt treasury.
He restored confidence and raised money ; but he did
more, far more, than this. . . . Above the confused
noises of that miserable winter, the voice of John A.
Dix rises clear and strong: 'If any one attempts to
haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.'
... He had the good fortune and the inspiration to
strike the key-note, to say the one all-embracing word
at the very moment of a great conflict. ... He will al-
ways be remembered as the man who, at the crisis of
the nation's fate, put into one short sentence the great
principle which was at stake, and to which the people
rallied and clung for four long years." Atlantic
monthly, 52: 271.

Dodge, Col. Theodore Ayrault. Bird's-eye
view of our Civil War. Boston : Osgood. 1883.
New ed. rev. Houghton. 1897. $1. [2165

Of the first edition the Nation said: " It has many
excellent characteristics : the style is simple and clear,
the tone elevated and fair, the conception of military
operations comprehensive, and the criticisms upon
them judicious. The book is evidently as much the
work of an experienced soldier as of a well-informed
author. The diagrams that illustrate the text are good
for their purpose, and, together with the maps, add
greatly to the value of the book. One of the defects
grows, perhaps, out of the nature of the undertaking.
The attempt to give in a moderate volume a sketch of
the Civil War which shall enter as much into particu-
lars as this one does, is apt to result in a syllabus,
which, if accurate, may be of great use to the histori-
cal student, but will hardly serve to give the youthful
or uninformed reader a clear and impressive picture.
. . . Colonel Dodge's book is in no sense partisan."
Colonel Dodge is severely criticised for " the many
evidences of haste and inaccuracy." Nation, 37: 258.

The preface of the new edition claims that the figures
have been carefully revised by the War Department
publications and other well-known sources. The facts
stated have been compared with the Official records
by Captain E. B. Robins, long secretary of the Military
Historical Society of Massachusetts. New maps have
been prepared from the government surveys and

Campaign of Chancellorsville. Boston :

Osgood. 1881. Houghton. $3. [2166

" It is sufficient to bespeak for this handsome vol-
ume a cordial welcome, which it thoroughly deserves.
With the aid of Hotchkiss and Allan from the Con-
federate side, and of Dodge from the Federal, the in-
teresting campaign of Chancellorsville may be studied
with entire satisfaction. . . . The story is not pleasant
reading for northern men. The failure at Chancel-
lorsville was not only most discreditable to General
Hooker, who then commanded the Army of the Poto-
mac, but it was such a total and extraordinary failure
that the story would be incredible if we did not know
it to be true. . . . The book is the production of a man
with a clear military head, who seems to have pos-




sessed himself completely of his subject. The student
of military history will find it very valuable, and the
general reader will find it interesting in the extreme."
Nation, 33: 18.

Doubleday, Maj.-Gen. Abner. Chancellors-
ville and Gettysburg. (Campaigns of the Civil
War, 6.) N. Y. : Scribner. 1882. $1. [2167

" In commenting upon the preceding volumes of this
series we have endeavored to call attention to the
unbiased and unpartisan spirit in which they have
been written, to the manner in which preconceived
opinions have been laid aside in the endeavor to form
an accurate and impartial historical judgment, and
to the fact that the authors have made a careful study
of all materials, published or unpublished, in the pos-
session of the War Department ; have used this mate-
rial in proper proportions, have given full weight to
conflicting testimony, and have named their authority
for every statement that was likely to be disputed.
This historical spirit has permeated each one of the
preceding military narratives, and though many peo-
ple may refuse to accept their conclusions, every one
must acknowledge that they have been reached by
fair-minded and patient investigation. This uniform-
ity is now sharply broken by a book which is con-
spicuous for the absence of every one of the good
qualities above referred to. The historical spirit is
entirely lacking, startling statements are constantly
made without any authority being given for them,
questions of numbers engaged and.losses incurred are
quoted at second hand, minor details are dwelt upon
at length, while great facts are hastily passed over,
and there is a vein of personal animosity running
through the book which throws discredit upon every-
thing in it." Nation, 34: 257.

Gettysburg made plain. N. Y. : Cen-
tury Co. [c. 1888.] [2168

When Gen. Reynolds fell at the opening of the
battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Doubleday took, by senior-
ity, the command of the First Corps. He was active
in high command throughout the battle, and had an
active part afterward in the discussion of the contro-
versial questions which arose. Doubleday was one of
the general officers who asserted that Meade believed
Gettysburg an unfit place to fight the battle, and de-
sired to retire to the line of Pipe Creek. His position
and means of knowledge make him a weighty factor
in the discussion. He also told the story of the cam-
paign at large in his Chancellor smile and Gettysburg
in the Scribners' Campaigns of the Civil War. For
his personal career, see his Reminiscences of Forts
Sumter and Moultrie, the next title. J. D. C.

Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and

Moultrie in 1860-61. N. Y. : Harper. 1876.
$1. [2169

Gen. Doubleday graduated from West Point in 1842,
and was a Captain in the 1st U. S. Artillery at Fort
Moultrie, under Maj. Anderson's command, in Dec.,
1860. The transfer to Sumter was made on the 26th,
and Doubleday, with his company, was part of An-
derson's force until the surrender in April, '61. His
patriotism and loyalty to the Union were earnest and
active. He became Maj.-Gen. of Volunteers, Nov. 29,

1862. This career is the best evidence of the value of
his memoir upon the dramatic opening of the war in
Charleston harbor. He is also a vigorous and inter-
esting writer. J. D. C.

Drake, Samuel Adams. Battle of Gettys-
burg, 1863. (Decisive events in American
history.) Boston: Lee. 1891. 50c. [2170

" Mr. Drake's effort has been to prepare a popular
version of the story of the great battle. ... He
makes no reference to authorities, but tells the tale
currently, fluently, with well-arranged grouping of
incidents and with literary skill. ... In all the larger
elements of the story of Gettysburg, Mr. Drake's
narrative is faithful to the accepted facts, and well
combines a lively style with adherence to truth.
There are some points, however, in which, by accept-
ing a version ill supported, or by incorrect conclu-
sions as to matters of conjecture, he has fallen into
error, and, so far, given his assistance to building up
mythical features in the history of the battle." J. D.
Cox, in Nation, 54 : 17.

Draper, John William. History of the
American Civil War. N. Y.: Harper. 1867-
70. 3v. $10.50. [2171

A history of causes and events, with events subor-
dinated, by a member of the school of Buckle. Vol-
ume 1 shows how inevitable the war was, as a result
of topography and climate, colonization, the intro-
duction and development of negro slavery, economic,
social and moral influences, putting extreme stress
upon climate ; and comprises a complete survey of
American history to the establishment of the Confed-
eracy in 1861. Volumes 2 and 3 give the history of the
war, considering it in every aspect, its final effects
upon slavery, national life, the government of the
Union and the Constitution. Great intellectual power
and imusual grasp of the subject are evident ; gen-
eralizations abound, sometimes absurd and puerile,
sometimes profound. The book is occasionally ob-
scure, lacks proportion, has a northern bias and is in-
accurate in military details. The style is strong and
brilliant, but lacking in finish. R. C. H. C.

Eggleston, George Gary. A rebel's recol-
lections. N. Y. : Hurd. 1874. 2d ed. Put-
nam. 1878. $1. [2172

The Atlantic deplores the modesty which led the
author " to suppress his own feelings and to imper-
sonalize his experiences just where we should like
him to be most garrulous about himself." It believes
that he has helped northern readers "to understand
that those opposed to the Union in the late war were
as sincere as its friends, and were moved by a patriot-
ism which differed from ours only in being mistaken.
. . . His ideas and observations in regard to the rebel
leaders have that certain value which always belongs
to the testimony of a keen-sighted eye-witness. . . .
Mr. Eggleston's manner is as good as his spirit, and
he has given us a book of peculiar interest, one of the
pleasures of which is its frank and clear style. One
thoroughly likes the author after reading it." Atlan-
tic monthly, 35 : 237.

Farragut, Admiral David Glasgow.




BARNES, JAMES. David G. Farragut. (Bea-
con biographies.) Boston: Small. 1899. 75c.


See Beacon biographies, in Pt. 3, Div. 2 : Compre-
hensive History, sect. 2491.

FARRAGUT, LOYALL. Life of David Glas-
gow Farragut, first Admiral of the United
States Navy ; by his son. N. Y. : Appleton.
1879. $4. [2174

"With dutiful modesty and with admirable taste
the biographer of our great admiral has intruded
neither himself nor any attempt at fine writing be-
tween the public and his distinguished father. He
has depended as far as possible for his narrative upon
Farragut's journal and letters and official reports,
and upon sketches of toils and battles made by actors
and eye-witnesses. The result is a volume which is
not so much history as materials for history. So much
the better. One could not wish it otherwise with the
first life of such a man. The simplicity of the monu-
ment is suited to the massive and noble simplicity of
the hero. . . . No other such man has plowed the sea
since Nelson ; perhaps one may also say, no other such
man before Nelson ; they are, almost without doubt,
the two mightiest vikings of all time." Atlantic
monthly, 45: 688*

The life of Farragut written, at his request, by his
only child, " is largely composed of the journal kept
by the Admiral himself and of his letters, with an
occasional explanatory commentary by the author.
There is little that is new after the beginning of the
war. The reports had been published before. . . . The
latter part is rather tedious with its guide-book de-
scriptions, repeating the voyage of the Franklin
printed some years ago. But the story of Farragut's
early life, the letters to his family, and the revela-
tions of character make the book a marked one in
literature. His son has performed his pious duty with
excellent taste and modesty, and justified to the world
the affection which such a father naturally won."
Nation, 30: 14.

ral Farragut. (Great commanders.) N. Y. :
Appleton. 1892. $1.50. [2175

1801-1870. This sketch of Farragut is an ideal piece
of brief biography. The subject is excellent, the au-
thor perfectly adapted in every way to treat it, and
the treatment itself well calculated to inspire interest
and just admiration for the subject. E. C. R.

Foote, Rear-Admiral Andrew Hull. HOP-
PIN, JAMES MASON. Life of Andrew Hull
Foote. N. Y.: Harper. 1874. $3.50. [2176

A quite detailed yet attractive story of a typical
American naval officer of forty years' public service,
the latter portion of which was in the organization
and command of iron-clad river fleets in the West.
Foote was an interesting person, energetic, able, of
high principle with a strain of devout sentiment. He
bore a large part in the capture of Forts Henry and

Online LibraryUnknownThe literature of American history : a bibliographical guide, in which the scope, character, and comparative worth of books in selected lists are set forth in brief notes by critics of authority → online text (page 53 of 145)