Book Reviews

Next in importance is the Artillery, whose work it is to open the way for, and cover the movements of, the other arms by destroying the enemy’s defences at long range, silencing his artillery, and demoralizing his infantry; or, at short ranges, to crush them by a rapid fire of case and shrapnel.

Ploughshares into swords : Josiah Gorgas and Confederate ordnance Frank E. Vandiver College Station : Texas A & M University Press, 1994 Hardcover. xiv, 349 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 315-322) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG […]

The soil and climate are best adapted to the growth of Cotton, Sugar, Corn, potatoes &c, which grow very luxuriantly. Fruit peculiar to this climate or latitude can be raised without any difficulty–the peach, pear, plumb, fig, grape, pomegranite, quince, apricot, orange, lemon, banana &c. &c. are at present growing in the colony and I am informed do remarkably well–for melons, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, and all vines it surpasses any country I ever saw–you have but to plant them and you have almost a certainty of a plentiful harvest…

Whether you came to Texas at the behest of the first impressario of Anglo settlement of the most unusual spot under the heavens, at the beginning of the 20th century to turn a dessert into a garden in west Texas or in the 21st century to escape the taxes and madness of the blue states […]

The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion, and … people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion… Diderot

Three-quarter length portrait of Brown accompanies text describing the insurrection at Harper’s Ferry. Caption under Brown’s picture: John Brown, now under sentence of death for treason and murder, at Charlestown, Va. From a photograph taken one year ago by Martin M. Lawrence, 381 Broadway, N.Y. The secret six : the true tale of the men […]

The Southerners were fighting with the energy of despair… at all events, they were determined to command the enemy’s respect for their courage and ability, and I don’t think any brave sailor or soldier ever withheld it… Admiral David Dixon Porter [USN]

Admiral David Dixon Porter : the Civil War years Chester G. Hearn Annapolis, MD : Naval Institute Press, c 1996 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xx, 376 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 355-376) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in […]

We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—except that we shall not forget the splendid valor… Woodrow Wilson

The Gettysburg campaign – and it is most properly considered a campaign rather than a battle or a series of battles – ended on July 4 as did the battle of Vicksburg. Almost mythically the victories are linked to the date as though it had some amuletic effect. Never mind that the side that was […]

The Constitution provides for every accidental contingency in the executive – except a vacancy in the mind of the president… Senator John Sherman (1823-1900)

An unusual, three-part wood engraving attributing John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the influence of the proslavery secret society, the Knights of the Golden Circle. Lincoln was shot by Booth on April 14, 1865, while attending Ford’s Theatre in Washington. In the first panel (left) is a three-quarter length portrait of George W. […]

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger… Harriet Tubman

Bound for Canaan : the underground railroad and the war for the soul of America  Fergus M. Bordewich  New York : Amistad, c 2005  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xv, 540 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [508]-519). Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust […]