[A Thrilling Narrative: The Memoir of a Southern Unionist by Capt. Dennis E. Haynes and edited by Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2006). Cloth, notes, appendices, bibliography, index. Pp. 190. ISBN: 978-1-55728-811-0 $29.95 ]
This publication marks the first time the Haynes manuscript has seen the printed page since 1866 [apparently, only two known copies of the McGill and Witherow edition remain - take note Paul Taylor]. With connections in both Texas and Louisiana, Dennis Haynes's stong unionist views eventually forced him to flee to the bush, before finally coming into contact with invading Federal forces during Nathaniel Banks's first Red River campaign. Haynes described the retributive period following the withdrawal of the Union army as a "reign of terror". Later, he organized Co. B, First Louisiana Cavalry Battalion Scouts, and served for a three month period during the 1864 Red River Campaign. His military experience ended soon after. Haynes's vivid memoir of his struggle is certainly not reconciliationist in nature, and its portrait of the popular struggle in Louisiana is an insightful contribution to the literature. It is unlikely that anyone more qualified than Art Bergeron could be found to edit the Haynes memoir. The editor's explanatory notes are corrective where needed, and provide in depth background and contextual detail. Also, as with all of the best edited works, additional information is given for individuals, events, and locations specifically mentioned in the text.
[Confederate Guerrilla: The Civil War Memoir of Joseph M. Bailey edited by T. Lindsay Baker (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2007). Cloth, photos, notes, bibliography, index. Pp. 167. ISBN: 978-1557288387 $29.95 ]
As opposed to Haynes's more immediate account, Bailey's story was written long after the war's conclusion (in 1920), but editor Baker's remarkably expansive notes both address inconsistencies and enrich the value of the text. Writings from Confederate guerrillas are rare to begin with, but Bailey has the added distinction of inhabiting both the regular and irregular military worlds. For the first half of the conflict, he served in the regular forces, initially in the Arkansas state forces at Wilson's Creek, then as a member of the 16th Arkansas at Pea Ridge, the Corinth campaign, and the Port Hudson siege and surrender. The period after his escape from captivity - Bailey's guerrilla career in NW Arkansas and SW Missouri, comprises the bulk of his memoir.
While the dearth of illustrations is a bit disappointing, both books are attractively produced overall, and the full cloth binding and boards (a sadly diminishing tradition among publishers) are a professional and durable touch. In terms of presentation, content, research, and editing, A Thrilling Narrative and Confederate Guerrilla are exemplars of the modern edited Civil War memoir.