Friday, February 18, 2011

Booknotes IV (February '11)

New Arrivals:

1. Refugitta of Richmond: The Wartime Recollections, Grave and Gay, of Constance Cary Harrison edited by Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr. and S. Kittrell Rushing (UT Press, 2011).

During the war, Constance Cary Harrison, wife of President Davis's secretary, published newspaper columns under the pen name "Refugitta". First published in 1916, Harrison's memoir has been revived with a new introduction and notes by historians Hughes and Rushing.

2. The California Historical Society Quarterly: Civil War Commemorative Issue, Vol. XL, No. 4, December 1961.

It is unclear if the various state historical society journals will jump on the Civil War Sesquicentennial bandwagon, but they sure did publish reams of articles around the centennial years. The CHSQ even devoted an entire issue to it. The Civil War Commemorative Issue has four articles: a California in the Civil War bibliographic essay (pretty thin!), a nice chapter about secessionist Dan Showalter and early Union efforts in the southern part of the state to keep pro-Southern citizens from fomenting trouble or leaving altogether to join Confederate units, a look at the instate divide in the context of the religious split among Methodists, and finally a short piece on California soldiers that includes a nice organizational table. It's not a particularly deep issue, but worth a look if you're interested in the subject.

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