The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948

Book Reviews

employ Whigs. His petty hatred of Clay seems to have been
responsible for his opposition to the Compromise of 1850, al-
though he was in favor of the admission of California as an
independent measure. Personality clashes in the cabinet had
become embarrassing and weakening to the administration be-
fore Taylor's death on July 9, 1850.
Professor Dyer's "Critical Essay on Authorities" is of particular
interest to the student of ante-bellum Southern history.
This book is a creditable addition to the Southern Biography
Series and it has those fine qualities and the attractive binding
that one associates with that series of Southern leaders.
The University of Texas
The Civil War Diary of General Josiah Gorgas. Edited by Frank
E. Vandiver. University, Alabama (University of Alabama
Press), 1947. Pp. xiii+2o8. $3.oo.
This is the war diary of a conscientious, patriotic American
who, despite his importance to contemporary Confederate his-
torians, is known to the general public only as the father of a
famous sanitarian, William C. Gorgas. It was for William that
Josiah Gorgas wrote this diary, and now with the diary's publi-
cation the long neglected Confederate general's word-painted
portrait has begun. The editor, Frank E. Vandiver of Austin,
has partially completed what promises to be the definitive study
of Josiah, and this diary serves as an excellent introduction.
Josiah Gorgas' early life was typical of many future Civil War
officers. He graduated from West Point in 1841, served twenty
years as a United States Army officer, and in 1861 resigned and
elected to join the Southern cause. Jefferson Davis appointed
Gorgas major in the Confederate Army and assigned him to duty
as chief of ordnance. From this vantage point in the Confederate
hierarchy Gorgas wrote his diary. Although he kept a journal
from 1857 to 1877, only the period of his Confederate service is
included in this volume.
The diary itself sheds no new light on Confederate histrionics
save perhaps in details concerning the Ordnance Department.
It does, however, reveal Gorgas' attitude towards many of the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 28, 2016.

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