The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949

Book Reviews

thrills to the clearly demonstrated fact that Wilson's fight toward
the highest elective office in the land was closely related, to our
nation's struggle toward greater democracy and public right-
When this writer had finished reading this publication, he
returned to the preface. There he rediscovered a sentence which
added to the joy which was his because of reading this book:
"This volume is the first in a series that I hope eventually will
constitute an historical and biographical study of Wilson and his
time until his death in 1924."
Princeton University Press has given form and appearance to
this book in harmony with the excellent qualities of its contents.
Texas Lutheran College
Civil War Diary of James T. Ayers. Edited with an introduction
by John Hope Franklin. Springfield (State of Illinois), 1947.
Pp. xxv+ 38. Illustrations, appendices, and index.
The state of Illinois printed this attractive volume for the
Illinois State Historical Society as the first of a new series to be
titled Occasional Publications. Professor Franklin's extensive in-
troduction and painstaking notes are indispensable.
James T. Ayers, a lay Methodist minister of McLean County,
Illinois, had passed the military age in 1862, but his personal
sense of mission in the crusade against secession and slavery was
so urgent that he falsified his age of fifty-seven years and enlisted
in the 129th Illinois Infantry Regiment in September of that
year. The appendices feature poetry which Ayers clipped, copied,
or composed. The Diary proper covers irregular entries from
December, 1863, when Ayers went on detached service to recruit
Negro troops within occupied areas of the South, to his demo-
bilization in May, 1865. He resigned what proved to be a rather
dismal duty of "geathering up Darkies" in October, 1864, and
was reassigned to his regiment. Nearly all the reporting was done
on Confederate soil.
The Diary follows no pattern. There is much factual reporting
of experiences and incidents that happened before the eye. One
would thus classify his frequent references to his health, to the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 22, 2015.