The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951

Book Reviews

arates her from her former sister states should not prevent cur-
rent recognition of this region as one with a common purpose
and objective. Ramos Arispe told the Cortes in 1811 that the
four provinces "all have common interests." In this new issue
of his Report, the words seem as significant as when originally
The University of Texas
Eight April Days. By Scott Hart. New York (Coward-McCann,
Inc.), 1949. Pp. 188.
Eight April Days is devoted to the history of the Confederate
retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox Courthouse as seen by
Old Pine, a sutler devoted to the Southern cause. It is the heart-
breaking story of the forced retreat along the muddy route to
Sayler's Creek where action ended and hope died.
Scott Hart, who was born "within hollering distance" of the
road along which the broken Confederate armies retreated, has
brought to life the spirit of the army and has endowed the road
itself with a personality, changeable and unpredictable-today
quiet with a puzzling silence, then full of voices of desperation
and of despondency born of hunger and defeat. The road swarmed
with men in search of food; Union soldiers in hot pursuit of
Confederates; wagon after wagon steeped in the mire of the road;
Confederate soldiers with death-like faces, things one could see.
There were the cries of the wounded, the curses of the soldiers,
and, on occasion, the voice of Old Pine, the sutler, things one
could hear.
In this delightful and descriptive novel five personalities emerge
in clear perspective. There is Old Pine the sutler with her wagon,
a sort of traveling commissary-her whole life consecrated to the
dying Confederate cause and her thought devoted first to the
welfare of the Confederate soldier and second to her financial
needs. She was joined along the road by Piggy Biggs with his
wagon, Piggy always thinking first of money and second of the
soldier, if, indeed, he thought of him at all. There was also the
inevitable deserter, Mr. Baker, Old Pine's consort, once a Con-
federate, who after being wounded did not have the courage to
return to the army but because of the constant arraignments of


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 27, 2015.