The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Book Reviews

An interesting and informative description of events surrounding
the occurrence of tornadoes in Texas, along with an excellent col-
lection of documentary photographs, make Tornado: Texas Demon
in the Wind recommended reading for all who are "weatherwise."
Texas Tech University DONALD R. HARAGAN
A Southern Record: The History of the Third Regiment, Louisiana
Infantry. By W. H. Tunnard. Preface and notes by Edwin C.
Bearss. (Facsimile ed., Dayton, Ohio, 197o. Notes, appendices,
This narrative, first published in 1866 and one of the first Civil
War unit histories, has long been out of print and virtually un-
obtainable, although it is one of the best source books of its kind.
Moreover, the present edition is much more valuable than the origi-
nal because of the scholarly notes and company rosters added by
Edwin Bearss, as well as the thorough index by Mrs. Margie Bearss.
The notes merit special praise because they correct and supplement
the text on a chapter-by-chapter basis, clarifying points about Con-
federate campaigns, military policies, mistakes, quarrels, and so on,
that Tunnard glossed over or ignored.
Tunnard's style is very readable and at times sentimental. While
there are passages which glorify the Confederacy in a "halo of im-
perishable glory" and eulogize the valor of southern men and women,
there are also passages of stark realism depicting the horrors of death
and battle at the foot soldiers' level. The sources available to Tun-
nard in 1866 were, by his own admission, very meager, but they in-
cluded letters, diaries, "after action reports" that appeared in news-
papers, and his own personal recollections as a member of the Third
Regiment. Despite their shortcomings, these sources provide a sense
of immediacy often lacking in more sophisticated studies.
This volume does not attempt to be anything more than the story
of a particular regiment, which was, as Tunnard writes, "one of the
Civil War's crack combat regiments of which the officers and men
could be proud." However, the importance and need for this kind
of Civil War history-in-microcosm cannot be over-emphasized. While
it is not true that good Civil War historiography is the simple product
of numerous studies in microcosm, generalizations about that war
cannot safely or accurately be made without taking such studies into
account. This book is filled with vivid pictures of the Civil War-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 8, 2016.