The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Book Review

recruits were officially enrolled at Clarksville in early July but were fur-
loughed soon after while Colonel DeMorse toured the Confederacy from
Virginia to Louisiana purchasing weapons and supplies. Once back in
Texas the colonel began earnestly training his eager recruits for the fight-
ing that lay ahead at Elk Creek, Perryville, Poison Springs, Cabin Creek,
and Fort Gibson. In the absence of battle the drudgery of drill, patrol,
and recruiting; miserable food, temperature extremes, and the realization
that the 29th served in a theater practically forgotten by the Richmond
government soured the men on the war and turned their early enthusiasm
into despair. DeMorse experienced the same frustrations. In December,
1864, he was court-martialed and removed from command for protesting
an order of Kirby Smith's. The outspoken editor-colonel appealed the
court's decision but. the war ended without his obtaining a reversal. His
appeal was reported "lost" in the files of the War Department.
Suffering to Silence is a history of the 29th Texas Cavalry Regiment and
its commanding officer. John C. Grady, whose great-grandfather served in
the 29th, compiled the information for the book and Bradford K. Felmly,
a freelance writer, fashioned the material into the final narrative. They
portray well the miserable day-to-day existence of the Confederate cavalry-
man but they overplay such incidents as the capture, trial, baptism, and
execution of a deserter, Private Barney McDermott. Although the Mc-
Dermott story is interesting it is unimportant in relation to the space al-
lotted it and points directly to the principal shortcoming of the book.
While regimental histories can be of great importance in filling gaps be-
tween Civil War biographies and campaign histories, the reader will find
this thin volume disappointing and of limited value because of the minor
role the 29th Cavalry played in the defense of Civil War Texas. The authors
themselves acknowledge this fact, almost apologetically, in their preface.
In devoting an entire chapter to the McDermott affair, they were futilely
grasping for something of substance to write about. In addition, the book
is insufficiently documented, rough illustrations are used where photographs
were available, and the printing is often of poor quality.
San Antonio College THOMAS M. SETTLES
Sandbars and Sternwheelers: Steam Navigation on the Brazos. By Pamela
Ashworth Puryear and Nath Winfield, Jr. (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 1976. Pp. xix + 40. Illustrations, biblio-
graphy, index. $Io.)
This book deals with an era in Texas history encompassing about sixty

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed July 13, 2014.