Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Forgotton Colony is limited, as the title page puts it, to "The
History, the People and the Legends of the Irish Colony of McMullen-
McGloin," with special attention to San Patricio. Rachel Bluntzer
Hebert, a daughter of San Patricio herself, became fascinated with the
oral traditions of the place. Upon retirement from a teaching career,
she was able at last to set about collecting many of them from the
descendants of the old Irish Texians. She has incorporated much of
what she learned in this worthy volume.
The longest of the three parts into which the book is divided is
devoted to biographical sketches of the old colonists, including the
empresarios themselves, John McMullen and James McGloin. A sec-
ond part presents essays on various topics or institutions. My own fa-
vorite is the heart-warming piece entitled "Mexicans, A Help to the
Irish." The third part is a collection of stories from the oral traditions
of the colony.
Hebert writes that "The Forgotten Colony was a labor of love that
needed to be written." The reviewer will add that it needs to be read
if you are interested in the Texas Irish.
St. Edward's University WILLIAM DUNN, C.S.C.
Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg. By Richard J. Som-
mers. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Inc., 1981. Pp. xxiii+67o.
Preface, illustrations, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, in-
This lengthy volume is a highly detailed account of the Union's five
major offenses against Petersburg-the key to the Confederate capital
at Richmond and an essential factor in settling the Civil War. It is a
hard book to read, a very difficult book to review, and it leaves this
reviewer with strongly mixed feelings.
First of all, most of the usual rave comments about the book on its
dust cover are well taken. It is a brilliant work, the result of many
years of Civil War research and study. It is the only full-scale account
of this important campaign, and it should stand as the definitive work
on this phase of the war. The author offers very perceptive thumbnail
sketches of various commanders, pointing out their strengths and their
weaknesses. Ben Butler's career, for example, is characterized in these
well-chosen words, "Throughout, ambition was his guide; cunning
and deceit his ready tools" (p. 20o). In every case, Sommers gives solid
reasons why military decisions were made. In all, it is a classic book on
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed July 31, 2014.