The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

482 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
preserving liberty was the one that Southerners regarded as a threat to
freedom.
Beneath that causal umbrella, however, Jimerson recognizes consid-
erable diversity within each section. Individuals on both sides had diffi-
culty grasping the importance of slavery and, later, the value of black
soldiers. Nor was there unanimity in the perceptions of the enemy.
Here the author uses six individuals, five men and one woman, as rep-
resentative of the varying ways that participants viewed their oppo-
nents, ranging from intense hatred to pity for their misguided enemy.
Probably the most interesting chapter, though, deals with the limits
of sectional cohesiveness. Jimerson discusses state loyalty, social class,
military rank, ideology and patriotism, and morale as divisive elements
within each section. Although none or even all of them resulted in de-
feat, they did create fissures in the ranks of both sides and made effec-
tive prosecution of the war more difficult.
My only negative criticism, and I make this lightly because The Pri-
vate Civil War is a good book, is that Jimerson is selective in the manu-
script repositories that he visited. While he devoted considerable time
researching in North Carolina and Michigan, his bibliography indicates
glaring omissions-those in New York, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts,
Virginia, Georgia, and Texas, to name just a few states. This aside, The
Private Civil War is an insightful book and should be read by anyone
interested in the "Middle Period."
University of Houston JOSEPH T. GLATTHAAR
Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstong Custer and the Western Military Fron-
tier. By Robert M. Utley. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,
1988. Pp. xvii+226. Preface, maps, illustrations, sources, index.
$19.95.)
It is known as the Custer Battlefield, not the Little Bighorn Battlefield.
What other sacred sites of American military history bear the names of
commanding officers? Absolutely none. That Custer should receive
such a distinction stands as testimony to his boundless popularity as a
mythical historical figure. His dashing appearance, his compelling confi-
dence and courage in battle, his unabashed self-promotion, his complex
personality, the totality of his controversial career have all jelled in vari-
ous interpretations over the past century to produce an ever-growing
public fascination-indeed, true cult status-surpassed only by a hand-
ful of great presidents and military leaders among white American his-
torical figures.
Like several of these giants, Custer garnered immense renown
largely because he died under sensational circumstances. This is a cru-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed July 28, 2014.