Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Longstreet's Aide: The Civil War Letters of ThomasJ. Goree. Edited by Thomas Cutrer.
(Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995- Pp. 239. Introduction,
notes, index. ISBN 0-8139-1574-0. $27.95.)
In 1861 Thomas J. Goree, a young Texan from a wealthy plantation family
with important political connections, traveled to Virginia to be in the first battle
of the Civil War. He was accompanied by Benjamin Franklin Terry, Thomas S.
Lubbock, and John A. Wharton of Texas, plus Maj. James Longstreet, who had
just resigned his commission in the United State Army to accept a commission
from the Confederacy.
Goree arrived in time for the first battle, but his associations quickly secured
for him a staff position. Initially he was appointed to the command of Brig. Gen.
P. G. T. Beauregard as an independent scout, but on July 18, 1861, he was
named a volunteer aide on the staff of his traveling companion, Brig. Gen.
James Longstreet. Goree served for the rest of the war on Longstreet's staff and
witnessed at first hand the personalities, politics, and operations of the Army of
Tom Cutrer's Longstreet's Aide is an edited and annotated collection of Goree's
wartime correspondence, mainly letters he wrote but including some written to
him; the travel diary that he kept from June 26 to August 6, 1865; and Goree's
postwar correspondence with Longstreet and other Confederate commanders.
Much of the material that appears here was published in a limited printing of
two hundred copies in 1981. Cutrer offers a more accessible version that
benefits greatly from his annotations. While Goree's literary skills left the editor
with little to edit, Cutrer's notes offer valuable information on individuals men-
tioned in the manuscripts and amplify or explain the historical context of the
The materials presented here contain much information on the war from a
staff officer's perspective. His position made it possible for him to see and reflect
on the broader aspects of campaigning. His ability to write allowed him to share
his perceptions in clear, well-developed descriptive style. Goree's writings also
provide considerable insight into their author, mirroring the attitudes of a
youthful Texas aristocrat, including his disdain for Virginia cavalrymen. Only
the unfortunate disappearance of Goree's letters from the Second Manassas,
Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Knoxville
campaigns mars an otherwise marvelous collection. This book will be of interest
to anyone interested in the Civil War or in the role of Texans in the conflict.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock CARL H. MONEYHON
Black Soldiers in fim Crow Texas, 1899-1917. By Garna Christian. (College Station:
Texas A&M University Press, 1995. Pp. 223. Introduction, notes, bibliogra-
phy, index. ISBN o-890o96-637-0o. $35.00.)
This book focuses on confrontations between African American troops and
Anglo or Hispanic civilians during a period of widespread discrimination. The
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed April 17, 2014.