The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999

Book Reviews

next, and then a southerner-on my mother's side a southerner beyond dis-
pute" (p. 2). After receiving his Ph.D. from Gottingen University in Germany,
he taught at the University of Virginia and then at Johns Hopkins University.
Throughout the Civil War years, Gildersleeve taught during the winter and
served as a staff officer during the summer campaigns. He received a crippling
wound in 1864. Between October 1863 and August 1864, he wrote sixty-three
editorials for the Richmond Examiner. In Soldier and Scholar: Basil Lanneau
Gildersleeve and the Civil War, Briggs, a professor of classics at the University of
South Carolina, claims that the editorials present "a rare opportunity to witness
a highly gifted intelligence confronting and explaining to a broad and presum-
ably well-read readership, North and South, not only the eternal truths of war
but also its daily flucuations" (p. 1-2).
Gildersleeve used Greek and Roman history, philosophy, and mythology;
Aesop's fables; the Old Testament; the Koran; Hindu legends; and other classi-
cal and contemporary writers and philosophers to clarify his thoughts on the
Confederacy's condition. He scolded Jewish profiteers and Jefferson Davis's
administration, focusing his censure on the financial policies of Secretary of the
Treasury Christopher G. Memminger. Nevertheless, in comparing Davis and
Abraham Lincoln, "the Ape of Illinois" (p. 270), Gildersleeve ruefully conced-
ed: "It is some comfort, we grant, to have a President who does not disgrace us
by Hoosier-English, but it is comfort which is dearly bought at the price of a
Memminger and a [General Braxton] Bragg" (p. 184). Gildersleeve expectorat-
ed venom on the Yankees: "Nemesis has a host of avenging angels and the
Furies thousands of cords in their scourges. Whether our nationality survives or
not, the righteous doom of the North is written" (p. 242). As to slavery,
Gildersleeve admitted, "We stand alone" (p. 305); however, he charged, "for
our part, we are content to keep aloof from the 'spirit of progress' which is
making all over the world such a sad hotch-potch of the elements of true civi-
lization' (p. 305). Gildersleeve leavened his editorials with humor. In compar-
ing the American Civil War to the Peloponnesian War, he concluded, "The
revolt of Lesbos from the Athenians presents a wonderful analogy to the upris-
ing of the Marylanders-if they only had risen up . ." (p. 120).
Soldier and Scholar is a handsome book. Briggs's introduction places
Gildersleeve in the context of American classical scholarship and the Civil War.
His pithy footnotes elucidate Gildersleeve's allusions, translate the Latin and
Greek phrases, and identify each person. Advanced students and Civil War schol-
ars will savor Soldier and Scholar. All readers who patiently peruse each paragraph
and footnote will profit from their exposure to the mind of an educated man.
Texas A&M University-Texarkana TOM WAGY
The Devil's Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South. Edited by Catherine Clinton and
Michele Gillespie. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. xx+274.
Contributors, introduction, epilogue, suggested reading. ISBN
0-19-511243-1. $16.95, paper.)
Scholars of the American Southwest may at first dismiss The Devil's Lane as
irrelevant to the region. Most of the essays focus on the eastern seaboard of

535

1999

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/. Accessed December 21, 2014.