The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Book Reviews

Stricklin's book is spooky because of his occasional maddening use of the pas-
sive tense and unidentified flying objects. Ghostly, amorphous subjects flit
around everywhere in search of embodiment. The author's often sweeping soci-
ological statements, sans citations or epexegesis (e.g. "activist ... country," p.
37), prompt hesitation in readers in search of substance. A lack of standardized
definitions (Stricklin speaks of dissenters, progressive dissenters, fundamental-
ists, ultraconservatives, etc., all without nuanced meaning) produces the same
holy smoky effect. And how Stricklin's citation of John 3:16 as the source of the
Great Commission (p. 115) escaped his or his proofreaders' notice is almost
astounding. It is also an alert.
Read very critically by already well-informed readers, however, this is a very
useful book. It is much like a scarecrow in Guccis, sporting a one-pound dia-
mond pinky ring and sipping schnapps at a caf6 table in Van Gogh's starry
night. It leaves a remarkable impression, while one cannot always trust it in
important details. Nevertheless, the pound of diamonds on the pinky are worth
far more than the pound of straw that make up the scarecrow, whether you find
some on the surface or even if you have to dig for others.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary JAMES LUTZWEILER
Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism. By
Mark E. Neely Jr. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999. Pp.
vii+2 12. Acknowledgments, introduction, conclusion, notes, index. ISBN o-
8139-1894-4. $35.00, cloth.)
The author, who wrote the award-winning The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln
and Czvzl Liberties, analyzes similar issues for the Confederacy in this volume. His
discovery of records of about four thousand civilians arrested by the Confederate
government provides the primary basis for this study.
Neely first discusses the wartime tension between liberty and order. Gen.
Thomas Hindman in 1862 believed that to defend Arkansas and restore order he
should declare martial law, control manufacturing and cotton, execute deserters,
and arrest critics regardless of legal authorization. Opposition from Gen. Albert
Pike and state political leaders led to Hindman's removal. Across the
Confederacy military officers also responded to public concern about drunken
sailors with declarations of martial law until states passed temperance laws in
1862-1863. Many Confederate citizens willingly accepted limitations on liberty to
achieve order in society, a conclusion that differs from those of earlier historians.
The focus then shifts to attitudes of lawyers and judges in the Confederacy.
With many attorneys in the army, the courts became less active. Some lawyers
defended civil liberties against military arrests, especially in conscription cases.
Attempts by the military to force acceptance of Confederate currency also met
some legal opposition. Yet state courts tended to sympathize with the govern-
ment. The North Carolina Supreme Court, especially Justice Richmond
Pearson in 1863-1864, provided the one exception with decisions limiting con-
scription. In 1861 the Confederate government began to create habeas corpus

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2001

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed December 25, 2014.