The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

repeated over and over by commissioners who hammered at what they saw as
"Black Republican" plots to impoverish the South and embroil it in a race
war. And to a man they were unambiguous about the definition of states'
rights: it was the right to own slaves. In a move that will be welcomed by many
readers, Dew includes the entire text of Hale's letter in an appendix. A web
site, www.apostlesofdisunion.com, promises to provide even more documents.
Readers of this journal interested in the role played by commissioners sent
to the Texas secession convention will be a bit disappointed. All five states sent
representatives to Texas, but it seems that these men found little opposition to
overcome. South Carolina's John McQueen spoke to the Austin convention on
February 1, 1861, asserting to Texans that Lincoln's election meant not only
"the abolition of slavery upon this continent" but also "the elevation of our
own slaves to an equality with ourselves and our children" (p. 48). Whether be-
cause of McQueen's inflammatory words or already firmly held convictions,
delegates voted in favor of secession the same day.
Charles Dew has provided a great service with this book. Its short length
and an attractive paperback price make it a boon to scholars of the period
and a natural for classroom adoption. Dew has tackled a subject fraught with
emotion and provided a devastatingly blunt analysis. He has, it seems to this
reader, left no doubt about what motivated many in the South during the se-
cession winter.
Virginza Historical Society PAUL A. LEVENGOOD
Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat. By John
E. Clark Jr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2ool. Pp.
xi+275. Introduction, photographs, maps, notes, appendix, bibliography,
index. ISBN 0-8071-2726-4. $34.95, cloth.)
John E. Clark's thesis that the North successfully organized its railroads during
the Civil War, while the South failed to bring its system under centralized con-
trol, will not stir up much debate. Clark, nevertheless, tries to add to historians'
understanding by using a case study to bring into sharper focus the differences
between the North's and the South's managerial successes and failures. Thus,
the book is not a large, sweeping treatment of railroads during the Civil War.
Rather, Clark examines two significant troop movements in 1863-the transfer
of Longstreet's 13,000 troops from Virginia to East Tennessee and the Union's
movement from Washington to Chattanooga of the 23,000 soldiers in the
Eleventh and Twelfth Corps.
At the beginning of the book, Clark provides an excellent overview of the rise
of the bureaucratic structures, system, rules and regulations, and technological
innovations that railroad managers had adopted up to the Civil War. He also de-
scribes the differences in the Northern and Southern railroads, with particular at-
tention given to the South's poor connections and different track gauges. Clark
then moves quickly into the war itself and how the Union and Confederate gov-
ernments differed in their views of centralization. Clark faults the Confederacy

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed May 3, 2015.