The Rays Look Back. By Marvin Basil McCarley. (Dallas: Ray Reunions,
Inc., I972. Pp. 207. Illustrations, appendix, index. $20o.)
This narrative traces the lineage of Joseph M. and Mary (Phouts) Ray,
1844 settlers of Smith County, Texas. The author, a great, great grandson,
chronicles not only the family's history, but the logistics involved in locating
some three hundred Ray descendants for a 1970 reunion.
Structural innovations in the ninety-six page genealogical index and an
extensive pictorial record enhance the work, compensating in part for extremes
of filial rhetoric such as the subhead, "Wondrous Grandpa and Grandma."
The book offers a glimpse into East \Texas pioneer life and will attract the
student of local history.
Dallas JODY POTTS
The Dark Corner of the Confederacy. Edited by B. P. Gallaway, 2nd edition.
(Dubuque, Iowa: Kenall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1972. Pp. xiii+ 284.
Maps, index. $5.95.)
The 1968 edition of this book effectively introduced the reader to the sizeable
amount of primary source materials available on Texas during the general Civil
War period. The first edition was good; it adequately accomplished its self-as-
signed objective. The second edition is excellent; it not only thoroughly meets
this objective but it shows a craftsmanship that was lacking in the earlier book.
Instead of merely adding a few new pictures and juggling a couple of the
original pages into new places, editor B. P. Gallaway has done an impressive
job of improving his basic work in this new edition. The General Introduction
(an overview of Texas in the period) has been expanded from a scanty five
pages to a significant twenty-six pages. A half-dozen items have been added
to the "excerpts" and "appendices." Alwyn Barr has updated and expanded
his essay on Texas Civil War historiography. And all through the new edition
errors in spelling, punctuation, and format have been corrected. The result
of this effort is a first-class work. Really promising, advanced graduate stu-
dents could learn a great deal about the concept of "craftsmanship" by
making comparative studies of the differences between the two editions of
this same book.
Gallaway deserves praise and thanks for his production of a very effective
set of readings. Anyone with an interest in Texas during this period should
find the work a fine sampler of the literature available; and the book should,
most certainly, whet any reader's appetite for more reading.
Texas A&M University
ALLAN C. ASHCRAFT
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed July 5, 2015.