The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews

ter rolls. This reviewer found it hard to accept the use of such words
as "epistolary," "exacerbated," and "brouhaha" in a volume written
for general public consumption. Too, one could legitimately dispute
the author's statement that "in the winter of 1863-1864 there was no
major general in the Confederacy whose record was even remotely
comparable to Hood's" (p. 88). Historians of the Army of Tennessee
might take exception to this statement in reference to Patrick R.
Cleburne.
Except for the introduction of numerous contemporary newspaper
accounts, which in the main were interesting and of importance, Mc-
Murry has added little to what has already been written about Hood
and his brigade. John P. Dyer's The Gallant Hood (1950) is still the
best and most readable book on the colorful Kentuckian-turned-
Texan. Nevertheless, room should be made in the libraries of dedi-
cated Civil War readers for John Bell Hood and the War for Southern
Independence.
Hill Junior College HAROLD B. SIMPSON
Journey to Pleasant Hill: The Civil War Letters of Captain Elijah P.
Petty, Walker's Texas Division, CSA. Edited by Norman D.
Brown. (San Antonio: Institute of Texan Cultures, 1982. Pp.
xx+471. Preface, acknowledgments, introduction, illustrations,
maps, notes, appendix, index. $35; two-volume collector's edi-
tion, $75.)
If Jefferson Davis, in May, 1865, had succeeded in his effort to es-
cape William T. Sherman's troops and in his hope to keep the Con-
federate flag flying in the Trans-Mississippi Department, he would have
wanted men like Elijah P. Petty with him. Petty had died in combat
a year earlier, at the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. But his let-
ters-here handsomely published and copiously annotated-show that
he was a man after Davis's heart. Petty supported John C. Breckin-
ridge in the presidential election of 1860, then worked hard to ensure
that Texas would secede from the Union. As an officer in the Confed-
erate army he wanted to do the Yankees more damage than his service
in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana gave him the opportunity to do.
He believed that the Confederates should unite in one large force,
raise the black flag to show that they would take no prisoners, and
march into the north, laying waste to all in their path, until they had
won Confederate independence and left no seeds of abolitionism alive.
Although this fantasy did not win official Confederate approval, Petty

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed April 18, 2015.