The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945

Book Reviews

soldier's attitude towards taking orders. The American was
extremely individualistic. Political influence and extensive use
of militia complicated matters greatly. Washington's urgent
demands for a regular army and his unending distress over
short-term enlistments are common knowledge, but the more
serious and humiliating results of desertions and mutinies,
alarmingly widespread during frequent periods of crisis, are
not so well known. Behavior under fire, often unpredictable in
inexperienced troops, caused many anxious moments. As would
be expected, the morale of the troops, and civilians as well, fluc-
tuated with the ebb and flow of the war. Victories always inspired;
defeats and excessive hardships depressed; foreign support acted
like a powerful stimulant; conditions back home encouraged or
discouraged, according to security, health, and general con-
ditions.
Leadership was all-important. Washington's character and
personal influence could scarcely be exaggerated. Other field
leaders, such as Greene, Lafayette, Wayne, George Rogers Clark,
Benedict Arnold (before his desertion), and thousands of men
of lower rank contributed to the cause beyond power of words
to picture. Chaplains in the field, doctors in camp and hospital,
and civilian leaders back home all played heroic parts in sustain-
ing morale. Professor Bowman gleaned through thousands of
letters, sermons, broadsides, newspapers, official reports, to
get the parts that go into this mosaic of men, materials, and
time. The problems of a short and glorious war (the kind always
anticipated) and one of endurance are always vastly different.
It is gratifying, indeed, that Washington and his great immediate
subordinates, as well as thousands of lesser men, remained
steadfast throughout those long and utterly weary years of
the War for Independence.
J. L. WALLER
College of Mines and Metallurgy
The Plain People of the Confederacy. By Bell Irwin Wiley.
Baton Rouge (Louisiana State University Press), 1943.
Pp. ix, 104. $1.50.
This work consists of three essays: "The Common Soldiers,"
"The Folk at Home," and "The Colored Folk," presented as
the Fleming lectures at Louisiana State University. The first

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed July 25, 2014.