The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 140
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
1,474 entries by 330 scholars. Most are recognized experts, but many are young
or even fledgling historians who, in effect, serve notice that research and writing
on the Civil War will remain vital for decades to come. Editor-in-chief Richard N.
Current undoubtedly received thousands of hours of toil and commiseration
from his editors: Paul D. Escott, Lawrence N. Powell, James I. Robertson Jr., and
Emory M. Thomas. How else could such a colossal project have been completed
in less than five years? Considering the number of entries requiring editing,
along with the task of compiling a comprehensive index running to more than
one hundred pages, plus felicitous illustrations and superb maps, the editors
must have applied a deft combination of cajolery and coercion upon their mot-
ley legion of authors. By itself, such astounding speed attests mightily to the
virtues of an editorial project intended to make money rather than to spend it.
The glaring fact that all the editors are middle-aged white males will attract
some sniping, perhaps to the ridiculous extreme of branding the work a celebra-
tion of neo-Confederate patriotism. But the inclusion of, three women on the
seven-person "editorial advisory board" clearly brought sensitivity and fairness to
the difficult process of selecting topics, enlisting authors, and editing the results.
Fortunately, modern defenders of the Lost Cause as well as academic mouth-
pieces of leftist ideology will be equally disappointed. The entries reflect the
calm judiciousness of mature historical scholarship. This attribute is most evi-
dent in the extended entries on several potentially controversial topics, includ-
ing African Americans in the Confederacy; education; family life; film and video;
free people of color; labor; the Lost Cause; morale; music; the plantation and
planters; slavery; society; state rights; and women. Shorter entries on individual
Native American groups; biographical sketches of dozens of women, African
Americans, and Hispanic leaders; and numerous other references to minorities
underscore the editors' determination to examine what one might call a multi-
Although far too many users will probably take the index for granted, truly se-
rious scholars will undoubtedly benefit from the citations to the best published
sources appended to each entry. Indeed, nearly everyone will find something of
value just by dipping into the text. Readers interested in military topics will be
pleased with the generous coverage given major campaigns and battles, Confed-
erate generals and other prominent officers, and several key topics, including
army organization (with separate entries on the Army of Northern Virginia and
the Army of Tennessee); the blockade; the cavalry; espionage; guerrilla warfare;
hospitals; infantry; losses and numbers; the navy; prisoners of war and prisons;
sailors; soldiers; strategy and tactics; and the War Department. For hardcore mil-
itary enthusiasts, the encyclopedia includes extensive entries on Confederate
arms, weapons, and ammunition; artillery; edged weapons; forts and fortifica-
tions; naval guns; small arms; and uniforms. Traditional non-military matters re-
ceive ample attention in substantial entries on individual states and major cities;
political figures ranging from the important to the relatively minor; and such
crucial topics as Confederate diplomacy; the economy; pohtics; public finance;
railroads; secession; unionism; and urbanization.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/168/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.