The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 487
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when Professor Gallagher indicates in his introductory remarks that although
the Valley Campaign has become legendary, it is useful to recall that it primarily
"functioned at the time as a secondary dimension of military affairs" (p. ix). He
emphasizes the observation by pointing out that almost twice as many men were
casualties at Gaines's Mill alone during the contemporaneous Seven Days as
were lost in the entire Valley Campaign.
Essentially, there were two strategic features that made the Shenandoah
Valley important in the war. For one thing, it served as a major logistical base
for Confederate forces in the eastern theater; and secondly, it was the main
avenue of approach toward Washington and thus represented a dagger pointed
at the throat of Union headquarters. As important as these two conditions were,
they would not have figured so prominently had not Stonewall Jackson com-
manded the southern forces in the region. As later events following Jackson's
death demonstrate, subsequent Confederate efforts in the area were never as
All the essays are interesting, but space limitations make it impossible to
review each of them; nevertheless, a few will reflect their diversity together with
their numerous provocative perspectives. Professor Gallagher begins the trend
by attempting to defuse the "durable misconceptions" that Abraham Lincoln
"panicked" during the campaign (p. xviii). Accordingly, each author con-
tributes his own particular thrust against convention. A. Cash Koeniger, for
example, discusses Jackson's many problems in dealing with others, especially
subordinates. His clumsy, tactless, and often inept communications caused
great problems, and "A range of people found it difficult to work with Jackson"
(p. 229). Some even thought him insane in no part because of his penchant for
ordering arrests for minor and even questionable offenses. He was not one to
listen to reasonable counter arguments; consequently, subordinates found it
easier simply to bend to his often casual and careless whims. John Berkey
emphasizes the problem by describing the problems that civilians, including
women and children, endured in the Shenandoah. They were pawns not mere-
ly of the Union but also ofJackson.
A particularly absorbing portrayal of Jackson by Robert Krick displays the con-
tradictory attitudes that people had of him. Krick asserts that a metamorphosis
occurred in evaluations of the man both in contemporary and historical writing.
For many of his critics, he had been "Tom Fool Jackson." Gens. Charles Winder
and Richard Ewell would fall in this category, especially after his mysterious and
neglectful absence during the Seven Days. It was Jackson's tragic, unexpected,
and unconventional death that helped to produce the worshipful and legendary
figure that he became. As Krick points out, the conversion was virtually an
"overnight" transformation from iconoclasm to idolatry (p. 39).
The essays are interesting, curious, wide-ranging, and debatable. One thing
they are not is dull. Doubtless this excellent volume will cause many exchanges
and discussions among Civil War historians and enthusiasts.
JAMES W. POHL
Texas State Unversity-San Marcos
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/545/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.