The Civil War in Louisiana MOBI î The Civil MOBI


The Civil War in Louisiana This comprehensive history fills an important gap in the story of the Civil War Too often the war waged west of the Mississippi River has been given short shrift by historians and scholars who have tended to focus their attention on the great battles east of the river This book looks in detail at the military operations that occurred in Louisiana most of them minor skirmishes but some of them battles and campaigns of major importance The Civil War in Louisiana begins with the first talk of secession in the state and ends with the last tragic days of the war John D Winters describes with great fervor and detail such events as the fall of Confederate New Orleans and the burning of Alexandria In addition to military action Winters discusses the political economic and social aspects of the war in Louisiana His accounts of battles and the men who waged them provide a fuller story of Louisiana in the Civil War than has ever before been told Charles L Dufour Florida Historical uarterly John D Winters' The Civil War in Louisiana is not a superior example of well written scholarly history but simply a workmanlike attempt at a comprehensive evaluation of Louisiana during the Civil War It has been criticized and rightly so for its patronizing and simplistic views of the putative “negro problem” during the war Originally published in 1963 the author's references to “Negroes” and the marginalization of their contributions to events are certainly off putting but reflective of the attitudes of Southern historians of that vintage Despite these shortcomings Winters' The Civil War in Louisiana is worthy of Three Stars due to his deep research and the encyclopedic nature of his assessment In his exhaustive look at the war in Louisiana Winters examines not only the military aspects of the war but their political economic and to a lesser extent social aspects as well He goes into great detail and provides a thorough synthesis of the war in that stateI had two complaints though First was the lack of an overall map of Louisiana This would have helped with the large number of place names many of which are unfamiliar to anyone not from thereThe second problem was Winters' coverage of the black population A white author writing in 1963 his attitudes are a bit antiuated He can't seem to understand why slaves would rebel if given the chance and considers this to be nothing but common criminality He is also overly critical of the ability of black units many of which were given scanty training and scantier provisionsThese two problems do somewhat lessen the value of the book yet it is still important reading for anyone studying the Trans Mississippi theater of the war This is a history book that took a road less traveled being neither Lost nor Just Cause propaganda This is the Civil War presented as tragedy particularly since Louisiana suffered severe economic damage due in part to the piratical actions of Union military forces in the state Compared to other Union occupying forces the record is appalling Winters although interested in Confederate actions is no Lost Cause sycophant Confederate desertion and thievery is discussed at length I also like his details on small actions including raids skirmishes and guerilla bandsHis take on black people during the war will not earn him any gold stars today since he mentions looting lawlessness and the like in addition to the efforts to educate and train black soldiers The portrait is balanced between the two although Winters fails to go into detail Yet whereas contemporary authors will ignore disregard or applaud such things Winters does not In that sense Winters might be racist by our standards but he is hardly a patronizing triumphalist which is common today and colors the current writings on the USCT He also subverts the trope of good black soldiers proving themselves in combat and earning the respect of white troops At Milken's Bend he says they fled due to bad training and officers He uotes Union troops being unimpressed with black troops even after they did well under fire All of these points are perhaps played up too much but rather than sighing and saying this is history from the bad old days I liked that he mentioned the warts Indeed that is the general thrust of the book This is not a work of triumphalism This is history as tragedy Dry tragedy but tragedy all the same

  • Paperback
  • 560 pages
  • The Civil War in Louisiana
  • John D. Winters
  • English
  • 12 December 2014
  • 9780807117255

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