Academic journal article Military Review

Jefferson Davis in Blue: The Life of Sherman's Relentless Warrior

Academic journal article Military Review

Jefferson Davis in Blue: The Life of Sherman's Relentless Warrior

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON DAVIS IN BLUE: The Life Of Sherman's Relentless Warrior, Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr., and Gordon D. Whitney, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2002, 475 pages, $49.95.

In Jefferson Davis in Blue, Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes and Gordon D. Whitney provide the first biography of Union General Jefferson Davis, best known for sharing the same name as the more famous president of the Confederate States. Other than that, history remembers Davis as being a hothead who murdered his former commanding officer and who was allegedly a racist accused of abandoning hundreds of black refugees to the mercies of the Confederate cavalry during Sherman's March to the Sea. Hughes and Whitney reappraise Davis, not from a revisionist or apologist viewpoint, but from a complete and analytical perspective. Their findings are enlightening, well written, and thorough.

Davis lived a full military career, serving as an enlisted man during the Mexican War, as a lieutenant at Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War, and as a commander playing important roles at Pea Ridge, Rome, Bentonville, and elsewhere. …

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