A VIRGINIA YANKEE IN THE CIVIL WAR by

A VIRGINIA YANKEE IN THE CIVIL WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled ""The Diaries of David Hunter Strother"", this previously unpublished Civil War journal of a Virginian who fought for the North differs from most similar records in that the author was both an officer in the Union army and also a well-known journalist. Born in Martinsburg, Va., in 1816 and trained as an artist in Paris, for years before the war Strother wrote and illustrated American travel articles for Harper's Monthly. A Virginia gentleman who believed in Union, he enlisted in the Federal army as civilian topographer, rose to the rank of colonel, and although he never commanded a regiment served under such undistinguished generals as Banks, Sigel and Hunter. In his daily journal, which he started in 1862, he writes as a trained reporter of Northern stupidities and Southern blunders, of freed Negroes, political pressures, and his own early dislike and later admiration for Lincoln. Sympathetic to most non-combatants but convinced of the need of destroying military installations, Strother at Staunton was responsible for the burning of the Virginia Military Institute; later, as adjutant general of Virginia, he was the first to restore it. Retiring from the army before Appomatox, in 1879 he was made Consul General for Mexico, and died in 1888; his Recollections of the Civil War, serialized by Harper's, were based on his journals but did not include them. The record of an intelligent man who saw the war as a whole, not in small pieces, and who often made wrong predictions, this excellently edited volume is an important addition to the military and personal background of the Civil War, and will appeal to historians, students, literate buffs.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1961
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press