HAYES OF THE TWENTY-THIRD by T. Harry Williams

HAYES OF THE TWENTY-THIRD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hayes has been called a successful non-political politician. At this book proves, it is even true to call him a successful non-military soldier. Hayes had the diary habit all his life. (Last year, the author edited Hayes: The Diary of a President, 1964 p. 85.) Diary passages and excerpts from the narrative portions of Hayes' letters home during the four years he was an appointed officer in the volunteer Ohio regiment reveal the man and his times during his ""golden years."" Professor Williams contends that no later political offices or honors meant as much to Hayes as the comradeship, responsibility and excitement he felt as a Major and then a Colonel. He arrived very quickly at the term ""my men"" and his transition from citizen to soldier earned him the respect of his soldiers and the appreciation of his superiors. In his Preface, Professor Williams points out that this study of a volunteer officer, his adjustments, his duties, the role he typified in the Civil War armies should be of interest to military historians,-- both scholars and buffs. A readership beyond this is difficult to project. Lincoln and His Generals (1952), which made the author's name familiar to an audience of bestseller proportions, had a much wider interest than Hayes can generate. The mania to read in Civil War history has abated and this book is too narrowly focussed to attract the biography browsers. Perhaps the main consideration in selection or rejection will be the fact that there is almost no material in print for general readers about the 19th President.

Publisher: Knopf