Louisianians in the Western Confederacy: The Adams-Gibson Brigade in the Civil War. By Stuart Salling.
Stuart Salling’s book on the Adams-Gibson Brigade of Louisianians follows the brigade as it fought in the Army of Tennessee, participating in all the battles of that army until after Nashville when it was transferred to Mobile Bay rather than being sent to North Carolina. The brigade also served as part of Joe Johnston’s army in Mississippi during the summer of 1863.
The brigade went through many reorganizations but its main elements were banded together in August 1862. The ravages of war reduced the Louisiana regiments to the point that they had to be consolidated together, and sometimes they were able to gain enough recruits to regain their individual status again. Salling does a good job of explaining the plentiful confusing command and structure changes with the regiments of the brigade.
Salling also does a good job of explaining the political infighting between Bragg and his generals. Brigade commander Daniel Adams was a Bragg supporter, in fact he received this brigade to prevent Randall Gibson, a Bragg opponent, from commanding a brigade. Adams and Gibson though appear to have gotten along quite nicely. After Bragg resigned following the battle of Missionary Ridge Adams was one of the many officers who recommended Gibson for a promotion to brigadier general, which he got. Gibson commanded the brigade in all its future actions
Besides being an interesting story the book is laid out well visually. There are quite a few pictures of the men and officers who served in the brigade. The maps are nice as they show the layout of the regiments within the brigade and also show the entire battlefield as well. Sometimes these sorts of books get so focused on the activities of their small part that they ignore the larger operations, this book tends to do a good job of not getting too focused.
The full review will appear after its publication in Civil War News.
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