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Seanachie: A Boston Irish Storyteller and Part-Time Shaman

Books about place, magic, Faeries, Ireland, sex, God, and love

Currently reading

New Orleans as It Was
Charles "Pie" Dufour, Henry C. Castellanos
New Orleans after the Civil War
Justin A. Nystrom
Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland (complete: First & Second Series)
Isabella Augusta Persse (Lady Gregory)
Bright Dead Things: Poems
Ada Limon
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson
Desire: Poems
Frank Bidart
Selected Poems 1976-2012
Jorie Graham
An Anthology of Modern Irish Poetry
Wes Davis (Editor)
I Am An Executioner: Love Stories
Rajesh Parameswaran
An Artist of the Floating World
Kazuo Ishiguro

Mutiny at Fort Jackson: The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans

Mutiny at Fort Jackson: The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans - Michael D. Pierson The lack of actual evidence from the mutineers at Fort Jackson forces this author to guess and speculate based on other contemporary evidence about other phenomena besides the mutiny, such as life in New Orleans and other instances in which confederate troops threw in the towel. It appears there was a reason no other writer addressed the topic of the mutiny: because there isn’t enough evidence to put together a convincing case to back a thesis one way or the other -- and virtually nothing to indicate the mutineers’ motives or sympathies.

Ultimately, the book devolves into a mass of maybes and guesses and conclusions that are poorly supported with evidence. For example, the author seemed particularly intent on showing that the residents of New Orleans were not uniformly or enthusiastically behind the confederate cause, but the stats cited (7.5% of Union recruits in New Orleans were southern born) did not seem to support the case and, in fact, seemed to suggest strong support for the Confederate cause. Further, the author drew the conclusion that there must have been sympathy for the Union and its philosophy when the facts cited equally supported a different conclusion: that the actions cited by the author showed a populace driven by hunger and poverty, not politics.

The book's one distinguishing feature was the defense of Benjamin Butler as a ruler over captured New Orleans. Butler is nearly uniformly presented as an overly harsh disciplinarian. Pierson persuasively argues that Butler's dispensation of patronage, his focus on the under classes, and his use of political theater (however brutal) was effective in firming the Union hold on New Orleans with far-reaching consequences on the outcome of the war.