Ohio History Journal

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Book Notes

Book Notes




The Civil War Letters of an Ohio Soldier: S.O. Chamberlain and the 49th Ohio

Volunteer Infantry. By Dick and Judy Chamberlain. (Flournoy, California: Dick

Chamberlain, 1990. ix + 67p.; illustrations.) Letters written by a Seneca Coun-

ty soldier during the years 1861 -65 are interspersed with the authors' explication

of their contents. A candid portrayal of campaigning with the Army of the Cum-

berland, the letters speak with a certain rude eloquence of the tedium and hard-

ship of the tented field, yet are rarely gloomy. A letter of November 2, 1864, pro-

vides the only affirmation the reviewer is aware of that soldiers legally too young

to vote participated in the crucial elections of that year.


Ohio Historical Society                            James K. Richards



Antioch-The Dixon Era., 1959-1975. Compiled and edited by Edla M. Dixon.

(Saco, Maine: Bastille Books, 1991. xii + 232p.; illustrations, appendices, index.)

These are the reflections of James P. Dixon on his activities and experiences as

the fifteenth president of Antioch College at a time of extensive academic pro-

gram expansion. A discussion of the college's pre-Dixon history, with special em-

phasis on Arthur Morgan and his contemporaries, provides a good context for the

former president's recollections. Dixon's work as an administrator, fund raiser,

and program developer that culminated in the student strike of 1973 and precip-

itated his leaving the college, are treated in a straightforward narrative. The read-

er not intimately familiar with many of the remarkable academic innovations in-

stituted at Antioch during Dixon's tenure will, at times, desire a more complete

explanation of the various programs. Nonetheless, it stands as an important and

interesting recounting from a college administrator's perspective of one of the

more tumultuous periods in the history of higher education in Ohio.


Ohio Historical Society                            David A. Simmons



Brownie the Boomer: The Life of Charles P. Brown, an American Railroader.

Edited by H. Roger Grant. (DeKalb: Northern Illinois Press, 1991. xx + 259p.;

illustrations, notes, appendix, index.) In the late nineteenth and early twentieth

centuries, itinerant railroad workers-boomers-went from job to job and road

to road, moving on when the company canned them or when the mood hit them.

While they played a vital role in the building and operation of the nation's grow-

ing rail network, few left written accounts of their times. Charles Brown (1879-

before 1957) was an exception. In 1929 and 1930 Brown privately published two

versions of his autobiography, providing an intimate and wholly readable account

of a boomer's life. Eminent railroad historian Roger Grant of the University of

Akron has taken parts of each version, edited the result, and added a very help-

ful introduction and much-needed notes to produce a volume that is as readable

as it is valuable.


Ohio Historial Society                       Christopher S. Duckworth