Book Review: A Small but Spartan Band: The Florida Brigade in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia


by Zack C. Waters & James C. Edmonds

Tuscaloosa: University Alabama Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 254. Illus., maps, notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 0817316795

The least populous Confederate state, Florida tends to be overlooked in accounts of the Civil War, but in A Small but Spartan Band we are given an interesting look at the Floridians who served in Virginia theatre of operations.

As the authors’ note, the Floridians of Lee’s army performed their duties well, but like their state, their role has largely been overlooked because they were few in number compared with other contingents.  The authors then proceed to correct this oversight, in an account that follows the Florida contingent from the beginning of the war until Appomattox.  They give us a good look at the origins of the troops, a number of excellent battle pieces, and profiles of some interesting personnel.  The principal flaws of the work are that it is focused particularly on the 2nd Florida, to the neglect of its sister units, and is perhaps a bit too enthusiastic.

Overall, however, this is an important contribution to the growing shelf of accounts of individual brigades, which were the primary tactical units in the war. 


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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