Life of Commodore Josiah Tattnall. By Colonel Charles C. Jones, Jr. Savannah: Morning News Printing House. We are indebted to the accomplished author for a copy of this very interesting biography of one whose gallant service for fifty years was an honor to the flag he bore, and whose death, after a well-spent life of nearly four score years, was so widely lamented. The book gives a detailed and very interesting account of his ancestry, birth, school days in England, and his long and distinguished service in the United States navy until the secession of Georgia carried his allegiance with  his State, and caused him to resign his commission and enter the Confederate service. His gallant service in command of the naval defences of South Carolina and Georgia is detailed, and then follows an account of his command of the iron-clad Virginia (Merrimac) after the wounding of Captain Buchanan. In this exceedingly interesting part of the narrative, official letters and reports of great historic value are given, and it is conclusively shown that the boasted “victory” of the Monitor over the Virginia is all a romance; but that, on the contrary, after the first encounter the Monitor avoided coming to close quarters with her more powerful antagonist, and declined the gage of battle thrown down to her. The circumstances under which Commodore Tattnall afterwards destroyed the Virginia, to prevent her falling into the hands of the enemy, are detailed, and he is fully exonerated from all blame in the premises. His subsequent career in the Confederate service, his life after the war, and his death, are all vividly portrayed — the whole making a book of rare interest and great historic value. Colonel Jones has done his work admirably, and the general get up of the book reflects great credit on both printers and binders.
Memoirs of the war of the Southern Department. By Henry Lee. A new Edition with Revisions and a Biography of the Author. By R. E. Lee. New York: University Publishing Company. We are indebted to the publishers for this admirably gotten up edition of a standard work, which should be in every library. “Light horse Harry” wielded a graceful pen, and his story of the campaign in the Southern Department is one of deep interest. But the volume now possesses a greatly enhanced value by the addition of the brief biography of his father by General R. E. Lee. This is prepared with a skillful arrangement of material, a delicacy of feeling, and a real power of narration which at the same time charms the reader and deepens the general regret that the distinguished author was not spared to complete his own memoirs of the second war for independence, which the whole world would have read with intensest interest, and received as settling all statement of facts which it might have given.