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Literary notices.

The army of Virginia, from Cedar mountain to Alexandria, 1862. By Brevet Major-General George H. Gordon, U. S. Volunteers. Boston: Houghton, Osgood & Co. 1880.

We are indebted to the publishers for a copy of this beautiful specimen of the book-maker's art, which in paper, type and binding is what we may expect from the famous “Riverside press.”

We have read every page of the book with deep interest, and (reserving for the future a full review) we do not hesitate to say that it is in the main an able, candid, remarkably fair, and very valuable contribution to the history of the campaign of which it treats. General Gordon has diligently studied both the Federal and the Cenfederate official reports, and all other means of information accessible to him; has made skillful use of his material, and has produced, in many respects, a model book. His tribute to “StonewallJackson, who was his classmate at West Point, is very beautiful. His acknowledgment of the ability of Lee, and others of his subordinates, and his tribute to the splendid fighting qualities of the Army of Northern Virginia, are very handsomely done, and we “take off our hat” to the gallant soldier who could see these qualities in “Rebels,” and has had the moral courage to publish his convictions.

His criticisms of our especial pets--General John Pope, General Halleck, and General Milroy--are as scathingly severe as they are fully sustained by the facts.

He very ably defends General McClellan from charges made against him in connection with Pope's disasters, and makes a most triumphant vindication of General Fitz. John Porter from the charges under which that gallant soldier has suffered for these long years. And now we must regret that so good a book should be marred by some very serious blemishes, which our space does not allow us now to point out, but to which we shall hereafter fully pay our respects.

We hold ourselves prepared to show that in his treatment of the relative numbers of the two armies he has fallen into the almost universal error of Northern writers in underestimating Federal and exaggerating Confederate numbers; that in his attacks on General J. E. B. Stuart he is as unjust as he is bitter; that in his vivid description of Ewell's “precipitate flight” [144] from Bristoe station he has been grossly imposed on by some “romancer” ; that in his patriotic outburst against the “damnable conspiracies for the overthrow of the Government,” which were wont to be hatched at Warrenton Sulphur Springs by “the Lees, the Hamptons” and others, he allows the zeal of the partisan to blind the judgment of the historian; and that in other statements he has been misled.

Advance and retreat. By Lieutenant-General J. B. Hood. New Orleans: Published by General G. T. Beauregard, for the benefit of the Hood Orphan Memorial Fund. We have just received this book, and must reserve a notice for our next number. But we may say now that these “personal experiences in the United States and Confederate States armies,” by the chivalric and lamentened Hood, cannot but be of deep interest; that his side of the story, however men may differ in reference to certain unfortunate controversies of which it treats, will be valuable material for the future historian; and that as the proceeds of the sale go to the relief of his helpless orphans, the book ought to have a wide sale in every section of the country, and ought especially to find a place in the homes of all dwellers in “the land he loved” so well.

Father Ryan's poems, in a beautiful volume, embelished with superb steel engravings of the author and of The conquered banner, has just come to us from Randolph & English, Richmond. The bare announcement is sufficient to secure for these sweet lays of the “Poet Priest” of the South a wide circulation.

St. Nicholas for February has the usual variety of splendid pictures, charming stories, and pretty verses, which has made this magazine, which the Scribners prepare for children, famous all over the world.

We have been receiving it at our home for some years, and the sparkling eyes with which the little folks greet it, and the deep interest with which the grown people read it, arc sufficient evidence of its popularity. But, what is better, it gives us pleasure to testify that its freedom from sectional or partisan bias, its pure moral tone, and its high literary character, are such that we can with confidence recommend it as a visitor to the homes of our people, which is more than we can say of many similar publications.

Scribner's monthly for February is a really superb number, and the first paper of Eugene Schuyler on Peter the Great, and Francis R. Upton's “authorative” account of Edison's electric light, are alone worth the price of the subscription for the whole year. But these are but specimens of the good things with which the Scribners crowd their magazine from month to month.

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