08 November 2017

If You Remember When Histories Recorded History...

I'm only on page 14 of the 811-page Volume One of the Kindle edition of Shelby Foote's  The Civil War: A Narrative, but I'm ready to declare it a masterpiece. If you like history one iota, get these books. 

4 comments:

Tim Capps said...

I'm reading With Men Like These about Stonewall Jackson. The author clearly prefers Jackson over Lee, and I tend to agree that Lee sometimes skillfully but unwisely fought the war the South was doomed to lose, while Stonewall Jackson would have pursued a strategy of maneuver that would have avoided the set-piece meat grinders that would inevitably defeat the South with its much smaller population.

newguy40 said...

I'm not sure I'd call in a masterpiece but an entertaining popular look at the ACW it surely is. It's one of several ACW works that I do periodically re-read. Catton's series as well as Freeman's Lee biography.

Both Lee and Jackson were mortal. Look at Jackson in the Seven Days campaign. Lee had opportunities to defeat Grant in the Overland campaign at the North Anna, Wilderness. No "meat grinders" after Gettysburg. Take a look at the actual union cold harbor casualties and casualty rate and see if you don't agree. The rifled musket and entrenchments put an end to glorious charges and the war for manouver.

Anonymous said...

Shelby Foote tells us that the Civil War happened “because we failed to do the thing we really have a genius for, which is compromise.” And just what was it that we failed to compromise on? Slavery was the one issue that, in the end, could no longer be compromised on. That’s why it was the root cause of The Civil War. We always hear that the war started because of states' rights, and that's correct: a state's right to own human beings and force them to do free labor. The Confederacy and those who are pro-Confederacy like to paint the War as the War of "Northern Aggression," but sorry, you can’t start a war and then claim you’re being invaded. The South started the war by firing on Ft. Sumter and the American flag. Imagine if a group of liberal hipsters did the same thing today? Americans would, rightly, be outraged; the South does it back in the day and some today foolishly call them underdog types with a rebel spirit. Put down Mr. Foote's "history" and try out someone that doesn't sympathize with a bunch of anti-American slaveowners.

A Trad Catholic Dad

thetimman said...

Trad Dad,

You have stated the party line of the winning side well enough. Look at it this way: what if Chinese troops, after a joint thanksgiving party at scott air force base, decided to stay and assume control of it permanently. What if after our government asked them to leave, then told them to leave, they still stayed? What if, to avoid "firing the first shot", the US decided to prevent the base from being resupplied in the hopes they would be forced to surrender? What if, after momths of this, the Chinese announced they were re-supplying the base by air the next day, enabling the Chinese to retain the base indefinitely. All inside US territory. If the government then attacked the base to take it back, who is the aggressor? Who "started it"? Because that, sir, is Fort Sumter.

At the time of the civil war, one group of sovereign states declared indepedence from another group of sovereign states, both collections allowing the evil of slavery to be included in its constitution and in its territory. Lincoln expressly stated he had no desire to emd slavery in any state that allowed it, and acknowledged he had no authority to do so.

The north's high horse is laughable, as the oppostion to slavery was for most a mask of morality to cover a mere economic strategy.

Please note of course that I am in no way defending slavery in either country. It was wrong then, it's wrong now. It just simply has nothing to do with the question of lawful right to secession.