Saturday with Baldy

Received – and read – William F. (Baldy) Smith's Autobiography on Saturday.

This is a brilliantly edited piece of work – truly helpful with substantive (not summary) footnotes, its light touch calibrated to the well-informed ACW reader. The edition is a superb throwback to the bookmaking of 50 years ago and the material was very spicy with lots of fascinating gossip and interesting speculation.

Baldy rewarded my reading with two solid pointers for my reconstruction of McClellan's Secret History. He also helped me decode Burnside and Franklin a little, an ongoing project.

Good material this, a primary source way out of the mainstream, and what a setting for reading. My veranda was warm; yellow tree leaves filtered my light; a slight breeze carried off the smoke of my Balkan pipe filler; there was a sweet stout handy; and the radio was broadcasting some Wagner by the Washington National Opera Company.

Sorry: what were you saying just then, Baldy?