As Mark Twain once said ...

... I'm too busy tonight to write a short letter, so forgive this long one.

In putting together this year's Civil War Book News, I noticed more than a few things just a third of the way through the year's list. In no particular order, here are some impressions.

* Biographers are now debunking Nathan Bedford Forrest (even). (As Eric Wittenberg has also done on his blog.)

* Tom Desjardin spearheaded a downward revision of the importance of Little Round Top last year; the counterattack has begun.

* The Grant party in ACW publishing continues (see here and here).

* Mark Neely suggests that maybe party strife was not good for effective war management and that there might have been excesses in Republican patronage that harmed the cause. (Thuds indicate sound of Centennialists falling out of their chairs.)

* Little Phil, penned by blogger Eric Wittenberg, I've written about here already. Now I need to compare and contrast blogger Mark Grimsley's And Keep Moving On with a book by Civil War Talk Radio's Gerald Prokopowicz's All for the Regiment. The two books have some yin-yang going on the metathesis level.

* There are a number of new studies, fairly obscure, that touch on McClellan and therefore interest me: the long-out-of-print How we Elected Lincoln suggests an wisecrack - "Fraud?" Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to get hold of Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia. Not to mention Veterinary Service during the American Civil War, which should enrich some of the excellent analysis previously supplied on this by Hagerman.

* Yankee spy Elizabeth Lew has gotten her story told.

* And I am always interested in the doings of Hans Trefousse, long may he prosper. T. Harry Williams imagined Lincoln-the-Conservative driven by the radicals into adopting their policies against his will (Lincoln and the Radicals); the Centennialists imagine Lincoln the pragmatist adopting radicalism as the rational outcome of the course of the war; Trefousse, bless him, envisions Lincoln as radical from the first manipulating conservatives to achieve what he knows needs to be done.

Lincoln, First Among Radicals, were it a book title, might encapsulate his views. Shake 'em up good, Hans.