After Nov. 1, my routines changed and I have not been able to read and keep up with the expanding world of ACW blogging. I hope to get a new routine going soon. Even a cursory look around shows what I've been missing.
Andrew Wagenhoffer points out, per yesterday's post on Piedmont, that there is a "top notch" book on the battle, The Forgotten Fury . "The research is deep, grounded in published and unpublished primary source materials, and the reader is additionally treated to footnotes instead of endnotes." Speaking of forgotten battlefields that are despised by locals, Tim Reese (not yet a blogger) commented to me that "Piedmont is the illegitimate twin brother of Crampton's Gap." We must pray, I think, that the Great and the Good eventually legitimize these places such that the locals can then begin profiting from them.
I wrote earlier that the Kelo eminent domain decision, if used to seize battlefield land, could make drive away private donors and depress membership in preservation organizations. Attorney Eric Wittenberg paints a more chilling picture: in Georgia, Kelo has been taken up to develop battlefield land. Let that sink in; the Kelo fiasco is about superior tax revenue generation. (Mike Koepke has a little on this as well.)
On a lighter note, James McPherson's student Tom Carhart is taking some hard knocks from Civil War News (via Eric and Drew): "There's inadequate space in a book review to cite each factual error, contradiction and unsupported theory. Suffice to say, this reads more like a novel than historical analysis."Yikes. I like this bit: "Meade — erroneously cited as George 'C.' Meade ..." Cees and Gees, leave that to those impenetrable academic scholars.
Kevin Levin has started a blog called Civil War Memory and has updated my preliminary year-in-publishing comments with an extensive rundown on some important 2005 titles. He wonders why I obsess on McPherson. Top reason - it's an enjoyable obsession to indulge, especially where the subject is vain, a little foolish, and his public adoring. Number two reason: lack of self control. I'll indulge myself more on this topic at the end of the week.
Mitch Hagmaier has rekindled my interest in Kent Masterson Brown's Retreat from Gettysburg. His description of the book is wonderful - sounds like Lee's retreat was a page from the Thirty Years War. My inclination is to do a "Brown" on all Lee's movements - look into their details and savor the horror. It's on my list.
I can hardly believe, however, that Brown got himself entangled in a mistake as banal as the Clausewitzian/Jominian synchronization trap. Mitch covers those bases here and I would only repeat explicitly that Clausewitz was not published in America until some time after the ACW and his views were not in general (oral or literary) circulation here during the war. Not even the Prussian General Staff officer who wrote A Prussian Observes the Civil War makes mention of Clausewitz.
Mark Grimsley has a blog round-up of his own and it's less verbose than this one.
Don't miss Brett Schulte's multi-part writings on Harsh's Confederate Tide Rising. I need to do a ton of posting on Harsh but have been remiss. Brett's filling the gap to the tune of eight postings on just this one book. Go do some Harsh. Get Harsh. Be harsh.
I think I have discovered a credo.