Download Book ´ The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian Å 976 pages Ý Shelby foote

Ebook The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian

Download Book ´ The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian Å 976 pages Ý Shelby foote ë ❰Ebook❯ ➧ The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian Author Shelby Foote – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk ThH left that section of the South facing the aftermath even before the war was overAgainst this backdrop of smoke and battle Lincoln and Davis try in their separate ways to hold their people together Lincoln by letters and statements climaxing in the Gettysburg Address; and Davis by two long roundabout western trips in which he makes personal appeals to crowds along his wayFredericksburg to Meridian is full of the life of the times the elections of 1863 the resignations of Seward and Chase the Conscription riots the mounting opposition on both sides to the crushing war and then the inescapable resolution that it must go onAnd as before the whole sweeping story is told entirely through the lives and actions of the people involved a matchless narrative which could be sustained so brilliantly only by one of our finest novelis Ever since I first came across the works of Bruce Catton in my teens I have been an aficionado of the American Civil War So much concentrated slaughter among peoples who resembled one another so much Also so many lessons to be learned about the arts of leadership and what happens when they are lacking as in all but the last general in charge of the Army of the PotomacThis is the second volume of three of historian Shelby Foote's The Civil War A Narrative Nestled away in the Bibliographical Note section at the end is this revealing uoteAs for method it may explain much for me to state that my favorite historian is Tacitus who dealt mainly with high placed scoundrels but that the finest compliment I ever heard paid a historian was rendered by Thomas Hobbes in the forward to his translation of The Peloponnesian War in which he referred to Thucydides as one who though he never digress to read a Lecture Moral or Political upon his own Text nor enter into men's hearts further than the Actions themselves evidently guide himfilleth his Narrations with that choice of matter and ordereth them with that Judgement and with such perspicuity and efficacy expresseth himself that as Plutarch saith he maketh his Auditor a Spectator For he setteth his Reader in the Assemblies of the People and in their Senates at their debating; in the Streets at their Seditions; and in the Field at their Battels There indeed is something worth aiming at however far short of attainment we fallI don't think Foote falls far short at all In Periclean Athens there was not much first hand information upon which the historian could rely whereas the Civil War is one of the most written about episodes in all of world history In addition to making his information vivid Foote has to wade through terabytes of minutiae to find interesting episodes One example Nathan Bedford Forrest encountering one of his men in headlong retreat stopping him in his tracks pulling down his trousers and administering a savage spanking with a brush to motivate him to reconsider which he didThe period covered by the volume is calendar year 1863 in which two of the most decisive Union victories took place Gettysburg and Vicksburg right around the 4th of July The other major battle discussed was Chickamauga a Southern victory which ruined the careers of both generals Rosecrans and Bragg and which could have gone either way if a third of the Union line had not panicked and run There is also a brief look ahead to the spring of 1864 when US Grant was named a Lieutenant General and appointed to the Army of the PotomacThis 966 page book seems sorter than its weight would imply That is due to Foote In fact this volume is so good that two extracts have been separately published as books The Stars in Their Courses about Gettysburg and The Beleaguered City about Vicksburg both of which are excellent reads in their own right

Shelby Foote Æ The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian Ebook

F Lee's foremost lieutenantIn the West during the six month standoff that followed the shock of Murfreesboro in the central theater one of the most complex and determined sieges of the war has begun Here Grant's seven relentless efforts against Vicksburg show Lincol that he has at last found his killer genera the man who can face the arithmeticWith Vicksburg finally under siege Lee again invades the North The three day conflict at Gettysburg receives book length attention in a masterly treatment of a key great battle not as legend has it but as it really was before it became distorted by controversy and overblown by remembered gloryThen begins the downhill fight the sudden glare of Chickamauga and the North's great day at Missionary Ridge followed by the Florida fiasco and Sherman's meticulous destruction of Meridian whic When I started Vol 1 I said I wanted books that took up years of my life The first one didn’t uite— it took less than three months— but now the second one has filled that bill And I couldn’t ask for a better one to take up that time

Book ã The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to Meridian Æ Shelby Foote

The Civil War A Narrative Volume 2 Fredericksburg to MeridianThe first volume of Shelby Foote's tremendous narrative of the Civil War was greeted enthusiastically by critics and readers alike see back of jacket for comments In this dramatic second volume the scope and power the lively portrayal of exciting personalities and the memorable re creation of events have continued unmistakably In addition Fredericksburg to Meridian covers many of the greatest and bloodiest battles of historyThe authoritative narrative is dominated by the almost continual confrontation of great armies For the fourth time the Army of the Potomac now under the command of Burnside attempts to take Richmond resulting in the blood bath at Fredericksburg Then Joe Hooker tries again only to be repulsed at Chancellorsville as Stonewall Jackson turns his flank a bitter victory for the South paid for by the death' o This second in Foote’s trilogy of the war is a vast doorway into the stories of a myriad of people managing and perpetrating the American Civil War for most of the year 1863 Starting with Robert E Lee’s Confederate successes in Virginia against Ambrose Burnside in Fredericksburg Dec 1862 and against Joe Hooker at Chancellorville in the Spring the year proceeds toward a major turning of tables with Meade’s victory over Lee at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and US Grant’s final taking of Vicksburg on the Mississippi after seven failed attempts both in July Then in the Fall much fighting in and around Tennessee leads to a Confederate comeback at Chickamauga in northern Georgia where Braxton Bragg defeated William Rosecrans But Lincoln’s placement of Grant at the head of all western forces puts an end to their momentum as the Union is finally able to drive Bragg’s forces from the ridge where they had long besieged Chattanooga on the Tennessee RiverAs a master of narrative history he harnesses his novelist skills to paint the stories behind these and other campaigns like little stage plays full of atmosphere and realistic detail especially in the area of the personalities and motivations of the actors These actors are mostly the generals and admirals but also the commanders and ship captains and behind the scenes the cabinets and presidents of North and South Lincoln and Davis Foote’s facility at fleshing out the action owes a lot to his ability to marshal an array of uotes and examples from journalism memoirs letters and official records without disrupting his narrative flow If you had a chance to hear his delivery by a warm and genteel Southern speech on Ken Burn’s “Civil War” you will know what I mean The kind of “voice” present in his writing made my choice to experience the book on audio work well though I had to resort to Wiki maps of certain battles No lifting of the doorstopper hardback or swiping pages forever in an e book version but instead I experienced a couple weeks of submersive listening on my commuting trips along the shores of my rural Maine location Each day another battle and geography now Virginia later Mississippi or a succession of political or planning crises in the Union and Confederate governments I didn’t want the narrative to end and in a sense it won’t until I imbibe the third volume Why read such an involved book? Somehow the details matter to me To delve into the details is to encounter brilliant feats of accomplishment and courage on the same stage with acts of brutality incompetence and human weakness I do appreciate the attitude behind “I ain’t going to study war no ” And it is shameful that America had to resort to such a horrible slaughter including up 700 thousand plus direct deaths alone and a multiple of that for direct and indirect casualties from injury infection and disease An understanding of why and how people fought the war makes me realize it wasn’t a senseless effort by the participants Compared to the North’s goal of preserving the Union the Confederates had motivation to fight initially harking to the attitude of the Founding Fathers over their right to independence from the Brits Later once invaded it was easy for them to see the war as part of the struggle for existence State rights and property issues surrounding slavery were not the primary drive behind taking up arms although the dirty truth that it all was about slavery is hard for me to relinuish In that vein I was surprised to learn how many sectors in the North were in favor of either saying goodbye and good riddance to the Rebel states or negotiating a return of South to the fold with retention of slavery favored by the “Copperhead” Democrats On the other shoe even Jefferson Davis believed that slavery was doomed in the long run but when one general formulated a written proposal of emancipating the slaves and enlisting in Confederate army the goal of maintaining unity of purpose led him to suppress the idea so completely its existence wasn’t unearthed for 30 yearsI love the sense in this history of how military successes and failures depended on the personality and character of the commanders For every brilliant top general like Grant and Lee there were duds like Rosecrans and Bragg The cavalry stars are a particularly colorful lot with Confederates like Stonewall Jackson Nathan Bedford Forrest Earl Van Dorn and JEB Stuart particularly fun to behold wreaking havoc on the supplies and railroads behind the Union lines or making a surprising strike in a battle where they were least expected Because of the proximity to my Oklahoma origins and a role of one of my ancestors I especially appreciated reading in this history about the marauding raid of General Jo Shelby from Arkansas through Missouri that involved leading 600 men over 1500 miles in 41 days destroying railroads and bridges capturing horses wagon trains and men all the while picking up 800 recruits along the way He made his escape by punching through Union forces five times his number and ended up with 150 casualties compared to the 600 inflicted on the Federals I am not so enad with how he later refused to surrender at the end of the war and ended up taking his Texans to Mexico where he established a Confederacy in exile and foolishly served as a mercenary with Napolean’s colonialist government against JuarezI also have a particular fascination with the role of Ironclad ships in the conflicts along the rivers and assaults on ports like Charleston War begets such creative innovation in terrible technologies Despite the role of technology so many battles turned on old fashioned human elements of deception subterfuge and surprise I also appreciated how ordinary people like the Maine college professor Joshua Chamberlain transformed themselves to do the impossible in his case shape a militia into an effective fighting force which could pull off an important bayonet charge up Little Round Top at Gettysburg The section on Gettysburg was so good Foote made it a separate book well worth reading on its ownStars in Their Courses The Gettysburg Campaign June July 1863Foote doesn’t spend a lot of time assessing the economics behind the war or delving closely into slavery as an institution He has been accused of furthering the mythos known as the “Lost Cause” a view of history used to ennoble and justify the Southern stance in the war by minimizing the impact of slavery and cast its heroes as saints I don’t see it that way He obviously sees Forrest Jackson and Lee as geniuses in strategy and respects their integrity but it comes through how much he admires Grant and Lincoln Foote’s apt way of rendering a picture of leading figures is worthy of some extended examples Here he speaks of the limits of Lincoln’s resiliency following a section about how he could handle continual attacks in the press or Congress for being a “clod or tyrant clown or monster” It sometimes seemed to him that each recovery from gloom was made at the cost of future resiliency “Nothing touches the tired spot” he had confessed the year before and lately he had come back to this expression Returning from a horseback ride that seemed to lift his spirits he was urged by a companion to find time for rest and relaxation “Rest?” he said He shook his head as if the word was unfamiliar “I don’t know I suppose it is good for the body But the tired part is inside out of reach”It helps a lot the way he can invest a figure with descriptions that help you hold them in your mind as here on William Tecumseh Sherman Sherman did not wait until morning Impatient as always he rode straight over a tall red haired man with a fidgety manner concave temples glittering hazel eyes and a scraggly close cropped beard “I never saw him but I thought of Lazarus” one observer was to write A chain smoker who according to another witness got through each cigar “as if it was a duty to be finished in the shortest possible time” On Grant Foote tried hard to capture how his no nonsense ways free of “superfluous flummery” inspired a kind of “familiar reverence” in his men despite his appearance of a “burly beef contractor” and impression if “a man who could be silent in several languages” a slight man rather stooped five foot eight inches in height and weighing less than one hundred and forty pounds who walked with a peculiar gait shoulders hunched “a little forward of perpendicular” as one observer remarked so that each step seemed to arrest him momentarily in the act of pitching on his face Forty years old he looked considerably older partly because of the crow’s feet crinkling the outer corners of his eyes—the result of intense concentration according to some while others identified them as whiskey lines plainly confirming rumors of overindulgence and refuting protestations of friends that he never touched the stuffOne of his staff officers got the impression that he was “half a dozen men condensed into one” while a journalist finding him puzzling in the extreme because he seemed to amount to a good deal than the sum of all his parts came up with the word “unpronounceable” as the one that described him bestThis thumbnail sketch of General Phillip Sheridan at Murfeesboro tickled me As pugnacious here as he had been at Perryville where he first attracted general attention the bandy legged bullet headed Ohioan was determined to yield no ground except under direct pressure and only then when that pressure buckled his kneesFoote’s portrayal of the poor performance of William Rosecrans who commanded the Army of Cumberland in its disastrous defeat at Chickamauga finds voice in Lincoln’s comment to his secretary that ever since then he had been acting “confused and stunned like a duck hit on the head” A report on the general from a journalist serving as the administration’s secret observer in the field had me laughing out loud I have never seen a public man possessing talent with less administrative power less clearness and steadiness in difficulty and greater practical incapacity than General Rosecrans He has inventive fertility and knowledge but he has no strength of will and no concentration of purpose His imbecility appears to be contagiousBy the time you finish this book you will certainly have a better appreciation of one of America’s greatest failures as a nation the sacrifices that were made to solidify its paradoxical strength as a union of independent states and the lingering balance of pride and shame that still persists in the South where you still see hear the war referred to as the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ and widespread display of the Confederate flag