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Review: Unique Civil War Biography

Stephen L. Rich 07 Jan 03 - 06:48 PM
Deckman 07 Jan 03 - 03:40 PM
Kim C 07 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM
ballpienhammer 07 Jan 03 - 12:32 PM
alanabit 07 Jan 03 - 12:12 PM
Kim C 07 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 03 - 11:12 AM
ballpienhammer 07 Jan 03 - 08:59 AM
JedMarum 06 Jan 03 - 08:57 PM
ballpienhammer 06 Jan 03 - 08:55 PM
JedMarum 06 Jan 03 - 01:54 PM
Kim C 06 Jan 03 - 10:52 AM
Deckman 06 Jan 03 - 01:03 AM
Deckman 06 Jan 03 - 12:31 AM
Jimmy C 05 Jan 03 - 11:26 PM
Deckman 05 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jan 03 - 05:08 PM
Deckman 05 Jan 03 - 04:28 PM
wildlone 05 Jan 03 - 03:39 PM
Deckman 05 Jan 03 - 03:02 PM
Stephen L. Rich 05 Jan 03 - 11:50 AM
Stephen L. Rich 05 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM
Deckman 05 Jan 03 - 10:39 AM
JedMarum 05 Jan 03 - 09:54 AM
Stephen L. Rich 05 Jan 03 - 01:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 06:48 PM

Deckman -- I just printed out the poem and sang it to the tune you recommended ("Lilly of the West"). That is an incredibley powerful piece of work.
Thank you very much for posting that one. Would you object if I started singing it publically?

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 03:40 PM

As I mentioned earlier, I just finished some major reading about the war. I read the entire Time/Life series of books. I recommend them highly. Rather than just detailing this battle, or that battle, the series went into depth regarding ALL the elements of the war. For a 'first read' of the subject, it was quite educational. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Kim C
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 02:22 PM

Right. We ran out of stuff. :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: ballpienhammer
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 12:32 PM

I think the South lost because of: 1. Lack of men to fight; 2. lack of unity from the individual states to back the central government in Richmond; 3.The war was fought on Southern soil, depleting food and supplies.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 12:12 PM

Bill Zorn's take on that was that the Southern generals used to talk so slowly, that the battles were over before they were able to complete giving their orders!
If I get my hands on it, I'll read the book Steve Rich recommended. I read Bruce Catton's "A Stillness at Appomattox". Even by the standards of books on war - and I have read a few - I found that very sad. What an awful tragedy it was.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Kim C
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM

Yep.

I always think it's funny, all these books about "Why The South Lost The War." That's easy.

We just ran out of stuff.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 11:12 AM

Longstreet had the right idea (find good ground, dig in and defend), and it could have won the South some important battles. Lee's penchant for bold attack led to some victories...and some VERY costly losses here and there, but he was still a brilliant general, all considered, and an inspiration to his troops.

It was later in the war (after Gettysburg) that circumstances forced Lee to resort regularly to the defensive tactics recommended by Longstreet (as in the Wilderness campaign), and they worked very well, but the Big Blue Horde eventually ground down the Army of Northern Virginia regardless, through sheer numbers.

And strategically speaking, the key victories were won elsewhere, in the West, at places like Shiloh, Jackson, Vicksburg, Island # 10, and so on. All of Lee's expertise in the East could not change that.

I think the South had only one hope in that war...an early victory at the very outset, after Bull Run, by an immediate and unhesitating advance on Washington. That might have demoralized the North enough to cause them to sue for peace (but Lincoln was not a man easily turned aside from his path).

If it had happened that way, however, there would probably have been another war between the States anyway, within 5 or 10 years, over disputed areas in the West or some other pretext. I don't think they could have tolerated sharing the same continental area for long.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: ballpienhammer
Date: 07 Jan 03 - 08:59 AM

Ya can read and reread all the books, watch the movies and hear the Hx but when you walk the paths they walked on and drink from the creek those young bloodied boys drank from, sit up on a boulder in Devil's Den where a sharpshooter once took aim at a boy from Tennessee, you'll get a rush of goosebumps you'll never forget. And, like a good dream or good lovin', you want more and more. There's a covered bridge near the Eisenhower Farm, on the edge of the battleground, that's been rebuilt from a flood. Come sit on that bridge, look down on the muddy water and picture the tired, bedraggled men who sat for a few minutes quenching a long thirst after marching for miles and miles. Trees hang down over the water at Marsh Creek; some say there's a frew trout there but I know many a parched belly was filled there 150 years ago in early July. It's an eerie feeling you get and it stays with you and although you realize these fields and hills have been reborn with new grass and new hands a-tillin', the blood of the dead and maimed emerges in the topsoil ever retelling the tradgedies of mens greed and intolerance.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: JedMarum
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 08:57 PM

I must admit I was really hit with awe when I stood at the spot where (we believe) Stonewall Jackson was shot, just prior to his death.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: ballpienhammer
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 08:55 PM

Y'all come to Gettysburg for the real thing! If you've never been here you'll find a very unique spiritual experience when you walk through the Wheatfield and Devil's Den or ride a horse across the very farms where Pickett charged the Union Army. Culp's Hill at sundown: sit on a rock and listen to the boys rattling their canteens at Spangler's Spring. Uncanny.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: JedMarum
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 01:54 PM

Grant really became human to me, after reading his memoirs and the Catton history. My wife's family is related to US Grant (GGGrandfather and US were first cousins) - so the research had a bit of a personal interest as well. I already had a great respect for his leadership and his accomplishments under the circumstances, but it was clearer to me me how he was able to lead through those times and pressures, by reading his own thoughts and further analysis of his actions against the backdrop of history. I had read about Lincoln, and much period history - so to focus on Grant after I'd developed a strong background of the history, was a good thing.

I will pursue Lee one day, another for my heroes from the era.


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 10:52 AM

Deckman, I had a cousin at Andersonville, so I would be curious to read the book as well. Lovely poem, too.

Diverging from the subject just a little: Mister and I will be in Galena, Illinois, April 11-12, playing for U.S. Grant's birthday celebration.

Lee and Grant are both more complex people than we are usually led to believe. Both had lives before and after the Civil War.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DIXIE'S SUNNY LAND
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 01:03 AM

DIXIES SUNNY LAND

Come friends and fellow soldiers, come listen to my song,
About that rebel prison and how we endured so long,
Our wretched state and hardships great, no one can understand,
But those who have endured this fate, in Dixies sunny land.

When captured by the chivalry (cavalry?) and stripped unto the skin,
They failed to give us back again, the value of a pin,
Except some filthy rags of grease, discarded by their band,
And thus commenced our prison life, in Dixies sunny land.

The host of guards surrounded us, each one with loaded gun,
We were stationed in an open field, exposed to rain and sun,
No tent nor tree to shelter us, we lay upon the sand,
And side by side great numbers died, in Dixies sunny land.

What was our daily bill of fare, in that secesh (hell fire?) hole,
No coffee, tea, no sugar there, 'nor rest for mortal man,
But a pint of meal, ground cob and all, was served to every man,
For want of fire we ate it raw, in Dixies sunny land.

Our temper it was often tried, by many a threat and bribe,
To desert our glorious union, and join the rebel tribe,
Tho fain we were to leave that place, we let them understand,
We'd sooner die than thus disgrace, our flag in Dixies land.

How sad those weary monents seemed, as weeks and months rolled by,
And yet no tidings came to us, from loved ones far away,
While we lay to starve and die, upon the burning sand,
Away from friends and homes so dear, in Dixies sunny land.

When landed at Annapolis, a wretched looking band,
But glad to be alive and free, from Dixies sunny land,
Having gained our wasted strength, all dressed in union blue,
We'll pay them back our vegence dear, or die there bitter foe.

These are the words as I scribbled them from my great grandfathers book in 1956. As far as I know, which really isn't very far, this song has not been recorded. So, appreciate this song, research it more. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 12:31 AM

Hello Jimmy C: Yes, I am aware of that. Captain WIRTZ was the very FIRST person convicted of war crimes. It is with some tredipation that I mention this: if you go to google, and punch in Andersonville Prison, you will bring up many, many entries. There is now, a great deal of controversy regarding the justice of Capt. Wirtz's execution. My concern here is twofold: first is that we've done quite a thread drift from the original posting; and also, I do NOT want to start fighting the civil war all over again. And, if no one else has been able to post the song O mentioned, I will do so in morning. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Jimmy C
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 11:26 PM

Deckman, you are probably aware of this, but the warden of Andersonville a Capt Weiss ( or Wiess or a similar name) originally from Switzerland I believe was the only man tried and executed for war crimes commmitted during the civil war. Please post the words of the song, I'm sure many would be interested.

Thanks

jimmy


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM

Of course I would be honored to share the song with you. I have been bouncing around the archives for some time now, and for some reason, probably my own ignorance, I cannot seem to locate a previous thread that detailed this song. My hard copy of that thread says that it was titled: "A Civil War Song", dated just one year ago ... 1/9/02. The song that I mention is titled "Dixies Sunny Land". A later post credits it to a: John Lauffer. I'll bet someone smarter than I can reserect that thread and do a blue clicky thing. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 05:08 PM

The preface to the book included a poem. I assumed at the time that it probably was a song sung in the prison, or more likely sung after the war was over. Not knowing the melody, I sang it to the melody of "Lilly of the West." I've enjoyed that song for years.

Would you care to share it with us, Deckman?


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 04:28 PM

Thank you WILDLONE for posting this website. I have only briefly skimmed it, but it appears to be a wonderful resource! Have a Merry Sunday. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: wildlone
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 03:39 PM

Thanks for the info on ACW books,I belong to a UK re-enactment group that depict the ACW. I am a hospital steward in the 23rd Va coI and as such would look after the wounded on both sides.
We try to inform the public on the great loss of life and the suffering that the war caused to America as a whole.
I find this site is allways a good one when starting to research about the ACW http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/warweb.html

Cheers dave,
BTW I have just joined a group that re-enact the war of 1812, the 41st foot


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 03:02 PM

Yes, I think the story of my Great Grandfather, G.W. Murray is interesting, but perhaps only to me. He was from Mass., and was catured by the Rebs at the battle of Antietam, I believe. He and some of his brothers eventually ended up at the notorius Andersonville Prison, in Georgia. After his release, he wrote a small book titled: "A History of George W. Murray: and his Long Confinement at Andersonville, Ga.: also the startvation and death of his three brothers, at the same place/by himself."

In 1956, I was heading into the Army that Fall, so that Summer I took off to explore the country. I left Seattle and headed for Wissconsin. Somehow I got lost and ended up in Columbus, Georgia. While there, I visited Andersonville Prison. At that time, it was not a national memorial yet, so the displays and markers were not as they are today. However I was very moved by the experience. On my way home, I stopped in Springfield, Illinois and found a copy of this book at the State Library. As there were no copying machines at the time, all I could do was to spend a couple of days and read it there.

The preface to the book included a poem. I assumed at the time that it probably was a song sung in the prison, or more likely sung after the war was over. Not knowing the melody, I sang it to the melody of "Lilly of the West." I've enjoyed that song for years.

By the way, if anyone is interested in reading the story of Andersonville, I strongly recommend MacKinlay Kantor's book "Andersonville." He won a Pulitzler Prize for this work. I had read the book prior to my trip and I have just finished re-reading it.

Just before xmas of this year, my local librarian, here in Everett, Washington, located several copies of my Grand Father's book. Shortly I expect to hold a copy of it again. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 11:50 AM

I did a Google search. The book is still available from Barnes and Noble. So, it's still in print. If you go to thier website and do an in site search (it can be done by title our author) you should find it. Here's a blue clicky to link you to the site.


Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM

Jed -- The copyright date is 1984, but my wife gave a new copy of it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago (I'm just getting to that point in my reading list now). It was published by Promontory Press.
I'll do a web search and see if I can find something more. Meanwhile check your local used book store.


Deckman -- Your great grandfather was in Andersonville??? Good God, man. Tell us more, please.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 10:39 AM

I thankyou for posting this. I've not been a huge fan of Civil War reading until recently. I have just finished a great reading of the times. And I'm in the process of obtaining a book my Great Grandfather wrote about his experiences as a prisoner in Anersonville Prison. I may well get into this book you mention. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 09:54 AM

Thanks for the tip, Stephen. I have just fininshed reading some background on Grant. I read his memoirs, then I read a history by Catton (Grant Takes Command). Great books, both.

I have a military analysis of Lee's effort, written by an author who was critical of Lee's military abilities (basically, he felt that Lee, like Longstreet should have realized that defending from entrenched positions was a far more effective tactic - and Lee should not have lost Gettysburg). I lost interest early on and put the book down - but I'll probably try it again.

I am very interested in Lee - though I have not read anything specifically on him yet (beyond the book I mentioned above). I'm also interested in Jackson. But right now - I am reading about the Irish Brigade (Meagher and company). I started with MY LIFE IN THE IRISH BRIGADE - the memoirs of Pvt Wm McCarter. And now I'm reading another memoir by David Conygnham called THE IRISH BRIGADE AND ITS CAMPAIGNS (it's a bit rah rah Irish guys, with David's political message - but that's part of the history).

Was "Lee & Grant: A Dual Biography" by Gene Smith wriotten recently?


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Subject: Review: Unique Civil War Biography
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 01:16 AM

I must highly recommend "Lee & Grant: A Dual Biography" by Gene Smith. A tandem biography of U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee is long overdue sort of thing given how their respective lives were tied together by the events of their era (not just the Civil War). The book helps one to understand a good deal of their lives were shaped by events, how events were shaped by their lives, and how the sum total shaped us.

Stephen Lee


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