Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'll be back soon

Your Western theater Civil War correspondent, Ohioan@bloodtearsandglory.com, begs your forgiveness for the absence of posts lately. Needed out of town and away from the camps of the Army of the Ohio and the Army of the Tennessee, he has had to suspend reporting for a little while. However, having just finished a day of lecturing to educators and having survived certain medical matters (the surgeon was most humane, no amputations required), he hopes to return to gathering news about our Western soldiers within a few days.

In the meantime, he humbly suggests trying three (among many) of his favorite works about the Civil War, all in paperback and all first-person narratives of those who were actually there and fought it:

* John Beatty, The Citizen-Soldier: The Memoirs of a Civil War Volunteer. Engagingly written, with clarity and humor, by an unpretentious but sharp-eyed Ohioan who rose from private to general and bitingly told the truth as he saw it.

* John Calvin Hartzell, Ohio Volunteer: Childhood & Civil War Memoirs Capt. John Calvin Hartzell. The first half, a real charmer, is about growing up in rural Ohio, the second half about his frightening adventures in the 105h Ohio and, later, on detached duty. This man had a natural talent for writing; you'll enjoy it.

* William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs. Sure, you've read the better-known memoirs of Grant, but Old Cump's are pretty good, too, and you'll find his version of Shiloh and the March to the Sea interesting. If you don't agree with his account of events, Cump already has an answer for you: "Pooh!" (his actual reply to critics of the Memoirs after they were first published).

Finally, your author hopes you will read his own effort: Blood, Tears, and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War and email him with your questions, complaints, suggestions, or whatever. (Please note, however: unlike the other other writers suggested, I was not present during the war.)

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