View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 03:35 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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I wish I had read that vitriolic review before I answered with some of my own comments on the Faust Book. Faust does not just discuss the Good Death. She also discusses the Decent Burial. She also discusses how much effort went into trying to identify the fallen and documents the herculean efforts made to return as many soldiers home as possible.

 Because the task became impractical  because of the numbers of dead, national cemeteries usually located near major battlefields were created to bury many of the dead.  Southerners were excluded from this process paid for with everyone's taxes. In response, they set about creating their own cemeteries for Confederate dead and also labored to identify as many as possible.

The reviewer took umbrage at Faust's having made much of the stench of decaying animals and human cadavers after Gettysburg. Yet I have read about this very thing in other books. I have also read about the same thing after other battles. I took her description of the infamous stench as attemting to show how daunting post-battle work was for local citizenry because armies often left the scene in pusuit of the enemy or fleeing from the enemy. 

The reviewer really did not like Faust's book with what he calls her  false premises , especially Faust's notions of the Good Death, but I found much more in Faust's work than what was criticized. I was impressed with  much of what she said about how losing loved ones impacted and complicated thesurvivors' lives, often for the rest of their lives. Even some bereaved fathers are described, such as one who carried the bullet who killed his son all the rest of his life.

I really don't think the book was as bad as what reviewer claims, but I haven't read any of the reviews that make overly much of the book either. I suspect the real worth of the book is somewhere between both opinions.


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