View single post by calcav
 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 09:44 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 28th, 2006
Location: Corinth, MS
Posts: 160

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My fascination lies with the people and the tactics.

Ordinary citizen/soldiers that left behind their families and livelihoods and became privates and lieutenants in those huge armies. Considering that most had never left the county they were born in, the entire experience of war was for most of them the highlight of their lives. They fought, they traveled to places they never would have ventured to, and they made friends they would have never otherwise met. They saw the best and worst in mankind and themselves. In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes "We have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top." The fascination extends to the West Pointers, men who knew each other before the struggle as friends. Men who knew how the other would act and planned accordingly. Men who would maintain that friendship despite the war and would extend courtisies to family and friends. (I am reminded of U.S.Grant allowing the wife of Col. Eugene Erwin of the 6th Missouri through the lines at Vicksburg to see her husband and giving her money to travel home with.)  

The study of tactics used in the war also intrigues me and there is little I like more than a detailed battle account that accurately describes troop movements. The ability to think clearly and act decisively in battle is the single most important quality to be found in a battlefield commander. Whether it is at the Army or Corps level or a corporal who showed quick thinking and initiative on the field, all are fascinating.

As far as battles go, I'd have to say Shiloh and Corinth because of my long association with those two fields.

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