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Favorite Civil War Subject And Why - Other People of the Civil War - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 05:56 pm
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younglobo
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Ok Some Like Lee some Like Grant , some think Gettysburg is the end all to end all battles some Shiloh , Some like eastern theater some Western .

My Question is when you are crusin the local bookstore and you see that book on your fav subject what makes that Person or Battle your favorite?

 

So here are mine Favorite Civil war Person to read about:  Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest  why you ask . He was a noneducated man with little money and became a millionare of his time , rose from PVT to Gen in rank and has some cool stories to tell, plus when Gen. Lee gives you props it demands attention, Also he had more guts than Patton :P and i mean that as a compliment of both.

Favorite Battle to read about: Shiloh I read the Fiction Book by Shelby Foote and it just Captured me and I read almost every book I see on it now.

 

Sorry if this is not serious enough it is a really boring day at work.

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 07:12 pm
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Fuller
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Great topic.  I like to look at member's profiles here at this site.  Some put down their favorite General and Battlefield.  I'm always curious as to why those are their favorites.  This is a good place to answer that.


My favorite is McPherson.  He was young and he died during the war.  I like to learn about the relationship he had with Sherman.  He was a good friend to him.  Sherman was devestated when he learned he had been killed.  He realized a great leader had been killed.

My favorite battle to research is Vicksburg.  I had the opportunity to visit when I was a young 13 year old.  I visited on a day when the park was quite empty.  I'll never forget the feeling I had here.  It was an amazing experience.  I love learning about this battle because the seige lasted for so long.  The citizens were greatly involved.  Citizens are always involved in war but at Vicksburg it's amazing what they went through.  Hearing personal accounts is a great interest.  From the citizen's point of view as well as the soldiers.

Fuller



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 07:34 pm
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ole
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Everything from 1789 to 1889.

Ole

Last edited on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 07:35 pm by ole



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 07:35 pm
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Fuller
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You're one cool dude, ole :cool:



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 08:44 pm
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calcav
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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.



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 10:43 pm
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Johan Steele
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The Small Arms of the day and the men who carried them; my father was a gunsmith for 20 years so I grew up w/ the scent of gun oil and wood smoke.  Then add going to every Legion meeting & function I could w/ my father.  It always amazed me how much was said by those men while I was in the room.  Must have been because I was so quite sitting in the corner w/ a Louis LaMour in my hands.  I usually stopped reading when the War 2 vets started talking about things.

I learned about the weather in Normandy while trying to figure out how to murder the guy who planted all those damned hedgerows, how to pop the cover off the alcohol filled gunsight on a AAA piece and the process to turn it into decent liquor (they were certainly nuts to even think about drinking that), what the men really thought about K Rations... who in the company was best at getting girls, language barrier be damned and many other everyday things that made life life in the army during WW2.  I guess I'm interested in the same things from the ACW.  THey were men living from day to day.

Last edited on Wed Jan 10th, 2007 11:40 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 11:45 pm
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Swamp Shadow
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I enjoy learning about Generals Grant and Sherman and how they worked together during the war. One day I saw a political cartoon that had Grant and Sherman in it and for some reason I decided I wanted to know everything about Sherman, so I've been reading about him nonstop. I also enjoy learning new things about the battle of Gettysburg because that was one of the first battlefields I ever went to and I have been there many times since then. It was then when I was 9 that I was hooked on the subject of the Civil War... Okay I'm done now.



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 12:20 am
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Johnny Huma
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I think the battles that we study are ones we are more familiar with or are in a location that we can visit more often. For me it is Gettysburg since a 2 1/2 hour drive will get me there and can do it in a day if I want. Although I usually visit for 2 days at a time. The generals in the CW are all interesting to study. We like to study as to what made them tick and what tactics they used. This stuff keeps us CW fans busy for hours at a time. I think all of us read and read and read some more. I was playing a game over the new years at my sons house and my question was "Who founded the Red Cross"..When I answered the question "Clara Barton" and it was right my son said "I knew that plethora of information you have would come in handy some day"...I thought everybody knew that...:)..

Huma

 



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 01:11 am
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CleburneFan
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I'm very fond of cavalry operations  both Union and Confederate. I am right now reading Samuel J. Martin's "Kill-Cavalry: The Life of Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick."  By cavalry I refer to both regular cavalry and partisan raiders.

Many battles interest me, but Gettysburg would have to be one that is particularly compelling because I grew up only miles from the battlefield and visited summer, winter, spring and fall. But that said, I enjoy well written books about any battles well known or more obscure. Each battle has its own peculiarity; its own special history.

As for theaters of the war, I particularly enjoy the Western theater and the Trans-Mississippi.

Around Halloween I like to read Civil War ghost stories...just for fun.

Last edited on Fri Jan 12th, 2007 03:11 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 02:53 am
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Kentucky_Orphan
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Well, I enjoy reading anythig having to do with the civil war. Latley, I have to say I have been more into reading Brigade and Regimental histories than any other subject. Just finished up reading Lee's Tigers (the two Louisiana Brigades in the ANV), an excellent read that I would recomend to anyone.

It usually goes in phases like this for me. Next month I will get more into reading about some division commander or another, and of course as a reenactor I am always trying to find out more about uniforms and equipment.

 

 



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 02:59 am
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susansweet
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What months Ole ?



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 03:10 am
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susansweet
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I lke to read about Patrick Cleburne and David Farragut .  Cleburne because he was such a fierce fighter , but seems to have been a quiet shy man off the field, a loyal friend .  After reading Stonewall of the West I was hooked.  Farragut as he was older which I am now and thinking that he was in battle at this age amazes me.  He was such a strong personality I love picturing him climbing the rigging to get a better view at Mobile Bay. 

Battles all interest me but I am caught up in Franklin as it connects to Cleburne and because I had never heard of the battle til  two years ago so I have to make up time. 

The Civil War in the Far west interest me because I am first and foremost a Westerner.  I love the Battles in the West and then find out it is Tennessee.  Not what I am talking about .   How the war was handled in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Calififornia greatly interest me . 

I am most interested in personailties, and battles more than the political part of the war. 



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 03:53 am
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Doc C
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Kentucky

I concur, Professor Jones' Lee's Tigers is an excellent work about the La regiments serving in the ANV. Some were very hard drinking individuals but overall hard fighting regiments. An uncle, James Bennett, served in the 9th LA from 1862 till Appomatox. Little known fact is that's how LSU got its name from them later in the 19th century. If you're interested in regimental/unit histories, check out Chicago Battery Boys (will post review next week). I picked it up b/o another ancestor Pinckney Cone served as a lieutenant. Chicago Merchantile Battery particpated in the Vicksburg and Red River Campaigns. Composed primarily of letters from one of the soldiers in the battery. Well written letters concerning day to day life during his years in the service.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 03:54 am
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Doc C
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As an aside, Sherman was president of LSU prior to the onset of the cw.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 04:15 am
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Hellcat
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I'm not sure I exactly have one particular favorite sunject about the war, though there are some things I do tend to look for more than others. Reproductions of period manuals, the naval war, books on cooking, and little tidbits not likely to be focussed on in most books concerning the war. Otherwise it's mostly whether or not it piques my intrest, which has resulted in the past in a couple of the ones I mentioned above.

Reproductions of period manuals I got into as one of those things that piqued my intrest when I came across one in the bookstore one day. It was one of those things where I decided to see what they were teaching the soldiers and could I maybe use it for exercise. The manual in question was McClellan's Manual of Bayonet Exercises (yes, I am refering to Gen. George McClellan) and at the time I'd been useing some moves for a long sword I'd discovered to exercise with. Kinda like aerobics. I thought the bayonet exercises might change things up a little.

At anyrate, from that manual I started picking up others less for the idea of exercise and more to see what instructions and other info were in them. You know, what words of "wisdom" were being given to the troops.

The naval war is more because most of the material I find deals mostly with the land war. Of course the land war is important, but sometimes it feels as if folks are being taught that the only naval action of the war was the Monitor and the Virginia, with some focus being placed on the Hunley. So for me it's intresting to see what was going on naval wise.

Cookbooks came about from a desire to understand a little about life at the time. Obviously this tends to be more something I'd look for in the cooking section in most bookstores, and when I can find it it's more often than not something that's not Civil War specific. But it's still helpful as not only does it include recipies, but sometimes home remdies for sickness and advice for housemakers.

As for the tidbits, it's again something that I got into because of a book that piqued my intrest. So I like to look for books that have material that might not be focused on very much, if at all, in most books about the war. Things like soldiers ages, counterfiting, things that might have encouraged soldiers to join the war, etc.



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 12:04 pm
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Widow
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I find myself drawn to books about individual people in the war: memoirs, diaries and biographies.
  • The Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant
  • Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman
  • Fighting with Jeb Stuart: Major James Breathed and the Confederate Horse Artillery, by David P. Bridges
  • Lincoln's Railroad Man: Herman Haupt, by Francis A. Lord
  • Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee, collected by his son, Capt. Robert E. Lee, Jr.
  • Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates, by Glenn W. LaFantasie
  • Three Years a Soldier: The Diary and Newspaper Correspondence of Private George Perkins, Sixth New York Independent Battery, 1861-1864, edited by Richard N. Griffin
  • The Commanders of Chancellorsville: The Gentleman versus the Rogue, by Edward G. Longacre
  • At Gettysburg, or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle, by Mrs. Tillie Pierce Alleman
  • Narrative of Military Operations during the Civil War, by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
  • The Diary of a Dead Man, compiled by J. P. Ray, about Union Private Ira Pettit, who died at Andersonville
  • Sherman: A Soldier's Life, by Lee Kennett
  • Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that Won the Civil War, by Charles Bracelen Flood
  • Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier, by Jeffry D. Wert
  • General John Buford: A Military Biography, by Edward G. Longacre
  • Company Aytch, or, a Side Show of the Big Show, by Sam Watkins
  • The Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan
  • Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander
And I enjoy Civil War fiction, too.
  • Promise & Honor, Honor & Glory, and Glory & Promise, by Kim Murphy, a trilogy about two sisters near Fredericksburg, one marries a Union officer, the other a Confederate officer
  • That Fateful Lightning: A Novel of Ulysses S. Grant, by Richard Parry
  • Murder Most Confederate: Tales of Crimes Quite Uncivil, edited by Martin H. Greenberg, including a short story by Ambrose Bierce
  • At the Edge of Honor, Point of Honor, Honorable Mention, A Dishonorable Few, An Affair of Honor, by Robert N. Macomber, the first five of a series of eight about a Union Navy officer's adventures and career from 1862 to the late 1800s.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
  • Jim Mundy, by Robert H. Fowler
  • Gods and Generals and Last Full Measure, by Jeff Shaara
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
  • North and South, Love and War, Heaven and Hell, Charleston, and Savannah, by John Jakes
  • Hard Road to Gettysburg, by Ted Jones
  • Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  • Marching through Culpeper, by Virginia Beard Morton
My goodness, I had NO idea that I had so many, just in those two categories!  I personally am the one who keeps Borders Books in business.

Patty



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 12:25 pm
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Johan Steele
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Widow, you should look for Rhodes All for Union, & Billings Hardtack & Coffee  Ibelieve you would greatly enjoy both.



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 12:33 pm
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Widow
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Thanks for the lead, JS.  I have Hardtack and Coffee, so I'll look for All for Union.

Patty



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 04:17 pm
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ole
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Widow:

I notice that one book you simply must have is missing. If you like reading about the personalities, I've never read a more interesting one than Sherman's Civil War; Selected Correspondence....., edited by Brooks Simpson and Jean Berlin. This is a massive book -- right on 900 pages not including intro, acknowledgements, index and endnotes.

The first letter is dated November 30, 1860 and the last is May 30, 1865. Included are letters to his wife, brothers, children, friends, politicians, other generals, local administrators under military supervision and more. But you aren't left trying to figure out the reasons for his writing. The editors group the letters (in chronological sequence), and provide a preface to each grouping outlining the national or personal context in which the letters were written.

From your post, I believe you will start this book and refuse to leave it until finished. Despite it's size, it was not expensive -- I got my hardback copy for a little over $10 through abebooks.com. One more thing: I was pleased with the absence of psycho-babble -- here's what he wrote; make your own judgement. Trust me, you will never look at Sherman in the same way again.

Oke

Last edited on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 04:23 pm by ole



 Posted: Thu Jan 11th, 2007 06:49 pm
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Eric Wittenberg
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I find myself drawn to the stories of the horse soldiers who fought the Civil War.  Perhaps it's the romance of it all--"if you want to have some fun, jine the cav'ry" and all of that.

Perhaps it's that I find the personalities compelling.

Perhaps it's a touch of Jimmy Buffett's "A Pirate Looks at Forty": "My occupational hazard is my occupation's just not around"

Whatever it is, I cannot escape the draw of it.  I think my record of topics addressed probably bears that out.

Eric



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