July 22, 2007

Another Civil War Audiobook

I just reviewed With My Face to the Enemy -
Perspectives on the Civil War.
This audiobook is almost 5 hours long and based on scholarly research, but I found it quite interesting. It consists of six essays:
  • Lincoln Takes Charge by David Herbert Donald

  • Failed Southern Strategies by James M. McPherson

  • Malvern Hill by Stephen W. Sears

  • When Lee was Mortal by Gary W. Gallagher

  • The Rock of Chickamauga: George H. Thomas by John Bowers

  • Rebel Without a War: The Shenandoah by Robert F. Jones

Personally I found the last two to be particularly intriguing because they covered stories that were fairly new to me. For example, George Thomas was a native of Virginia who chose to remain in the U.S. Army after his home state seceded. His family never spoke to him again. His leadership at Chickamauga and elsewhere in Tennessee earned him well-deserved acclaim.

As for the final essay, the Shenandoah was a Confederate ship, not much different from a privateer. It fired the last shot of the Civil War basically because the captain and crew had been at sea sinking whaling ships and did not know that the war had ended until late in the summer of 1865.

By the way, Malvern Hill is a battle site near Richmond. Author Sears explains its importance and shows how General McClellan failed to take advantage of his victory here.

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