The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
By Shelby Foote
Shelby Foote is an author who inspires strong feelings in his readers. For some, he is William Faulkner reborn as a historian. For others, he takes too many liberties to be called a historian, and his epic three-volume Civil War series should strictly be considered literature. I see both sides of this. History is narrative, and some accounts of the Civil War – or any episode of the past for that matter – eschew the narrative for an obsession with individual details so fastidious that they miss the significance of the subject matter. When I think about the Civil War, Shelby Foote is usually the first place I start – and from there I branch out into other works that spend more time on the mundane and less time on Robert E. Lee’s inner dialogue with his horse.
I’ll confess that the Civil War is on my mind, mostly because it’s always on my mind around the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysb