6 11 2007


garp.jpgRene Tyree, who Walt Garp would call a gradual student in military history, has a new blog, Wig-Wags.  I’m not adding it to the blog roll just yet.  We’ll wait a little while and see what she has to offer, but it’s looking good so far.

Rene has set up her blog to keep the mass of information coming from [her] coursework and research organized and to plug into the rich conversations in the blogosphere on this topic [the Civil War].  Good luck with that…just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware [that’s Cat Stevens, but good advice nonetheless].

I see too that Rene, like me, is using her blog as something more and setting up some pages for various sorts of information (biographies, etc).  I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the sphere as time goes on.

The current image in the Wig-Wags banner – keeping in mind these things change – is a photo of the Union signal station on Elk Ridge during the 1862 Maryland Campaign.  The officer in the photo has been identified and a CDV of him located.  You can see the CDV and read the story on the Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) website.

Other Blog, Same Topic

4 11 2007

Brooks Simpson at Civil Warriors sent this link to his May 15, 2006 article that addresses the paucity of analysis of the war in the east from summer 1863 to spring 1864, as discussed here.  Check it out – read the comments to Simpson’s article and you’ll find one by me, pre-Bull Runnings.

Books Out the Wazoo

2 11 2007


Somehow over the past month or so I’ve managed to buy about 30 more civil war books.  I haven’t entered them into my library spreadsheet yet.  Maybe when I get done with that I’ll give a recap of the purchases next week.

Also in are four books I need to review for America’s Civil War by Nov. 10th.  Not to worry…I don’t have to read them cover to cover.  My job is to write Reviews in Brief, informational reviews that describe what the books are about, maybe a little info on the authors and some historiography of the topics covered.  You can look for my reviews in the March issue due out at the end of December or beginning of July.

bellavia2.jpgI also just finished an off-topic book, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, by David Bellavia and John Bruning.  (I may have mentioned before that I think too much familiarity with the modern military and modern combat can be something of a detriment in the study of Civil War armies and operations, and since I’m not a veteran myself this opinion sometimes gets me in hot water with friends who are.  But I remain unshaken.)  Bellavia turns in a gritty account of the infantry in Iraq, specifically the Second Battle of Fallujah.  While I don’t think it rises to the literary level of E. B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed, on some levels it may be a little more brutally honest; perhaps that’s possible because of the mutation of sensibilities over the years.  Victorian mores prevented the real Civil War from ever getting into the books.  While there is probably no way to accurately convey the experience of combat on the printed page, Bellavia gets us closer.