Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shiloh by Larry J. Daniel

The subtitle is “The Battle That Changed the Civil War,” and the author argues that this is the case since no one after Shiloh thought the war would be a thirty-day fight. It’s another one of those battle histories in which the movements of every unit at every moment is described and mapped, another one of those battle histories that I’m becoming less and less interested in. Forgive me, sometimes they get so far down into the details that I lose track of which units are Federal and which are Confederate. Two ways of looking at that. One. How can I ever hope to understand the war if I get lost on such a basic separation? Two. When all is said and one, does it really matter which are Federal and which are Confederate? The war taught them and should teach us that such artificial separations are what caused the war in the first place.

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