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The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian (1974)

von Shelby Foote

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: The Civil War: A Narrative (Original publication, Vol. 2)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,852199,247 (4.56)45
Biography & Autobiography. History. Military. Nonfiction. HTML:Focused on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume of Shelby Footes masterful narrative history brings to life the Battle of Gettysburg and Grants Vicksburg campaign and covers some of the most dramatic and important moments in the Civil War.
 
Includes maps throughout.
 
"This, then, is narrative historya kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition.... The writing is superb...one of the historical and literary achievements of our time." The Washington Post Book World
" Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist's skill in directing the reader's attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be better." Atlantic
"Though the events of this middle year of the Civil War have been recounted hundreds of times, they have rarely been re-created with such vigor and such picturesque detail." The New York Times Book Review
"The lucidity of the battle narratives, the vigor of the prose, the strong feeling for the men from generals to privates who did the fighting, are all controlled by constant sense of how it happened and what it was all about. Foote has the novelist's feeling for character and situation, without losing the historian's scrupulous regard for recorded fact. The Civil War is likely to stand unequaled." Walter Mills.
… (mehr)
  1. 00
    The Civil War Dictionary von Mark Boatner (wildbill)
    wildbill: excellent reference work
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I started this series in 1997. I revisited vol. 1 in 2009. I went about reading this volume for a book club challenge to read a BIG BOOK for February 2020. I started in November... and I just finished. I will admit that I read other books during breaks (usually after each chapter/section). Was I bored? No! It is such a BIG BOOK that is a slow read. No skimming here. This series is simply one of the best set of books I have ever read. Here are a few bullets to explain:
* This is a historical narrative. It reads like a novel in places.
* Foote is a master wordsmith. He brings the details forward to bring the reader into the story for the big picture as well as the individual level.
* The books primarily cover the military actions, but include so much more. Politics, historical setting on both the North and South, psychological struggles of individuals, and so much more are interweaved to tell the story.
* While the major figures of both the North and South are covered, Foote also tells stories of so many people that only play minor footnotes in the history of America. It was these "minor" characters that really drew me in at times. Just one or two pages about an individual soldier could grasp your mind and imagination, forcing you to stop and think about that one individual. This is one reason the book takes so long to read.
* I listened to the Blackstone Audiobook while reading. At times, I listened at 1.20 speed while reading the text. I have never done this consistently with another book (listen and read at the same time). With other books, it is simply too frustrating to slow down like that. With this audio book, the audio and reading bring the story even deeper. I know this isn't for everyone, but it worked for me.

Well, now I am challenged with the decision on how long to wait until vol. 3. Will it be 10-11 years? No. I hope to read vol. 3 this year... but I do have 52 books to go for 2020, so I better read some shorter books and get some room for a 3 month dive later in the year. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 14, 2024 |
After receiving Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy as a Christmas present some years back, I read the first volume quickly with all good intention of pushing on to the other volumes, but because of the sheer effort and time it took to read one of them, I drug my feet, and only now have gotten around to tackling the second book, titled THE CIVIL WAR VOL. 2: A NARRATIVE: FREDERICKSBURG TO MERIDIAN. My copy comes in at 966 pages, and Foote’s writing style can be most intimidating as his paragraphs tend to run long, like huge bricks of text that take up most of a page, creating the image of a wall the reader has to overcome. But there is a wealth of detail to be found there, and if the reader makes the commitment, they will be well rewarded.

This second volume covers the events from the Fredericksburg campaign through the year of 1863, ending with Grant going east to take on Lee, while Sherman prepares for the campaign in the west which will take the Union forces to Atlanta and beyond. The two high points of the book are the recounting of the Vicksburg campaign on the Mississippi, and the titanic clash at Gettysburg, but in between and before and after, Foote digresses to some little known or discussed side actions in Texas, Florida, Charleston, Arkansas, Kentucky and the Ohio River valley, East Tennessee, and central Mississippi. He gives these seemingly minor clashes ample attention, and makes the case why they mattered and the effect they had on larger campaigns. The Union blunders at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville are well recounted, along with the Union route at Chickamauga, later redeemed by the Confederate thrashing at Chattanooga. Along the way we get a thorough feeling for the men on both sides, commanders and infantrymen alike, who shouldered the burden of winning the war for their respective sides. Without saying it in so many words, Foote makes the case that the Confederates had the better regimental and divisional commanders in the field, while the Union were often stuck with officers, who, for lack of a better way to put it, simply couldn’t get on the page or grasp an opportunity when it was in front of them. A good example is Meade, who holds a defensive position at Gettysburg and lets Lee’s own mistakes and misjudgments defeat him, and then totally fails to exploit the victory he has won by pursuing his defeated foe on his retreat from Pennsylvania to Virginia. But what the Union did right was to reward commanders who proved themselves on the battlefield, and to quickly dispense with those who failed: Burnside and Hooker were sidelined after defeats at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, while Grant and Sherman take Vicksburg and are promoted; George Thomas holds the line against a Confederate breakthrough at Chickamauga and is rewarded with the command of the Army of the Cumberland, while the Confederates allowed John Pemberton, who lost Vicksburg, and Braxton Bragg, who had to flee his HQ on Missionary Ridge lest he be captured by Thomas’ men in a surprise assault, to stay on even after it was clear they were not up to the task. A lot of Confederates spent a lot of time waiting for Joe Johnston and his army to show up, but Foote explains that Johnston, who recognized the limits of the Confederate military, genuinely cared about the men under his command, and was loathe to spill their blood needlessly. And Foote makes the case that Lee should have listened to James Longstreet more than once at Gettysburg. A lot of space is given to some of the war’s most daring cavalry raids and why the Confederacy had a pair of real assets in John Hunt Morgan and Nathan Bedford Forrest, but not so much in William Quantrill. A strong contrast is made between Lincoln and Davis and their respective Presidencies, with the patience and determination of the former, against the lack of support the latter received from his own people, and the impossible situation he was in of leading a nation dedicated to “states rights” in a war for survival, which required cherished principles to be set aside if victory was to be obtained. It is clear that what truly held the Confederacy together against crushing blows, and in the face of defeat, were the grit and guts of their common soldiers in the field regardless of the quality of who was in command. A recounting by a Union officer of finding the barefoot corpse of a Confederate who appeared to be no more than fifteen years old after a battle in Tennessee drives home the cost, and the wasted potential, of the war.

I am staggered by the amount of research it must have taken to produce this book, but I think Foote gave us one of the finest war narratives ever written. Though it took me just short of two months at reading a little more than an hour a day to finish it, I fully understand now why the events of 1863 were the fulcrum of the Civil War, where Confederate hopes for a military victory slipped away irrevocably, and the path to victory for the Union lay ahead if they were willing to do the hard bloody work to get there. This is a book that explains who was who, and what they did when and where; it is a litany of strategies implemented and battle plans made, and often the failures that occurred when first contact with the enemy was made. That is when the real leaders emerged. Foote’s THE CIVIL WAR VOL. 2: A NARRATIVE: FREDERICKSBURG TO MERIDIAN is the ultimate deep dive into that conflict, and a must read for any serious student of American history. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Nov 30, 2023 |
With this middle volume of a highly detailed three-volume history of the Civil War, Shelby Foote does a meticulous job of documenting every important event (and a few unimportant ones) of the war. And yet, he does justice to every person - well known and obscure alike - to pain a picture of a country torn asunder and how it came to that failure of policy. There is no more complete telling of the scope of the war and I look forward to continuing to Vol 3.

In addition, the narration on the audio edition by Grover Gardner is spot on ( )
  csayban | Nov 3, 2023 |
Which American President created a system for slaves to be judged by a jury of all black jurors? Jefferson Davis

The U.S. Constitution provided for population counting to be 3/5ths of a person for slaves. How did the Confederate Constitution describe African-Americas, in contrast? Slaves.
  gmicksmith | Jan 5, 2023 |
The second volume of Shelby Foote's Civil War history is just as thorough and comprehensive as the first. Foote has covered every aspect of the American Civil War his work. After reading this I feel that I know and understand characters on both sides of the conflict. Foote devoted pages of the book to Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, generals and politicians on both sides but also touched on the lives of the ordinary folks on both side of the conflict. I though the narration was excellent but the maps included were inadequate. I would recommend reading this book with a good civil war atlas at hand. I will be starting on the third and final volume soon.
( )
  MMc009 | Jan 30, 2022 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Shelby FooteHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Gardner, GroverErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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ALL THESE WERE HONOURED IN THEIR GENERATIONS
AND WERE THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES

THERE BE OF THEM
THAT HAVE LEFT A NAME BEHIND THEM
THAT THEIR PRAISES MIGHT BE REPORTED

AND SOME THERE BE WHICH HAVE NO MEMORIAL
WHO ARE PERISHED AS THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN
AND ARE BECOME AS THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN BORN
AND THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM

BUT THESE WERE MERCIFUL MEN
WHOSE RIGHTEOUSNESS HATH NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN

WITH THEIR SEED SHALL CONTINUALLY REMAIN
A GOOD INHERITANCE
AND THEIR CHILDREN ARE WITHIN THE COVENANT

THEIR SEED STANDETH FAST
AND THEIR CHILDREN FOR THEIR SAKES

THEIR SEED SHALL REMAIN FOR EVER
AND THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT

THEIR BODIES ARE BURIED IN PEACE
BUT THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
Ecclesiasticus xliv
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"After an absence of nearly two years," Jefferson Davis told the legislators assembled under the golden dome of his home-state capitol on the day after Christmas, 1862 - twenty months and two weeks, to the day, since the guns of Charleston opened fire on Sumter to inaugurate the civil war no one could know was not yet halfway over - "I again find myself among those who, from the days of my childhood, have ever been the trusted objects of my affection, those for whose good I have ever striven and whose interests I have sometimes hoped I may have contributed to subserve...I left you to assume the duties which have devolved upon me as the representative of the new Confederacy."
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Let us cross over the river . . . and rest under the shade of the trees. (General Stonewall Jackson's dying words at Chancellorsville.)
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THE CIVIL WAR : A NARRATIVE has been published in 3 volumes, but has also been subdivided differently to be published in 9 volumes and even 14 volumes. Consequently, there are different works numbered "volume 2". This volume 2 is for the series as subdivided into 3 volumes, and covers the battles from Fredericksburg to Meridian.
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Military. Nonfiction. HTML:Focused on the pivotal year of 1863, the second volume of Shelby Footes masterful narrative history brings to life the Battle of Gettysburg and Grants Vicksburg campaign and covers some of the most dramatic and important moments in the Civil War.
 
Includes maps throughout.
 
"This, then, is narrative historya kind of history that goes back to an older literary tradition.... The writing is superb...one of the historical and literary achievements of our time." The Washington Post Book World
" Mr. Foote has an acute sense of the relative importance of events and a novelist's skill in directing the reader's attention to the men and the episodes that will influence the course of the whole war, without omitting items which are of momentary interest. His organization of facts could hardly be better." Atlantic
"Though the events of this middle year of the Civil War have been recounted hundreds of times, they have rarely been re-created with such vigor and such picturesque detail." The New York Times Book Review
"The lucidity of the battle narratives, the vigor of the prose, the strong feeling for the men from generals to privates who did the fighting, are all controlled by constant sense of how it happened and what it was all about. Foote has the novelist's feeling for character and situation, without losing the historian's scrupulous regard for recorded fact. The Civil War is likely to stand unequaled." Walter Mills.

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