As I started to read White Doves at Morning I really didn’t think that I was going to like it even though I have enjoyed all of writer James Lee Burke’s works that I have read. Set mostly in the South and during the Civil War and during subsequent reconstruction the novel started somewhat slow for me. I felt the storyline was traveling down a path well trodden by many others. But I was wrong.
Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’
“When the sun went down, the shelling began again, the civilian moving inside again quickly, but she remained outside the cave, watched the red streaks, heard the thumps and distant thunder, and noticed now for the first time that something was missing. What had been done to James’ best friend was an act of raw desperation repeated in the town, and all throughout the cave-spotted hills. Until now, every time the shells came, it had been the same, the whistle and shriek of mortars and cannon fire answered by a scatter chorus of howling dogs. But tonight there were no howls, no response at all to the steel and fire from the sky. There were no longer any dogs.”
“one hundred thousand troops face one another, at a cost of twenty-four thousand casualties. And yet, because of the vast distance from the great media centers, particularly in the North, few newspaper reporters are on the field to tell that story…there are virtually no photographs taken of the aftermath of the Shiloh battlefield at all. Thus, in April 1862, our nation suffers its most costly military disaster to that time, a tragedy that many, particularly in the North, are hardly even aware of.”
– – Jeff Shaara
“When Abraham Lincoln came to power in 1861, he found himself in a similar dilemma. The first Republican president elected by a minority of the popular vote, Lincoln was viewed by many as a gawky, second-rate country lawyer ill equipped to handle the chief executive office – his own cabinet considered him nothing more than a figurehead. Ten days before he took the oath of office, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking all Federal agencies, forts, and arsenals within their territory. The country was so stricken that rumors of a military coup and assassination abounded at the inauguration.”
It has probably been over 20 years since I read Leon Uris’s Trinity and it became one of my favorite books. I don’t know why I hadn’t kept up with the works of this talented author, but finally read O’Hara’s Choice which was written a few years ago. The story centers around a Juliet and Romeo-like scenario of forbidden love. Set in the post-Civil War era America with historical flashbacks, the book obviously illustrates the plight of former slaves, but also the trials of other immigrants and the Irish in particular. In this novel Romeo is a “lower class” Irishman in love with a Juliet who comes from a new money family trying to burst into the old money culture. Sprinkle in the struggle for the future of the U.S. Marines and you have a the basis of this romance novel.
Perhaps the most successful aspect of liberal politics has been their stranglehold on what is called the “main-stream” media. Though that has diminished over the last decade it is still an extremely powerful tool for progressive/liberal. I can think of no better example of this than the mischaracterization that Republicans/conservatives hate minorities while the Democrats/liberals are their champions. The evidence to the contrary is staggering yet is rarely noted when discussions of race enter the dialogue. The blatant disregard of FACTS when making arguments about race boggles my mind though I can understand that as long as liberals get away with it they’ll use it.
Many years ago I was fortunate to be invited on a school trip to Gettysburg National Military Park. That trip sparked a love affair with the city and the Civil War. If you are from below the Mason-Dixon line you would call it the War Between the States. A favorite book about that era is The Killer Angels which was the basis of a favorite movie, Gettysburg.
One of ending scenes of the movie was an encounter between some captured Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers after the epic Picket/Pettigrew charge. The southerners were resting on some fencing when one of the Union officers asked the prisoners why they were fighting this war. One of the Confederates answered that they were fighting for “Stats Rhats.’
The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
These 28 words say so much, but are regarded so little these days. When you look back to what our fledgling country encountered as a colony of England you should be able to understand their trepidation towards the creation of a powerful United States (Federal) government.
I am a bit of a Civil War buff. It started with a trip to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The Civil War and Gettysburg are two of the most written about subjects in American writing. I have read numerous books on the glorious battles and the heroic efforts of the combatants. Their personal stories inspire and make you cry at the same time.
James M. McPherson is one of the premier writers about that period and as a Pulitzer Prize winner you would expect his work to be first-rate. I found Battle Cry of Freedom different than other books about that era. McPherson’s chronology of the period includes a great deal of “behind the scenes” information about the conflict; the politics, the media, the politicians.
I really didn’t have much interest in history until I had the opportunity to chaperone my son’s fifth grade field trip in 2000. This was their big field trip to the Gettysburg National Military Park. The kids (and parents) fund-raised all year for the trip in April.
We arrived at the park after a four-hour drive and it was basically fields with lots of monuments. A lot of monuments! We had a great time and learned a great deal that day. So what does this have to do with a book review?
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