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Any Civil War buffs out there?

Discussion in 'The PatsFans.com Pub' started by ironwasp, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I know all you New Englanders are famed for your Revolutionary War exploits when you kicked the brave Redcoats and good King George out of the 13 States.

    But I wondered if anyone out there shared my enthusiasm and interest in the Civil War?

    I got interested a few years back - can't remember how anymore - and have been an enthusiastic student of the War ever since. Because I'm in England most of that has to be done through reading, website and watching films etc (and fortunately there is a great canon out there from Catton to Shaara to Foote etc).

    But because I have family in the Maryland/Virginia area I've also been able to get to a few sites, starting with Gettysburg and Antietam a couple of years ago, as well as a tiny one called Monocacy where the Confederates made a last desperate throw of the dice with an attack on Washington.

    Can anyone point me in the direction of interesting books, novels and Civil War films? Anyone have particularly interesting stories to tell?
     
  2. milwaukeebeers44

    milwaukeebeers44 On the Game Day Roster

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    I have an interest, but not as deep as yours. Mine developed in my move from New England to Atlanta. . .I actually live about 3 miles from Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield and frequent its recreational trails. I've also been to Antietam.

    My husband is the major military history buff, but we've both taken care to learn a lot about the goings on in our area.
     
  3. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I don't know a lot about Kennesaw, I'll have to look it up.

    I have an aunt in Georgia, I think she lives in a town called Troy, which she tells me is near Andersonville, which I'd like to visit.
     
  4. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I'm a WWII buff although I have done some reading on the Civil War but it's been a long time.

    A guy I used to work with drives a lot for work and does audio books and he's a serious WWII. He bought these and said they were awesome and made his drive much more palatable.

    http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Narrative-Vol-Set/dp/0394749138

    I gave the book link since it was easier.

    Since you started the topic perhaps you can post some of the stuff that got you into it. Although I've read stuff on the Independence, 1812, WW1, Korea and Vietnam, I always end up back at WWII.
     
  5. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I got interested quite a while ago and then left it for a while. What probably renewed my interest was a fictional series by historical writer Bernard Cornwell (who is most famous for writing a series about Sharpe, a Napoleonic era rifleman) which follows the career of a Massachusetts boy who ends up in the Confederate army. The Starbuck Chronicles. They are pretty good in themselves but really just posed a lot of questions for me that fiction could not then answer.

    After that I went history mad for a bit. Bruce Catton's centennial history is a masterful account of the War, in both its causes and its prosecution.

    The Shaara books: Gods and Generals and The Killer Angels (the latter particularly) are excellent.

    A historian called Stephen Sears also excels at giving detailed but humane and emotional accounts of the battles. I have read his Gettysburg and A Landscape Turned Red (Antietam). Chancellorsville is on my list for next.

    I've read a little Shelby Foote, but not as much as I'd like to. I might leave your recommendation until I've retired as it needs a serious investment in time!!
     
  6. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Having two kids I seriously understand the time investment part. Half the time I'm too tired to do any serious reading but thanks for the links I'll try and read at least one although it may have to be on vacation so I have something left in the tank after 8 PM.
     
  7. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    If I had to recommend one of those, on the fiction side it would be The Killer Angels. It is fascinating and a relatively easygoing read.
     
  8. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Excellent thanks for the heads up. If you ever decide to go the WWII route I have a ton of recommendations for battles, campaigns, and biographies. The biographies I've read a lot on both sides and some of the other side is very fascinating.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Not at all.

    WWII is a strange one for me. I've done a great deal of reading about WWI, literature, history, biography etc. It is a war that still fascinates here and undergoes periodic revivals - at the moment we have a lot every anniversary of it because there are only something like 8 veterans still alive (guys that signed up illegally at 14/15 towards the end of the war.) Next year is the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, and I suspect that will be a big deal.

    But WWII we sort of grew up with here - even for relative youngsters like me who were born in 1971 - and it coloured so many attitudes we (as a nation) have towards the world and towards our partners in Europe etc. So I have visited the beaches and battlefields of northern France and studied it quite a bit as a child and as a student and read some biography later on. (I have been, on and off, reading Churchill's first volume, The Gathering Storm).

    But, perhaps because I feel more familiar with it, feel that I have more of an understanding of that war, it has never quite captured my interest or imagination in quite the same way. I daresay it will happen.

    Supposing I did start tomorrow, what might you recommend as a good place to begin?

    Cheers
     
  10. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Being a bit older than you, it holds for me even more. What's more, I think it's hard to just think about the military side of World War II, as many war history buffs do, when it was so patently a struggle between good and evil that encompassed the whole of society.

    Books apart, there is a huge amount of excellent visual material. I was brought up on a programme that ran in the U.K. in the 1960s called All Our Yesterdays that reproduced the cinema newsreels of 25 years previously, so you could follow the war through the 1960s week by week. Then there was the marvellous ITV series that is still available on video The World at War. More recently, BBC2 had a stunning series called The Nazis: a Warning from History from which I learned a lot.

    [By the way, I'm looking out of my window and see that across the road from me is a Krimibuchhandlung [thriller bookshop] called Totsicher [Dead Sure] http://www.totsicher.com/index.html. I used to read a lot of crime fiction but I haven't in the last five years or so; I will have to investigate! :cool: ]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  11. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, "Gettysburg" is the movie based on 'The Killer Angels.' I read that book so often the pages fell out. The movie is long, made for TVish (only slightly) but is well-acted and stays to the book.

    Read all of Shelby Foote's work. Admirable.
     
  12. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    It is kind of a long film. I watched it the day before visiting the battlefield; I was up til like 3am. But I think it was quite faithful to other accounts I have read.

    I'd like to see other writers try to replicate Shaara's style for other battles.

    I read Shelby Foote's novel "Shiloh" which was terrific. It's next on my list of battlefields to be visited.
     
  13. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Since you've been to the beaches I would start with the classic D Day books.

    The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

    and

    Stephen Ambrose D Day

    The longest day is a classic movie too with a great cast. In the vein of Saving Private Ryan but made in the early 60's and stickly about D Day.
     
  14. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Oddly enough, I think I actually have a copy of The Longest Day that I found in an antiquarian bookshop some years ago and never got round to reading. I have some Stephen Ambrose (again, unread)

    I think the Band of Brothers series is the greatest piece of television made and I do have that on DVD.
     
  15. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Note: Michael Shaara's son is NOT the writer he was.....

    I really don't try to read any fictionalized accounts anymore as they all pale in comparison and I find myself quickly disinterested.
     
  16. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    BTW I would love to visit the beaches. Good luck to me on getting my wife to do that, LOL.

    There was a great Herman Goering biograhpy I read about 15 years ago and I cannot remember who wrote it for the life of me but most of the Nazi have insane stories on how they got to where they were. The American and British leaders are usually very cut and dry stories be it Bradley, Ike, Patton, Monty, even Churchill. But the Nazis oh man what a collection of nut jobs.
     
  17. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Getting your wife to Normandy may be a question of presenting the right context. The region is very beautiful, rich in the gastronomic, architerctural and cultural traditions of France. There are wonderful beaches there that are not part of the June 6 landings, some beautiful towns and cities: Lisieux, Bayeux etc

    And if that doesn't work, it's not that far from Paris.

    Now if anyone can help me get my wife to Hardin County Tennessee for Shiloh, all suggestions gratefully accepted.
     
  18. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Think she might like a little moonshine?

    Tell her you're taking her to Memphis for some great Jazz but inexplicably make a left turn some 80 miles too soon.
     
  19. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Tell her you bought "her" Pats/Titans tickets and you just want to swing in. :violent:
     
  20. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'm starting to see why you might be having trouble getting your wife to the beaches :rolleyes:
     

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