Saturday, February 12, 2005

An Ague and No Atrocity

My nap was fine but i aowke shivering and aching and loudly proclaiming that I was the latest victim of influenza. A few hours of reading followed and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Foote sections on the transmississippi and the ongoing hagiography of Beford Forrest. The hit-and-run affairs along the Yazoo appear slight after the carnage at Fredericksburg, which is seminal especially in light of its memorable citations. "Sir, we shall give them the bayonet,' from Jackson is fine medling of the eloquent and the pragmatic, whereas Lee's "It is well that war is so terrible, we should grow too fond of it," belies that hackneyed Southern philosophy which is often impenetrable. The madness of the successive Federal charges upon the fortified positions of Longstreet leave an air of desperation, that somehow the script didn't portend this disaster and as Roger noted, the writing was then on the wall ofr the Great War. As Foote is often quick to note the napoleanic tactcis hadn't incorporated the grossly enhanced lethality of the new firearms.
After the descriptions of slaughter, the following passage from Foote depicting the uncanny appearence of the Northen Lights to that bloody Maryland field is disquieting in its regal aura:

A mysterious refulgence, shot with fanwise shafts of varicolored light, predominantly reds and blues - first a glimmer, then a spreading glow, as if all the countryside between Fredericksburg and Washington were afire - filled a wide arc of the horizon beyond the Federal right.

It is my wish to continue the push this evening, hopefull reaching the section on Vicksburg as tomorrow there is aNBA doubleheader and such doesn't bode well , especially during the day.


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