Gates-Gate, and The Great Racism debate distracted me for the past two weeks from blogging about the Civil War. Which is sad, because I don't think I'll be thinking about a single one of those threads a year from now. That's about my interest--by my lights, I'll take Stonewall Jackson and Jourdan Anderson over Henry Louis Gates and James
Michael Crowley on any given day.
Anyway, for those concerned I've been making my way through the reading. I finished Like Men Of War which is about as good a history of the USCT as I've seen. It's missing a core them, narrative or argument. Maybe there's not enough history to make one. But it feels like a kind of "And this happened, And this happened, And this happened" book, without a real narrative arc. But for my porposes, it was great.
I tried to read American Slavery, American Freedom. I found it informative, but very hard to finish. I got about halfway through. For whatever reason, I've been thinking a lot about my own mortality. I can't really slow down for books that aren't that well written. I knocked out Uncommon Valor, which is, sort of, a history of the 4th USCT (some of whom are seen here) and The Battle Of New Market Heights. It's a short book, with some interesting details--especially a speech by controversial general Benjamin Butler just before the battle.