Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Virginia 1861

Finding it frustrating how many details I had forgotten about my favorite subject, the American civil war, I have decided to once again work my way through Shelby Foote's (his passing was noted briefly here) "The Civil War - A Narrative." I hope to post the occasional excerpt from this singular document of America's greatest and most terrible moment.

Here's what Foote had to say about Virginia as it was in the closing days of 1861:

Soon now, that hundred miles of Virginia with its glittering rivers and dusty turnpikes, its fields of grain and rolling pastures, the peace of generations soft upon it like the softness in the voices of its people, would be obscured by the swirl and bank of cannon smoke, stitched by the fitful stabs of muzzle flashes, until at last, lurid as the floor of hell itself, it would seem to have been made for war as deliberately as a chessboard was designed for chess.

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