Wednesday, September 17, 2008

General Orders Twenty-Three

Ike blew through Cincinnati with 75 mph winds downing trees and sending roofs flying. My power was off for 47-1/2 hours. Needless to say, I lost any sense of humor about 7 hours in. After that, I wanted my power on and on now. Reading by flashlight, I finished Woodworth's Davis and Lee at War, started Clifford Dowdey's Lee Takes Command. At the same time, I started Furgurson's Not War But Murder about Cold Harbor.

It is distressing to read Woodworth's and Dowdey's books. For someone who roots for the Army of Northern Virginia, it is maddening to read about the retreat of Joe Johnston from Centreville to Yorktown. The waste of supplies! So needed by the Confederacy. Then at the end of the war, Beauregard's machinations that denied Lee needed troops as he retreated before Grant's massive army in 1864. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! It brings to mind the same frustration I experienced reading Woodworth's Jefferson Davis and His Generals about the western theater. To read about men, who put their pride and ambition before everything... the opportunities these selfish and self-centered generals wasted because they wanted Braxton Bragg's job. I wanted to jump in the pages and slap some sense into them.

I'm mid-way through Woodworth's Nothing But Victory, an account of The Army of the Tennessee. To watch Halleck do what he could to disrupt Grant's career births the same frustration and disgust.

Forget the cause or the nation or the army... what was important to the likes of Johnston, Halleck, the Bishop Polk, Longstreet, Hardee, and D.H. Hill was their own vanity. When Stuart is blasted for his vanity, I just marvel. He, in no way, compares to these men, They were the very definition of vain-glory and ego and self-centeredness.