Reading Update

Ed Bearss’ The Vicksburg Campaign III

I’ve made a bit of progress here – the sections destribing the siege are finished. He then went into detail about the operations outside the lines, first involving the covering armies on the “Second Front”.

Remember that before defeating Pemberton at Champion Hill, Grant had scattered the forces at Raymond and Jackson. Together with the forces in the city, they actually outnumbered Grant for some time.  He needed to divert some troops to hold them off while the siege progressed.

Eventually, Grant got new troops from the rear areas and other districts to give him a substantial second army that he put under Sherman. These forces discouraged Joe Johnston from making any credible attempt to raise the seige.

From there, the discussion moved to North Mississippi, where General Hurlbut in Memphis is a bit worried himself, because he sent much of his force to reinforce Grant. However, he used cavalry raids to keep the commanders opposing him off balance thus keeping them from doing any damage to his position, aside from some tense moments.

The Sun King – Nancy Mitford

An interesting book – she really makes the characters despite the bewildering variety of titles and names.  Notable moments are when the King’s mistress places her first three children with a friend to raise to avoid raising a scandal – since both Louis and she are married to others. She is then annoyed to find that the woman is getting influence with Louis by discussing the children, and is using this influence to try and get him to end his affair with the mistress.  The struggle lasted for years…

Kindle Report 1

I downloaded and manually added to my Kindle a book by a journalist in the Civil War about the various generals he knew. He’s very good with his observations and anecdotes and has been used by myriads of authors since then. Its good to see the original source.

Kindle Report 2

I have now read several of the Doc Smith science fiction novels in my huge omnibus volume. The last two were particularly amusiing because they “The Skylark of Space” and “Skylark Three” were apparenly the ultimate source for Harry Harrison’s very funny parody of the old pulp stories “Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers”.

As to the original stories, they are pretty good. I prefer Stanley Weinbaum’s tales from that period as they are less ray blasting and more world building.

Don’t expect a lot of angst from Doc Smith’s characters – not when they can use Element X to build a super ship and form a galactic federation to destroy the foe instead!

New Books

I picked up the Folio society book on the Desert War – The Desert War Trilogy by Alan Moorehead.  He was a jounalist who was present at a lot of the action there in World War II. Seems interesting if I ever get through the pile ahead of it.

I also got a book I had pre-ordered from Amazon on the fight for Chinn Ridge during Longstreet’s assault on the second day of Second Bull Run. Books on the Civil War can get very specialized. I have a second book that covers just a fraction of this same battle – the Iron Brigade at Brawner Farm.  There’s a book I have on Gettysburg that relates the action of a single regiment charging for just a few minutes. No, actually I have two such books – one on the 6th Wisconsin on Day 1 and one on the 1st Minnesota on Day 2.


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