Kindle Review – “Personal Recollections of Distinguished Generals” – William Shanks

I got this book not from Kindle’s own site, but manually loaded it from another website.  It worked pretty well, all things considered.

Unlike the Kindle’s own downloaded texts, this one was a pretty poor scan in places and it continually got confused about page headings as text and so on.  There were some garbled letters in the real text but you soon got used to V being Y in names every so often.  Hard to complain since it was free.

One thing I did is to mark the chapters as bookmarks or highlights as I read, which made popping around a lot easier later.

The book itself is an obscure title that seems very familiar to a Civil War buff because it was itself a source for so many histories that came after it.  The author, a newsman that travelled with (presumably) the Army of the Cumberland for the bulk of the war, relates his opinion of the major generals he ran into during the war – Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, and Joe Hooker and gives a chapter on each. He’s a sharp man, and opinionated, and gives a good capsule on each, as well as some great anecdotes that historians ever after could not resist repeating.  In the later chapter some lesser generals and some that he did not like get some scrutiny as well.  Some he liked, some he did not.

This is a great source if you are interested in some background on the Cumberland Army and its generals.


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