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The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 3: Red River to Appomattox (1974)

de Shelby Foote

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Séries: The Civil War: A Narrative (Original publication, Vol. 3)

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1,520129,219 (4.54)26
In the third and final volume, Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife which altered American life forever. Her, told in vivid narrative and as seen from both sides, are those climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, which finally decided the fate of this nation.… (mais)
  1. 00
    The Civil War Dictionary de Mark Boatner (wildbill)
    wildbill: excellent reference work
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There's not much to say about this volume that I didn't already say about the first two volumes. It's a classic work of narrative history written by a skilled novelist and a very thoughtful man. If you think you'd be interested, buy a copy now before Amazon forbids it.

What I thought I could do is list some miscellaneous things I've learned from the trilogy that I didn't previously know. Some of these will probably betray my singular ignorance, but there may be a few that would be news to a lot of people.

1) Trench warfare wasn't just a thing in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"; it was a major part of most Civil War battles. In fact, Blue versus Gray were facing each other in trenches east of Richmond and Petersburg for almost a year near the end of the war.

2) I say "Gray", but lots of Confederate soldiers were dressed in butternut (a light brown).

3) A large segment of the Confederate army fought barefoot.

4) Through most of the war, the two sides had a system called "parole" in which armies would not retain their prisoners but would release them after they agreed that "for them the war was over" (as the Germans would say).

5) Generals did not lead a cushy life back then. About 1 in 8 were killed in action during the war.

6) Somehow during the time I lived in Atlanta I got the idea that, in the siege of that city, Union cannons lobbed shells from Kennesaw Mountain into the downtown area, almost 20 miles away. In actuality, cannons then had a range of about a mile--no more than 2 miles for the best--and the mountain's 800 feet of height couldn't have made that much difference.

7) This was the first war in which railroads were a major factor.

8) Tearing up railroad tracks was a major activity of the cavalry, but both sides became quite proficient at repairing them quickly.

9) Lee's surrender to Grant took place in a private home in a village called Appomattox Court House, *not* in a court house building. ( )
  cpg | Jul 11, 2021 |
A very well-researched narrative-style telling of the end of the Civil War. Foote tried to turn a series of mechanical battles into a story. Few details were left out; it is very thorough. However, the narrative seemed to try and excuse the actions of the South and its leaders during the war so it was not to my taste. ( )
  jguidry | Aug 23, 2020 |
Considered one of best nonfiction books of century by Nat’l Review. It covers the war from 1862 to 1864 and follows the strategies of the North and South, the struggles on and off the field, and the four years that changed America forever.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Jul 29, 2017 |
It took me quite a while to finish this three volume series by Shelby Foote as in this third book I read usually two pages each day. More to savor the experience for as long as I could. I became acquainted with Mr. Foote during the epic Ken Burns series on PBS. He struck me as someone who knew his stuff on this subject and he did not disappoint in print.

Shelby could narrate like no other I have encountered on this great struggle in our nation's history. I was a bit surprised he did not delve much into the tragedy of the Union soldiers at Andersonville. Also the ending of this third and final volume focuses on Jefferson Davis's travails at the conclusion of the war. On balance though each and every twist and turn, victory and defeat is laid out in detail. I was left with the thought that the south given its military leadership only needed the resources to have prevailed. Thankfully they did not have this and we have our nation in its whole. ( )
  knightlight777 | May 13, 2016 |
This is the last book in "The Civil War: A Narrative" trilogy. I love these books and believe them to have excellent writing and detail. Some may find it slow, boring, over detailed, but I adore all that kind of stuff. This is a long book, coming in at 1089 pages, so it's a commitment reading it. I've read the first two volumes and just cannot get over the sheer detail of it. I'm impressed with the writing style in the form of a tale. It's not all facts and figures, but paints a realistic picture of the time. Foote's research of the American Civil War has to have been intense. It shows. Just couldn't put these volumes down. ( )
  Arkrayder | Apr 22, 2016 |
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Shelby Footeautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Gardner, GroverNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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ALL THESE WERE HONOURED IN THEIR GENERATIONS
AND WERE THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES

THERE BE OF THEM
THAT HAVE LEFT A NAME BEHIND THEM
THAT THEIR PRAISES MIGHT BE REPORTED

AND SOME THERE BE WHICH HAVE NO MEMORIAL
WHO ARE PERISHED AS THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN
AND ARE BECOME AS THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN BORN
AND THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM

BUT THESE WERE MERCIFUL MEN
WHOSE RIGHTEOUSNESS HATH NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN

WITH THEIR SEED SHALL CONTINUALLY REMAIN
A GOOD INHERITANCE
AND THEIR CHILDREN ARE WITHIN THE COVENANT

THEIR SEED STANDETH FAST
AND THEIR CHILDREN FOR THEIR SAKES

THEIR SEED SHALL REMAIN FOR EVER
AND THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT

THEIR BODIES ARE BURIED IN PEACE
BUT THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
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Late afternoon of a raw, gusty day in early spring - March 8, a Tuesday, 1864 - the desk clerk at Willard's Hotel, two blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, glanced up to find an officer accompanied by a boy of thirteen facing him across the polished oak of the registration counter and inquiring whether he could get a room.
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In Sherman's words, they had cut "a swath of desolation fifty miles broad across the State of Mississippi which the present generation will not forget." In such work they used sledges and crowbars more than rifles, and though it involved much vigorous exercise, it was not only a fine way of relaxing from the rigors of the Vicksburg siege, it was also a good deal safer, since their efforts were mainly directed against civilians.
Sherman, left marking time, had to be content with wrecking what he held. "Meridian, with its depots, storehouses, arsenals, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments, no longer exists," he reported.
As for the troops who served the gray commander, wretchedly fed and clad though they were, Lyman considered them anything but shaky. "These rebels are not half starved," he added. "A more sinewy, tawny, formidable-looking set of men could not be. In education they are certainly inferior to our native-born people, but they are usually very quick-witted, and they know enough to handle weapons with terrible effect. Their great characteristic is their stoical manliness. They never beg or whimper or complain, but look you straight in the face with as little animosity as if they had never heard a gun fired."
[Sherman] stayed his hand, not so much from lack of moral courage as from mistrust of his own impulsive nature, which he only gave free rein in times of relaxation, while writing letters, say, or dealing with civilians, and almost never when men's lives were at stake.
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THE CIVIL WAR : A NARRATIVE has been published in 3 volumes, but has also been subdivided differently to be published in 9 volumes and even 14 volumes. Consequently, there are different works numbered "volume 3". This volume 3 - RED RIVER TO APPOMATTOX - is for the series as subdivided into 3 volumes.
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In the third and final volume, Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife which altered American life forever. Her, told in vivid narrative and as seen from both sides, are those climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, which finally decided the fate of this nation.

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