Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santa Claus Came to Town

Friends,

Sorry for the long lag in posting.  I have been feeling a little bit under the weather of late.  But the show must go on.  Santa Claus came to visit me yesterday.  (We do our Christmas on the 24th since so that my son can have Christmas with me and then go back to his mother's house that night so he can have Christmas there on the 25th.)  Naturally I got a lot of New Orleans Saints items.  However, I also acquired several new Civil War books.  (Plus some Amazon gift cards that I can use to buy some more!)  You know, I was expecting switches and a lump of coal this year though to be honest, I expect that every year.  So these books will be what I am reading over Christmas Break.


1.  Sickles at Gettysburg by James Hessler.  This is another book about America's favorite scoundrel, Daniel Sickles.  I am two chapters in thus far and it is really good.  The author is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg and a d--n good writer too!

2.  Miracles and Massacres by Glenn Beck.  I am not a Glenn Beck fan.  But I thought that this book might contain some interesting stories that I can work into my classes.

3.  Bags to Riches by Jeff Duncan.  Another non-Civil War book.  This one relates how the New Orleans Saints helped the city rebound in the aftermath of Katrina.

4.  Into the Fight: Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg by John Michael Priest.  I read this one last night.  It is incredible.  He is the author of one of my favorite Civil War books, Antietam: The Soldier's Battle.  I am happy to say that Into the Fight continues that fine tradition.  It gives you almost a minute by minute account of Pickett's Charge from the point of view of the men who actually did the fighting.  At times brutal and at times humorous, I cannot recommend this book enough.  (The caveat to that is that the book may be a tad bit confusing for the casual Civil War reader since it sort of assumes some knowledge of the battle on the part of the reader.)

5.  Irish Rebels, Confederate Tigers by James Gannon.  This is a regimental history of the 6th Louisiana Infantry.  I am proud to say I am descended from some of the men who served in this regiment.  This is next on my list as soon as I finish the Sickles book!

6.  The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War by David Eicher.  I remember seeing some mixed reviews of this book when it first came out.  However, I believe in giving all Civil War books a chance.  I've seen some scathing reviews of books that I actually enjoyed.  To each his own.  I plan on reading this one in chunks as it is a large book.

7.  The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command by Edwin Coddington.  I have heard that the Licensed Battlefield Guides at Gettysburg refer to this book as the "Bible" of the Gettysburg Campaign.  This was Dr. Coddington's magnum opus but he died shortly before it was published.  It has been a standard work on this subject for 50 years.  I really have no excuse for not already owning a copy.

So that is what Confederate Claus brought me for Christmas this year.  I am going to be busy over the break doing lots of reading.  That's fine, I don't really have anything else to do anyway.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who wishes all of you a Merry Christmas (or Winter Solstice if you prefer me to be politically correct)!

So what Civil War gifts did Santa Claus (or Confederate Claus) bring you?