200px-James_LongstreetI notice that today is the anniversary of the birth, in 1821, of James Longstreet.

Regular friends of the decanter will know that from time to time I make mention of the memoirs of various Civil War leaders here – Grant, Sherman, most recently Little Phil Sheridan – generally with warm approval.

I have a copy of Longstreet’s memoirs, too, but I confess that I’ve never been able to finish them get very far into them at all, and usually find myself face-planting.  Unlike most of the others I’ve sampled, “Old Pete” wrote in a style so plodding, so methodical in its laying out of every. single. detail.  of a campaign (in fact, I’ve never made it past the Seven Days’ Battle), that it’s rayther akin to watching a glacier make its way down a mountain valley.

I don’t know what to say about this except that I find it interesting that his literary style mirrored his military style, which was similarly plodding, methodical and careful.

(I have read elsewhere from those who have managed to make their way through Longstreet’s tome, by the bye, that it is massively defensive and self-justifying, but as I say, I’ve never managed to see this myself.)

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