Civil War Online

There are a lot of crap things about living in the early 21st century, but Project Gutenburg ain't one of them. The other day I was musing on the memoirs of William T. Sherman and it suddenly occurred to me that, well hell, they're in the public domain, I bet some fool has digitized them. And sure enough, here they are. It's a fairly good bet that among the several hundred people I know well enough to merit a Facebook friendship, I'm the only one truly willing to read this 1400+ page monster. But if you get a wild hair to digest the work of a non-writer from 140 years ago, you could do worse than Uncle Billy. His writing is concise and direct, and feels relatively modern, since those two characteristics are more or less the hallmarks of "modern" writing, unless you happen to read French post-structuralists for fun. Anyway, if you're interested in the Civil War, it's pretty good stuff. Like many memoirs, one walks away with the impression that Sherman was preternaturally wise and possessed of perfect judgement. It's easy enough to see through (though, let's be honest — Sherman is undoubtedly one of the great heroes of American history), but it will be interesting, when the time is available, to delve into the memoirs not only of his opponents in the field, but those jealous souls who served — and chafed — under him.