Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not much time for an entry tonight. We'll be on the road at the crack of nuts tomorrow, 6:45 a.m.

which of course, is 3:45 a.m. back home in the Trans-Sierra. What a day. We spent about four hours at the Atlanta History Center looking over their amazing artifacts. Gordon Jones pulled out some highlights from the Wray collection -- at least the more portable ones -- and told some fascinating tales about their background, and provenance. Unless they're being aimed in my direction, I am not a person who gets overly excited by firearms. But some of the pieces Wray collected are pretty spectacular. Besides having an example of virtually every rifle and revolver used during the war, there are the rare prototypes, and crowd-favorites like a Whitworth with a side scope. Looking back, I was most excited to see one of the logbooks of the C.S.S. Shenandoah. I have read about this item here and there, and was excited to see it on display. The place is a treasure-trove, and the exhibits, both in conception and presentation, are impressive. The AHC is fortunate to have Jones as curator. His passion for his work was infectious.

Fourteen years ago, when Ted Savas and I published The Campaign for Atlanta & Sherman's March to the Sea, vols. I & II, two of the historians who made that publication worthwhile were Steven Woodworth ("A Reassessment of Confederate Command Options During the Winter of 1863-1864") and Stephen Davis, "A Reappraisal of the Generalship of General John Bell Hood in the Battles for Atlanta"). Tonight, all these years later, I met both men for the first time. Dr. Davis gave a stirring and humorous introduction of Dr. Woodworth, after which Woodworth gave a great talk touching on many of the themes sounded out in the essay named above. Can't wait to hear Davis speak Saturday night on Johnston and Hood. I also met author Russell Bonds for the first time, and reconnected with Greg Biggs, reminiscing about memorable West Coast CWRT Conferences of days gone by, in particular an especially successful one themed "Hollywood in the Civil War," hosted by the Long Beach CWRT many years ago. Much spirited repartee followed Woodworth's talk, as he earnestly tried to make good on a promise to insult just about everyone's favorite general officer at one point or another before the evening was out.

Tomorrow: Resaca, Pickett's Mill, Kennesaw Mountain


TPS said...

And what a great book that is, David. Please pass along my regards to everyone.

And do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT prostrate yourself on the porch of the mansion at Franklin, should you get that far north. (Inside joke.)


dw said...


I will pass along your regards. I'm happy to report that on when we were on Pine Mountain today, nobody thought to reenact the death of Bishop Polk.