Porter Alexander’s memoirs

Careful readers of the novel with some knowledge of the available history of the battle may wonder why my conclusions often differed from those of independent historian Digby Gordon Seymour in his seminal Divided Loyalties: Fort Sanders and the Civil War in East Tennessee.

Partly that would be because I had access to a greater variety of sources than Seymour apparently did, judging from  his bibliography. For one thing I had the Internet, which was invaluable. Nothing he added to his 2002 revision of his original 1963 manuscript seems to have come from the Internet.

Moreover, I used, for instance, 1998’s “Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander,” as edited by professional historian Gary Gallagher.

It has much more detail on what Longstreet’s chief of artillery saw, heard and knew of the battle than Alexander’s own, dry “Military Memoirs of a Confederate: A Critical Narrative,” which is far less candid and which some historians consider to have been ghostwritten. Yet this 1907 work is the only one Seymour lists in his bibliography.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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