Posted 01 July 2005 - 06:26 PM
Foote's particular genius was in telling the story of the history. His graceful renderings of quotations placed in witty prose kept clear of the ordinary documentary history of the Civil War, and rendered what was already noteworthy to nearly classic heights.
"Who knows but that, after this life, we shall come into the old camps once again, to rise up early at the trumpet's call, and there will be drill, and draughts, and in the afternoon, we all gather on our sides to fight the old battles again? There will be cheers as the banners race back and forth across the fields, and cries of "Victory" rend the air. And after the fight, all will rise up whole and well, and go back underneath the shade of the trees, and there will be jokes, and laughter, and songs, and all will say, "Was it not just the way it was? Was it not just as in the Old Days?"
Now that's not perfect, but only to the best of my recollection. It's Sgt. Berry Benson of the 2nd South Carolina, writing of his idea of the perfect afterlife for the Old Soldier.