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 Post subject: No Better Place to Die
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:42 pm 
Because of my recent trip to Stones River I re-read Cozzen's book on the battle. I continue to enjoy reading his works! The book does a fine job explaining the often overlooked battle and its importance in the war. His overall conclusion is, basically, that Bragg's Army defeated itself by failing to coordinate their attacks better on December 31. For this he blamed Cheatham, Polk, Breckinridge, and Bragg who committed the reserves piecemeal while allowing McCown and Cleburne to shoulder the bulk of the fighting without proper support.

My only criticism is the lack of maps. It does have them but they are all small scale and focused on one acre or two of the battlefield. There is no "grand scale" map to where you can get your bearings as to which part of the battlefield you are looking at exactly. Definately use some other maps to aid you while reading this.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:58 pm 
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I read both the Stone's River book and his book on Chickamaugua, 'This Terrible Sound" when I was play testing HPS Chickamaugua for a reference. I would agree with your comments regarding his coverage of the battles. At times it can be tough to get through but it definitely provides a large amount of detail and some excellent stories of the less well known commanders.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Just read for the second time a book about the battle of Murfreesboro called:

BRIGHT STARRY BANNER - A Novel of the Civil War

I had never heard of it although I consider myself pretty well read on the American Civil War. It was suggested to me by a civil war book seller. Words to try and describe it: vivid, exciting, riveting, thrilling, thought provoking, shocking, action-packed, totally amazing!

Its not a complete non-fiction fact filled book but more of a historical romance in the vein of "The Killer Angels." which i also enjoyed very much but that one is about Gettysburg

I've already read it twice and am starting to read it again.

I can honestly say I have never read a civil war book quite like it. the author Alden R. Carter really gives the characters life, at times I wars truly shocked! He made me laugh, cry, cringe, definitely experienced some of my heroes of the civil war in a way I never have before, he really brought them to life with all of their faults, jealousies, strengths and humor. Don't really want to spoil it by giving anything away but there are some really 'ripe' characterizations. I've never heard any one mention Bishop Polk, Cheatham and others they way he does, even though I've read all kinds of things bad about Bragg, he still manages to re-introduce him a a new fresh way, the reader can almost smell him!

I lived in Murfreesboro while going to University at MTSU, I was there when they took down the plaque of Nathan Bedford Forrest which was on the library. I always wondered what they did with it, I guess its in the basement somewhere, I sure would like to have it. The mascot of MTSU is the blue raiders, since old Bedford raided the hell out of the blue soldiers in middle Tennessee.

I walked the battlefield hundreds of times and spent the night there very often, its a great mystical spiritual place. I even got to fly over it once in a single engine airplane which was a thrill. I was thinking when I was in the air what the commanders could have done with that view?

I believe the Hazen monument , where the heaviest fighting occurred at the apex of the jack-knife of the union line was, is the oldest civil war marker?

The Murfreesboro cemetery has a mass grave of about 300 rebel soldiers who were unceremoniously dumped there together. (laying together until judgement day!) There is also the place where the famous wedding of John Hunt Morgan took place.

The book, "Bright Starry Banner" really brought the place alive to me, especially since I walked every inch of ground there. I'm no book critic, this is the first time I've written about a book but the battle of Murfreesboro is one of my favorite subjects so I thought I would tell you about it. I hope I've encouraged you to look for the book so you can tell me what you think.

If I was a movie director, I would make a movie of this book.

I'll try and make a scan of the cover to put on here but try and look for a copy on of it on eBay, or ask your local small time history book dealer to look for it for you.

I think its out of print now, it was published in 2003 and is about 450 pages. I definitely suggest reading it if you are in any way interested in the battle of Murfreesboro, hell, its a great book about the civil war period and definitely of the western theater, and the Army of Tennessee, which I personally feel was the decisive theater of the war. (Once Vicksburg was lost, the war was lost for all practical purposes, in my opinion anyway.)

On another note I was in Murfreesboro for the 135th anniversary re-enactment and that was quite an affair. Got drunk walked around the camp all night, till I passed out in one of the re-enactors tent. (anyone that's been to a big re-enactment knows what I'm talking about.) They had a huge 19th Century ball, everybody was playing civil war songs, Bobby Horton was there, everybody was in traditional garb, watched a magic lantern show in a pup tent, etc, I think its was around 1994 or '95 I think but, even though I was pretty wasted when I passed out about 0200, I still can remember it like it was yesterday. I can only imagine what the 150th anniversary re-enactment will be like which should be coming up soon. Somebody please email me or make a post in the forum if they plan to go.

Anyway, thanks for the post, look for the book, I really think you will like it and like i said I never even heard of it until this civil war book seller told me about it. Its damn good!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:34 pm 
MTSU! I went there as well!

The Blue Raiders is actually a KKK reference as their original mascot was, yes, Nathan Bedford Forrest!

You can keep the Philly Phanatic and Mr. Met... give me Forrest any day of the week, baby! If I'm an incoming football team and I see thousands of Klansmen dressed up with Rebel flags and a burning cross in the parking lot tailgaiting... um... intimidating.

I didnt know they had a plaque by the library. They have a brand new library built in the last 10 years so I am not sure where the old one was. The ROTC was changed from the Nathan Bedford Forrest ROTC to Forrest ROTC (stupid I know).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:58 am 
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thanks for the reply, that is cool we both went to the same university. have you been to the murfreesboro cemetery and seen the confederate mass grave?

the plaque was removed around 1994, ask someone that works for sidelines, they should have a copy of the article when it was taken down. Maybe you could find it and put it up at your house?

it had to be a black university president of course that ordered it removed, just adding more fuel to the fire, like that big house he got to live in wasn't enough to make him happy, had to choose hate over heritage?

i remember a news crew from nashville did some interviews outside the (old?) library when it was removed. a lot of people disagreed with it saying it was part of our heritage, etc. which it is but the powers that be decided differently.

ol' bedford should have been put in charge of the army of tennessee, wonder what would have happened then?

thanks again for the reply,


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Checked Amazon and Bright Starry Banner is available there and there is a Kindle edition which I sampled.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Gentlemen: {salute}

For what its worth I totally agree with Gen.'s Blake and Miller. I loved "No Better Place To Die", its about my favorite battle anyway, and I am currently reading "This Terrible Sound". I love the fact Cozzens gets detailed down to the regimental level. This doesn't happen in most battle histories unless the regiment does something spectacular like the 1st Minn. at Gettysburg.

I know you might think I'm an uber Civil War Nerd, but what I will do is read the book at my desk, and open the HPS Senario Editor to the battlefield, then hit "shift" and "Alt" so the place names will stay on the map. I can shift from the very realisticlly detailed 3-D all the way up to the large 2-D to get a birdseye view of the field of action. This really helps me as I read. If necessary, I can also open the actual battle to view the regimental placements "in real time" if you will. This really helps to understand the battle on a whole new level for me. Add physically visiting the field and I hit the triple crown!

It might not be for everybody, but for this ubergeek it helps to both better understand what was happening and increases the enjoyment of some excellent books that really do need more and better maps.

Warmest Regards.

Deano {salute}

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:29 pm 
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When I visited the field some years back, they had a FANtastic map of the battlefield, one big sheet with situations from throughout the two days of action.
I used the map to model the terrain for an "Age of Rifles" scenario I built. I still have the map, some the worse for wear.
J


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