Saturday, March 31, 2007

Re-writing history, really...

Of an earlier post on MacKinlay Kantor's Civil War Centennial piece for LOOK magazine, "If the South Had Won the Civil War" which originally appeared in the November 22, 1960 issue of LOOK, some text from the later-appearing paperback is as follows:

The first lines: The Past is immutable as such. Yet, in Present and in Future, its accumulated works can be altered by the whim of Time....

The "alteration" of Kantor included events at Vicksburg and at Gettysburg. Of the western theater, Kantor kills off Grant.

The death of Major General U.S. grant came as a sickening shock to those Northerners who had held high hopes for a successful campaign in the West....

The fatal accident befell in the late afternoon of Tuesday, May 12th, 1863, on a narrow road winding among hills of Hinds County Mississippi.

Curiously, both Kantor and Carhart have JEB Stuart doing things on July 2, 1863 that he probably did not do. Kantor writes in his fictional piece:

JEB Stuart flinging his cavalry against Pleasonton in the early morning of July 2nd.

JEB Stuart makes out better in fiction than he did against Custer on July 3, and seemingly completes the master plan postulated more than 40 years later by Carhart:

Stuart's cavalry deployed to attack federal elements from the rear, and became an integral factor in demolishing the Union Second Corps.

By sunset on July 3rd, the Army of the Potomac dissolved in hopeless tatters--bleeding human garbage, a pitiful mockery of an army.

Kantor wrote, in the real world: As a student of Gettysburg, I am convinced that Lee lost the battle because of the ambiguity of his orders and delegation of choice to Ewell.

And this returns us to Carhart and the master plan.

There is a preview of the book at [Pages 14-114 are NOT part of the preview.]


Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman on Back in the USSA concerning an alternate history of the United States. In Kantor's book, the relative roles of Alaska and Cuba as to the US flipflop; in USSA, the USA and the USSR flipflop.

TV anchor falls asleep. KUTV


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