Dearest Daughters: I just completed reading a review of a new book, which proposes a theory concerning the cause of the sinking of the CSS Hunley in 1864. The author is a scientist and this book evolved from her PhD thesis. Her name is Rachel Lance, and rather than order the Audible version of this book, I have ordered the hard back. I want to peruse her scientific data and overlay it with her historical accounts of things. The review was laudatory of her story telling ability as well as her science, and I am quite anxious to read it. I will have a review for you in a few weeks if you want to wait, but you might, like me, not want to wait to hear what someone else has to say about it. In the Waves, by Rachel Lance and here is the Amazon link to this book.
Linda Newbury, Shreveport Louisiana Division Chair of Southern Literature and Arts Committee
The following is a description and vitae of the author of In the Waves, which I just recommended to you. I just found this information and thought it might help you decide if you want to buy the book or not. About Rachel LanceRachel Lance was notoriously bad at playing with dolls as a child. Luckily, as she approached adulthood, she realized that her alternative hobby of disassembling and rebuilding things could actually form a valid career. She is now an injury biomechanist with a PhD in biomedical engineering, and she spends her days at the office studying the various ways that the machine of the human body can be injured or break down. Dr. Lance is an Assistant Consulting Professor at the Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology, where she researches the various ways that human beings are affected and injured by extreme environments.
Rachel loves medical and scientific non-fiction literature, and she enjoys writing because it lets her share with other people the joy she finds in using science to answer questions about the world.
“Recollections of a Confederate Staff OFFICER”
by Brigadier-General G. Moxley Sorrell, of the Army of Northern Virginia. 1905
The author’s reflections in this book represent my absolute favorite type of book—one written by a person who was actually on the scenes about which he/she writes.
As a history buff of sorts, I have accumulated a goodly number of this type of book. While researching a fairly extensive paper on General Longstreet, I came across this little gem. Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by General Moxley Sorrel, a personal aide to General Longstreet during most of the War Between the States. In his remembrances Sorrel gives a lot of personal insight in the preparations, actions, and after action analysis of the many of the major engagements during the War. What was it like to sit at the table with the highest ranking officers in the Confederacy and make plans for, execute, and evaluate the military actions that occurred during this time? Sorrel’s unique and advantageous position gave him special knowledge of these workings. I particularly enjoyed his commentaries on the Gettysburg campaign. There has been a great deal written about this particular “High Tide of the Confederacy,” but Sorrel’s perspective was new to me and could not have been written by someone who was not there.
Whereas, some of his style is the stilted and formal way of writing of his era, this book reads well and draws the reader into his story quite effectively. He was fiercely loyal to Longstreet, and therefore, has a bias which almost—but not quite—leads him to overlook some of Longstreet’s most serious character flaws. In the research I did on General Longstreet, I found that many blamed him for the loss at Gettysburg and excoriated him for some of his actions after the war. Sorrel would have none of it, of course.
Sorrel’s description of the Wilderness campaign, which resulted in a nearly mortal wound for General Longstreet, is covered in a great deal of detail as well.