James Thurber’s What If History

Algonquin Round Table wit James Thurber wrote this silly little reimagining of Appomattox: If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox.

I wasn’t won over at first but it nails the landing!

“The generals of the Confederacy will be here any minute now,” said the Corporal. “You really ought to be up, sir.” Grant stretched his arms above his head and yawned. “All right, all right,” he said. He rose to a sitting position and stared about the room. “This place looks awful,” he growled. “You must have had quite a time of it last night, sir,” ventured Shultz. “Yeh,” said General Grant, looking around for his clothes. “I was wrassling some general. Some general with a beard.”

Thurber’s Grant

A fun short piece by James Thurber from the “If It Had Happened Otherwise” series.  Well seeing Rawlins wasn’t mentioned. I doubt he would’ve stood for any of this.

The morning of the ninth of April, 1865, dawned beautifully. General Meade was up with the first streaks of crimson in the sky. General Hooker and General Burnside were up and had breakfasted, by a quarter after eight. The day continued beautiful. It drew on. toward eleven o’clock. General Ulysses S. Grant was still not up. He was asleep in his famous old navy hammock, swung high above the floor of his headquarters’ bedroom. Headquarters was distressingly disarranged: papers were strewn on the floor; confidential notes from spies scurried here and there in the breeze from an open window; the dregs of an overturned bottle of wine flowed pinkly across an important military map.

via http://02dddd4.netsolhost.com/poetry/Grant.shtml

Conversations from the Great Beyond

This is a novel (pun unintended but apt) take on a Civil War blog: Fictionalized interviews with key participants.  They’re played straight, and the language is a little too modern, but it’s a fun idea.

CWW: What were some of the immediate challenges of essentially putting together a new country while seeking to defend it militarily?

JFD: Looking back, it seems impossible that the Confederacy existed at all. The only consensus at times seemed to be that we indeed wished to form a country independent of the Union – but what was that country to be? The state governors each seemed to have different opinions on that subject. Gov. Brown of Georgia I think would have been happy if each state had been its own country, which didn’t help at all.

CWW: How, then, did you manage to navigate such rough waters while keeping the ship pointed in a determined direction?

JFD: It is difficult to inculcate a sense of duty to country when you don’t know exactly what that country is. It was all so new to us, you must understand, but we had all taken that step together. There was no turning back. We had to create a country seemingly overnight – and I must say here that so few, so very few, understood the magnitude of the challenge that lay before us. Men who seemed to shout the loudest seemed to believe that all we had to do was create a government. “All we had to do” – it was not as if we were forming a fraternity at college!

via Conversations from the Great Beyond « Civil War Weakly.