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22435Re: [civilwarwest] anyone out there

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  • Dick Weeks
    Oct 29, 2000
      I just thought I would relay this info on to you folks.  Since Paddy Griffith was the subject of discussion a few emails ago, I decided to email him.  Heck, you never know whether someone will answer you or not.  Anyway, this is what I sent.
      My Dear Mr. Griffin,
              Though you do not know me, I have heard of you and admire anyone who makes "Military History" a life’s work. One of my dear Internet friends, before his death, was Dr. Ernest Butner of Pepperdine University (he was a military historian) and we spent many a night in a chat room discussing the American Civil War. It was always a pleasure to chat with someone with so much knowledge.  His knowledge, as yours, was not just in our war but in all wars.
              Your name and your book came up in an email discussion group that I maintain that discusses the Western Theater in the American Civil War. Since I have not read your book, I cannot say whether I agree or disagree with your thesis about the weapons and tactics of the late unpleasantness. However, now that it has been brought up I fully intend to see if I can find it (your book that is) and see if it really is as good as many in the group say it is. If you find yourself with the time I would like to invite you to join our group and maybe discuss your views on our war. The address explaining what the group is about and how to join is located at this URL:
              I fully realize how busy you must be and will well understand if you cannot, but I felt I should make the offer.
              Additionally, although I have absolutely no credentials in "historical research", I do maintain what is probably the largest and most visited of the American Civil War sites on the web (Not the discussion group that I mentioned. That is just a very very small part of it). Last year I averaged (combining the time when school was in and when it was out) over 50,000 hits a day (got a few with over 90,000) and answered an average of 20-30 questions a day from students.  My busiest time is during our school year is why I made the disclaimer.  With your past research into our war I thought you might find the site interesting. It has a LOT of primary data on it. Here is the URL:
              Anyway, I just thought that I would write to show you that the "Ultimate Vanity", a personal website, does draw some readers. You take care now ya hear!
      I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
      Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
      This is what I received this morning.
      Waal, just hi thar, Shotgun!
                      Thanks for your very interesting account of your civil war activities: it's always good to hear there are some people out there who like my book on that war, since there are shure quite a few who don't!  Anyway, I guess the civil war continues to rage around historical interpretations as much as around any other aspect...
              The book, incidentally, has recently been, or is about to be, issued in paperback for the first time in 12 years. You very kindly asked if I'd like to join in discussion groups about the war.  Unfortunately I really don't have the time due to other commitments, and in any case I have had no new arguments to put forward during the 15 years that have passed since I wrote the first set (although the intervening time has helped to erase my command of the details).  I have seen plenty of ingenious re-workings or counter-arguments, and I know I got a few points of detail wrong (who doesn't?) but I don't think any of that has really added up to a major alternative perspective to the one I originally adopted (and I have also seen extra supporting  evidence).  For example some have said that the men who chose the tactical formations were to blame for getting them wrong - but I don't buy into that theory.  So I am still waiting for some scholar to come along and take a comprehensive new look at the subject.  Maybe Brent Nosworthy will do it in a new book he is preparing.
              Sorry to disappoint, but I find chat rooms difficult to handle, especially on a subject that I haven't looked at for 15 years!
              But I'm glad that they go on - I'm sure they help the sum of our knowledge.
      Yours ever,  Paddy Griffith
      Anyway, I just thought I would pass this on.  Many times when someone emails me with a question that I just do not have the hard data to answer with but I know there is a website up there that deals with it, I will recommend that they go to the site and ask the "webmaster" there for the data they need.  My theory is that if someone cares enough to put a website up about a particular subject, the chances are they are interested enough to monitor their email and respond to questions.  I find that "Paddy" just proves my theory :-)
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D. <daburden@...>
      Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2000 9:50 AM
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] anyone out there

      > His web site is at
      > www.ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PaddyGriffith/index.htm
      > Bob Huddleston wrote:
      > >
      > > What is Paddy's web site?
      > >
      > > He is a tad controversial. Albert Casteel did a hilarious review of one of
      > > Griffith's books in, IIRC, CW History, chewing him out and spitting out the
      > > pieces!
      > >
      > > Take care,
      > >
      > > Bob
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