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39601A brief look at Castel and bias

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  • keeno2@aol.com
    Jun 8, 2006
      Thought I'd take this off on a tangent. Earlier, I asked what was wrong with Castel. Immediately I heard BIAS. OK. I can take a slant as long as it doesn't affect the factual reporting. Then I read an essay excerpted from his Decision in the West. As I do not wish to judge the man on one footnote, I'd like to hear from others their interpretation of the following.
      Battle of Peachtree Creek. A footnote points to the OR location of a quote. In the same footnote, Mr. Castel adds: Sherman's account of operations on July 20 in his Memoirs, 2, pp. 72-73, is so filled with absurd mistakes (he states that the Confederates attacked "Thomas' right"!) and self-serving lies (he claims to have heard the assault on Thomas early in the afternoon) that it is worse than worthless.
      I think we've already determined that anyone's memories 20+ years after the fact are an interesting read, but not necessarily to be accepted as fact. (a) The confederates attacked "Thomas' right"! From my brief look at the battle, Hooker (Thomas' command) was attacked along his entire line essentially between Howell Rd. and Peachtree Rd. just south of Peachtree Creek. Castel then goes on to give unit casualties on both sides, with by far the greatest per capita on Thomas' right. What would be your recollection of the battle 20 years later?
          (b)The battle began about 4 in the afternoon. Now, we wouldn't think of 4 PM as early afternoon. What is early afternoon? 1? 2? If afternoon means that period between noon and dusk, what is early afternoon on July 22?
          And so I'm looking for better-read information on the egregiousness of Sherman's recollections. I must be missing something, as I have no idea where Mr. Castel's examples come close to "absurd mistakes" and "self-serving lies."
          Any help in enlightening me would be appreciated.
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