The final book in the Shelby Foote narrative history series. We begin with an ill-thought Red River Texas campaign and end with the fallout and early history of Reconstruction. The title suggests we end at Appomattox Courthouse, but the book takes us well beyond there. This book still has all the same problems as the other two: lost cause bullshit at times, and a barely masked focus more on Jefferson Davis and Lee than on Lincoln. Grant is given full shrift here, but that might mostly be because not only did Grant provide his hugely important memoirs, but also because he was gracious in victory. You can imagine that Sherman is not hugely sympathetic here, or more so, we’re expected to see his march as shameful.
What mostly seems to come through this book in terms of lines of thought and consistencies:
~There seems to be a disparate sense of temperament between the South and North. The South clearly had a large number of successful and effective commanders. The South knew the land, knew tactics, has shorter supply lines. The North had the resources, the materiel, the soldiers, the navy, and several very effective general, but fewer.
~Sherman, Longstreet, Hancock all come through as seeming imminently competent.
~Grant knew what he had to do to win, and had the temperament to make it happen. Had he not proved this in the Western theater, he never would have been brought East. If he had been in the East first, he still would have been needed in the West.