Ed Bearss Civil War Recommendations

On Tuesday night at the Scottsdale Civil War Round Table meeting, the audience listened to preeminent Civil War historian Ed Bearss. Ed answered questions concerning his career and the Civil War. When asked about significant books that he read over the length of his career, Ed mentioned 3 in particular – the first was Douglas Southall Freeman’s 4 volume treatise, “R. E. Lee.“ He said in that work, Freeman who supported “The Lost Cause Myth,” was harsh concerning General James Longstreet. Freeman rethought some of his ideas and treated Longstreet better in his “Lee’s Lieutenants.” Bearss mentioned that he read Freeman while recuperating from his wounds during World War II – he also said that Chesty Puller (Semper Fi) read “Lee’s Lieutenants” during the war. The last book that Ed mentioned that was important to read is James McPherson’s “Battle Cry of Freedom.” That is one of the best single volume histories of the Civil War. It was a pleasure and an honor to spend time with Ed, a true American icon.