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Posted By: bill edmonston on: 06/08/2003 11:13:59 EDT
Subject: RE: new book on telegraph

Message Detail:
Dear Dave,
Many thanks for your comments on The Telegraph Goes to War.
Bates's diary is a historical document while his 1907 book was a memoir. Unfortunately memory plays all sorts of tricks on us and our memory of an event in the past is not necessarily as accurate as descriptions of the event written at the time. I know that when I compare my memories of the past with letters I wrote at the time there is often a surprising discrepancy. These two books should be looked upon as different genre and as complementary to one another. In my opinion even in 1863 Bates wrote with a maturity far greater than most modern day 20 year olds.
I think you will find The Telegraph Goes to War much broader in scope than the diary alone. Not only has Don added a brief history of the telegraph, but he has also written brief introductions to each section of the diary to place the events into historical context. In addition, nearly 650 notes identify and explain people, places and events mentioned in the diary. Twenty-five illustrations also enhance the understanding of the Civil War period, and the book is fully indexed.
Once you get a chance to read the entire book (which will be available the end of this month), I am sure you will agree that it is a substantial contribution to the history of the telegraph, the Civil War and Lincoln.
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