Shelby Foote's The Civil War volumes are one of the greatest sources for understanding the American people during the civil war. His narrative is a pleasure to read; I've read it twice already. The descriptions of battles are fairly detailed, often from the point of view of participants, and the maps he includes help greatly in visualizing the situations illustrated; I've often called on them to help understand other writings.
He does have a tendency to romanticize his descriptions of some Southern leaders somewhat, which he often does with the more common soldiers on the Northern side. I don't think it detracts from the historical perspective, but it's there.
He doesn't really talk much about slavery, the culture of slavery, the perspective of the population, and how it affects them, their thoughts on it, other than the more prominent voices in politics, but I guess that's okay. It just means one must go to other sources for those subjects. I think it would be irrational to expect him to cover every single aspect of the conflict into the greatest detail. We have to take Foote's writings for what they are, a great source for understanding the American people, but not the absolute one-source-stop for everything, but still one of the greatest reads out there.
BTW Gute Besserung!
- Get well soon!