Friday, October 24, 2008

Haunted U.S. Battlefields by Mary Beth Crain

Haunted U.S. Battlefields: Ghosts, Hauntings, and Eerie Events from America's Fields of Honor by Mary Beth Crain

Once again I was wandering the library and saw this book in the new book section. Even though I'm not a believer in ghost stories I thought it might be interesting so I picked it up. The book has stories from all wars in America plus a few from locations outside the country.

I flipped to the Civil War sections and skimmed one about the ghost Chamberlain saw at Little Round Top, and thought the book was junk. But then I read the one about the green eyed ghost at Chickamauga, which is supposedly the spirit of Lt. Col. Julius Peter Garesche, Rosecrans chief of staff, who was decapitated by a cannon ball. Very spooky stories indeed but the problem is that Garesche was killed about nine months earlier at Stones River. So while his ghost may haunt a battlefield I doubt its Chickamauga. I put the book back in the library bag. I got through all of 4 or 5 pages but if this ghost story has this large of an error on something that can be checked quite easily how accurate can the stories be that cannot be double checked by a reader? How can I check if Joe Simpson was really at Brock Field on the evening of July 21, 1992? I can check when Garesche was killed (although in this instance I didn't have to check it, its standard knowledge). If the author made that part of the story up what's to say that she didn't make up the entire book?

Once again, a book I'm glad I did not waste money on. Although I'm a tad upset that the library wasted my taxpayer money on it.

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