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A Blaze of Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Shiloh
New York: Ballantine (2012).
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In the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, "New York Times"
bestselling author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows
best. "A Blaze of Glory" takes us to the action-packed Western Theater
for a vivid re-creation of one of the war's bloodiest and most iconic
engagements--the Battle of Shiloh.
It's the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
Hot on Johnston's trail are two of the Union's best generals:
the relentless Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at
Fort Donelson, and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush
Johnston's army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely
will be over. There's just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union
plans, and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant's
encampment--a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored by a
humble church named Shiloh.
With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Here too are the thoughts and voices of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause: Confederate cavalry lieutenant James Seeley, Private Fritz "Dutchie" Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment--brave participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this war.By the end of the second day of fighting, as Grant's bedraggled forces regroup for what looks like a last stand, two major events--one of them totally unexpected--would turn the tide of the battle and perhaps the war itself.
"A Blaze of Glory" brings the exhilaration of battle to life and illuminates a pivotal clash-at-arms that changed the course of American history.