It has long been the position at Cold Spring Shops that the progress of Grant and Sherman from Kentucky into Tennessee and Mississippi, and thence to Atlanta and onward to the coast, secured the Union, and likely would have done so no matter how the contest between Lee and any commander of the Army of the Potomac prior to Grant coming east had turned out.  Jeff Shaara's A Blaze of Glory: A Novel of the Battle of Shiloh has a note to the reader beginning "This is the first of a trilogy that explores the mostly overlooked stories of the Civil War that take place west of the Appalachian Mountains."  If these works turn out as well as his European Theater trilogy did, Book Review No. 17 will be followed by additional favorable reviews of the promised works on the siege of Vicksburg and Sherman vs. Johnson in the Carolinas, a part of the war that is most obscure yet possibly more significant than the better-known culmination of Grant and Meade vs. Lee culminating at Appomattox.  Mr Shaara follows his usual practice of following the actions of individuals on both sides, both well-known (Forrest, Sherman) and less well-known, including one private in the Sixteenth Wisconsin Regt, a unit mustered at Camp Randall, thence with Sherman into the Carolinas.  Any further discussion of the Regts role in Blaze of Glory would risk spoiling the tale: let us note that Mr Shaara's research is evident.

(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)

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