I’ve had a passing interest in the American Civil War. I learned what was taught in school – the west coast perspective – and I read “The Red Badge of Courage” but that was about it.
However in 1990 I watched with great interest Ken Burn’s The Civil War enjoying the insights and presentation, and learned a lot from it. A few years later I borrowed it from the library and re-watched it.
Then I read Bruce Catton’s Centennial History of the Civil War, which covers the causes of the war, and the battles of Bull Run through the final surrender.
I liked the books, and later I wanted more. I came across The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Gettysburg battle, and liked it a lot. Then my friend Dave Lewis suggested I try the books by Jeff Shaara, Michael’s son, and I got them in ebook format.
I’ve just finished reading the first of four in his Western Theater Tetralogy: A Blaze of Glory about the Battle of Shiloh. Like, the book is written from the viewpoints of several people involved, on both sides of the conflict, both famous and a few characters added to give the story a more personal flavor. One of these is a foot soldier, carrying a single shot musket, who is on the front lines of this cannon-musket-bayonet battle. It was a bloody one, and our character was on his belly in the famous peach orchard fight.
This book is very well done. I’ll be going on to the second book, which is about the battle and siege of Vicksburg next week.