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Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 3) Paperback – September 18, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Perennial edition (September 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060937181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060937188
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A superb series." -- San Jose Mercury News

"Cornwell is more than a great storyteller.... An excellent history of the Civil War in the eastern theater." -- Flint Journal

"The best thing to hit Civil War fiction... one of the finest authors of military historical fiction today." -- Washington Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

In the third book of the Starbuck Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell's fascinating Civil War series whose first two novels, Rebel and Copperhead, won praise and a host of enthusiasts, Nate Starbuck faces a supreme test of courage and leadership on the battlefield of Second Manassas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 - a 'warbaby' - whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. He began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government - and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars - and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and he is still writing Sharpe.

Customer Reviews

Plot, action and believable story line.
Mick Aubry
Good work Bernard Cornwell!Like the way he has weaved history with fiction!Looking forward to the next book in the Starbuck Chronicles!
Robert Clough
Plenty of action, wonderful description of battles, and a plot that is gripping.
Susan L. Rogers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hubbard on April 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"I think I died and went to hell. Maybe that's it Colonel. Maybe none of this is real. We're all in hell"
I cannot rate this book without talking about the brilliance of the whole series. Cornwell takes you from your reading room, and teleports you back to a simpler time. And you find out that it's not so simple. Set against the backdrop of the Eastern Theatre in the American Civil War, he portrays the massive carnage and greatest bravery in minute detail. You actually hear the cannons, and smell the rotting flesh of the wounded. Yet, the main plot does not take place amongst the gunfire outside. But, rather, within. It is a story of a soul, and his struggle with God, man, who he is, and what he stands for. Amidst the shouting, crying, blasting, and a poor heart, searching for peace. I found Cornwell's protrayal of Nate Starbuck to be no less than perfect. I found myself rooting, questioning, hoping, and praying for this fictional character. For, I saw myself in Nate. The same questions, fears, and desires. When done, I walked away from this story with a different outlook on life, liberty, and what's truly important. As will you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the summer of 1862 passes, the Yankees once again maneuver and reinforce for a massive Virginia offensive they can never quite manage to begin. The Rebels repulse one attempt at Cedar Mountain. Lee, now in field command, sends Stonewall Jackson on a daring long march into the Yankees' rear, striking towards Manassas where the war's first big battle was fought. The Rebels are already hungry, ragged and ill-equipped, and as Jackson's probe develops, they barely have enough ammunition to fight. The two armies' maneuvering in Northern Virginia continues to take its toll on the countryside.

Nathaniel Starbuck is now a captain, uneasily under the command of his nemesis Washington Faulconer, who conspires to get rid of him. Unknown to Starbuck, his estranged father, Northern abolitionist preacher Elial Starbuck, is visiting the opposing lines, where he is constantly assured a decisive Union victory. Adam Faulconer now has joined a Union cavalry detachment composed entirely of pro-Union Southerners, whose knowledge of the Virginia countryside can help them raid behind enemy lines like the Rebels' Jeb Stuart. They make a bold move on the Faulconer Brigade. The eccentric Stonewall Jackson, who seems to confide only in God and Lee, inspires his men to go beyond themselves as "foot cavalry" to fight a force vastly superior in numbers and equipment.

In this third installment in the series, the action is located almost entirely in the field, without the Richmond scenes, intelligence intrigues and romantic complications of the earlier books. Cornwell does a fine job bringing Jackson's character to life; his battle scenes are, as always, vivid; and he imbues the reader with the ethoi that pervaded each side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Robert Massey on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a US History teacher, I am always looking for fiction that is historically accurate and yet exciting to read. The Starbuck series does that and "Battle Flag" is the best of the series.

Dr. Robert Massey
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Harry F. Clark on March 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I continue to read and enjoy Cornwell's Civil War series. I do however, have problems with these books in two areas: 1) the same themes recur to the point of monotony; and 2) Cornwell is not all that competent historically.
With respect to the latter, he makes several errors in _Battle Flag_. These seem not so much due to ignorance, carelessness, or convenience, as to a desire by Cornwell to re-characterize history to fit his own prejudices.
For example, he attributes to Jackson an active role in troop management during the battles at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas. The truth is quite the opposite; Jackson remained largely passive during both of those battles. That was one of his few notable weak points during the entire campaign.
Cornwell's treatment here is odd, in that he supposedly based the historical portions of this novel largely on John Hennessy's fine history, _Return to Bull Run_, which details Jackson's passivity during those battles at some length, calling his performance "mediocre".
If a bit of gratuitous generosity on Jackson's behalf can be excused, the unnecessary swipe Cornwell takes at Longstreet in the Historical Notes section is not so easily forgiven. Cornwell makes the statement that "Lee's victory might have been more complete had Longstreet attacked [sooner]." Hennessy explicitly expresses the opposite opinion: Longstreet and Lee independently choose the exact same moment for the attack, and it was at that precise moment when the Union forces were at their most vulnerable.
Cornwell is, in essence, another Jackson/Lee groupie who thinks all faults belong to Longstreet -- and he's willing to re-write history in order to advance his prejuduces. Stuff like that is fine for arguing about over beers, but it's dishonest.
Corwell's books are fun to read though.
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Format: Paperback
Battle Flag is the third installment of Cornwell's Starbuck Chronicles. This book covers a battle that always springs up in Civil War history but is often overlooked, Second Manasas. I found this story interesting and fun to read, but if anyone has read Sharpe before there are many similarities to it. Stupid commanding officers to concerned with their authority, evil soldiers who believe war is an excuse to rape, pillage and plunder. Starbuck is the commander of the Legion, but his authority is tenuous. The battle itself is well written and I enjoyed it. I found the introduction of Starbuck's father intriguing considering in many ways he is the catalyst in the series. Once again I don;t really care for the Adam Falcouner story, although at least he is showing more guts instead of the previous books. One issue I had with this story is that Cornwell does seem to be unfair to Longstreet. Longstreet was held up before Manassas by Union cavalry under Buford, the same man who would later hold the high ground at Gettysburg. Most historians concur that the exact moment that Longstreet struck the Union flank was the most crucial moment to attack so I believe that Cornwell gives him a bit of a short shaft.
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