6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book about a little-known battle,
This review is from: Knoxville 1863 (Paperback)
I'm a retired Army officer who has always been very interested in the civil war. I think I can say that I've read extensively about it. I've taught at the Army's Command and General Staff College and at the University level as a Professor of Military Science. I've also served two combat tours. To my knowlege, there has been very little written about the role Knoxville played in the war, nor about the battle at Fort Sanders. Stanley has certainly filled that gap with this book,and done so in fine style. Though little is known about the confrontation at Fort Sanders between the troops under Longstreet and Burnside, the battle was certainly not insignificant. Many lives were lost, and it would make an excellent example in any study of leadership. Stanley has obviously done a great deal of research in developing this story. He has shown that he is a knowlegeable historian as well as an effective story-teller. I found nothing to question from the historical perspective. He uses a few fictional characters to narrate the story, but the leaders and key figures are historical. Through the narration and dialogue, he gives the reader, in my view (as one who has seen situations in which I was not sure if I would see the next day), realistic insights into the minds of soldiers anticipating the big battle, each man believing that his side would be victorious but knowing that he could die within the next few hours. Stanley's use of the various dialects in the narrations and conversations is interesting and adds realism. Other writers and historians have touched on this battle, but I'm not aware of any who have addressed it in this depth. For that reason, and because it is well written, I believe that this is an important novel that will be appreciated by civil war buffs and enjoyed by anyone.
Well done, Dick Stanley.