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Knoxville 1863 Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The book is written in short sections told in first person by various characters, including a Confederate widow who favors the North. While I liked seeing the siege and the battle from different viewpoints, I sometimes had trouble keeping the characters straight and would have liked one strong main character--in addition to the others--to tie the story together.
The battle itself, taking place after a siege of the city, is terrible, especially for the Confederates. Confederate General Longstreet was lured into attacking Fort Sanders at a point that looked weak and easy to breach. However, the Union soldiers had built a trap consisting of tree stumps, wires, and a deep ditch the Confederates couldn't climb out of. Then the Union side attacked with a variety of deadly weapons. Hundred of southern soldiers were killed in the ensuing battle.
The description of the siege and the battle are graphic. The scene describing the burial of the dead Confederate soldiers is the most sad and memorable. Other details, even the small ones, help the reader to understand the hardships during the Civil War and bring an appreciation for what a horror it is to fight in a war. Exposure to all weather conditions, hunger and thirst, infestation by insects, lack of adequate clothing, exhaustion, no shoes, poor leadership, poor sanitary facilities, primitive medical care, and horrific weapons are vividly described by the author and help bring the story to life.
I totally enjoyed this book and will read more of this author's work.
The chapters are narrated by a number of participants, civilians and soldiers on both sides. Meticulously researched as explained in an afterword, most of the characters and details of the battle are accurately portrayed. Only a couple infantrymen, artillerymen, and townspeople are his creations.
The result is a highly readable account of one of many brutal battles in a brutal war, the effects of which remain with us today. Scholars of the Civil War should enjoy this novel. For the reader with general interests but not necessarily a historian, Knoxville 1863 is an excellent, accessible way to deepen one's understanding of a crucial time in our nation's history.
I found 'Knoxville 1863' to be very entertaining, quite descriptive and well researched. The various characters who carry the story forward are all real and, for the most part, sympathetic. I found myself rooting for the Rebel forces, at least to some degree, even though one has to consider me a 'damnyankee.' But, then, my family history has ties to the winning side. After all, my great-grandfather was a Yankee calvary officer from Ohio, and one who took part in Sherman's March to the Sea.
I take my hat off to Dick Stanley, and salute him.
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Most recent customer reviews
Overall: 4 3/4 stars
Plot/Storyline: 4 3/4 stars
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