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The Long Roll Paperback – November 4, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A cousin of Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Mary Johnston was an enormously popular novelist in her day... Innovative[ly] mixing fact and fiction, she drew on wartime diarists and on the memories of her fighting cousin, who figures as a character in the books.

(Washington Post Book World)

From the Back Cover

Before the publication of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Mary Johnston's The Long Roll was one of the most successful Civil War novels ever written, hailed on its publication in 1911 as "the best fictional study of the Civil War that has yet been done" (North American Review). Unlike Mitchell's novel of the aristocratic home front, The Long Roll is set among the fighting armies and deftly blends fact with fiction. Capturing the epic scale of the war, Johnston follows the adventures of the fictional Richard Cleave of Virginia, a Confederate artillery officer, and of General "Stonewall" Jackson during the most decisive engagements in the years of Confederate supremacy: Manassas, the Seven Days, Malvern Hill, and Sharpsburg. She mixes the details of warfare - strategies, tactics, and logistics - with sweeping descriptions of raw courage and reckless abandon. The Long Roll, which succeeds brilliantly in bringing to life the differing motives for secession and war and in evoking the suspicions and battered consciences of both North and South, is followed by a sequel, Cease Firing, also available from Johns Hopkins.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 668 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1st Johns Hopkins paperbacks ed edition (November 4, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801855241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801855245
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written by CSA' General Joe Johnston's daughter, this first volume is an entertaining novel. Written at the turn of the century by one of the bestselling novelists of the day, this book is full of surprises for the modern, well-read reader.
The first two chapters were difficult for this reader to adjust to the early 1900's style; but, became thoroughly
enjoyable for the next 600 pages. Set primarily in Virginia, several characters are fully developed from 1860 through 1863. Several women attended to Confederate soldiers in hospitals around Richmond and they view the Battle of Seven Pines from the rooftops; this segment is very interesting due to the fact that the civilians view the battle through a variety of telescopes and interviews with stragglers from the battlefield. The Valley Campaign is viewed at times through the eyes of a CSA private who avoids fighting but nevertheless ends up between battlelines and charges a battery. Like other products of the times, their is a romantic interest that is conventional and suspensful. There is a military injustice which results from love denied and there are vignettes of bitter feuds in the relationships of Lee' lieutenants. Among the best battlefield scences, are the fates of three nameless CSA soldiers caught between the lines somewhere on the Emmitsburg Road. A long, well paced novel that not only gives a good story but also takes you back to the mindset of those who read for pleasure before TV and radio shortened attention spans
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I read about in Colonial Williamsburg's magazine, and they described it as the greatest American civil war novel ever written. The descriptions of battles are vivid. It follows the Stonewall Brigade from first Manassas to Chancellorsville. I'm surprised this novel isn't assigned reading for college history classes covering the civil war. Mary Johnston also conveys the moral and value system of the time, including the attitude of southerners toward slavery and their enslaved. The romance is weak- this is not Gone With The Wind. It's greatness lies in Johnston's ability to convey what life in the Stonewall brigade must have been like as well as what life for the women and slaves at home must have been like. It is also a gripping, what happens next, narrative, even for those of us who know the outcomes of all these historic events.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book you will have a new appreciation for Stonewall Jackson and the "Valley" campaign. The author makes you feel you are there, and the battles and Valley environment come alive. I visited the "Valley" area shortly after reading this novel (I just had to!) and looked at it through very different eyes after experiencing this book. It is one of my very favorites, and a "must read" for civil war buffs as history is entwined within the story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent history of the Civil War before Gettysburg. Although there is some fiction it is
a great story line and should meet the approval of even the harshest critic. Mary Johnston
was a terrific writer. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story that few will ever read,because it takes time and an open mind to understand the struggle of this warrior, and his fellow soldiers of the south. There is a picture that becomes vivid in my mind as this story is told. Take a breath and see the past in your eyes.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the greatest of all Civil War novels, dealing with Stonewall Jackson. The author read an enormous amount of eye-witness accounts in order to make every detail accurate. The novel presents war in all its gory grimness. The widow of Jackson took offense at the portrayal of her late husband as an eccentric, fanatical, harsh, lemon-sucking man. She would of course have known him better than Johnston, but might also have had a bias.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book. The author has woven fiction into history.smoothley, with a great eye

on actual persons and places.and date. Excelent reading for any civil war buff.
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Format: Hardcover
Mary's uncle, General Johnston, organized the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers in Durham, NC a few weeks after Appomattox. The incredible level of detail in The Long Roll indicated that she spent a great deal of time talking with her uncle. The part that hit me in the gut was seeing familiar place names described as sites of ferocious battles. In parts of the world that I call home, Americans slaughtered Americans. She spent a great deal of time describing Jackson's training regimine, that transformed footsore and grumbling recruits into a "foot cavalry" capable of incredible feats of stamina and military effectiveness. When we got to the point where Stonewall Jackson is shot, both of my girls wept.
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