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Stonewall Goes West: A Novel of The Civil War and What Might Have Been Paperback – March 21, 2013
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"Thomas' story is highly readable and highly entertaining. [Jeff] Shaara could use a lesson on pacing from Thomas."
Prof. Chris Mackowski, author of Chancellorsville: Crossroads of Fire and the Dark
"It's no easy task to accurately depict individual personalities, let alone write believable fictional conversations and interactions between them; nonetheless, the author excels at both."
Dr. Mathew Lively, author of Calamity at Chancellorsville
About the Author
R.E. Thomas is the author of the well-received Stonewall Goes West trilogy. He has also published a book about Port wine, owns and edits The Whiskey Reviewer web magazine, and works as a freelance boxing and travel writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author provides the reader with the very plausible story line that “Stonewall” Jackson does not, in fact, die after his wounding at Chancellorsville. Thomas (the author) then has Jackson promoted by Jefferson Davis to command the snake-bitten Confederate Army of Tennessee, so that Davis will not have to contemplate replacing Braxton Bragg with either Joe Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard again. This, of course, goes off without a hitch, and Jackson takes a convalescing John Bell Hood west with him to become a new corps commander.
Thomas apparently did an outstanding job of research with his book, and accordingly he does a terrific job in bringing the various characters to life on both sides of the conflict. His portrayal of Jackson seems so spot on that at times I actually forgot Jackson didn’t die in 1863, and that he was leading the Confederate western army during the spring and summer of 1864.
Thomas ushers in Jackson's movements west and his subsequent plans to invade Tennessee exceptionally well, all the while providing intimate details that help the reader understand why and how this was happening. The personalities are so convincing that one must wonder if Thomas could see into the past and channel these men’s’ inner most feelings and doubts.
The book showcases Jackson using his lightning tactics and surprise that served him so well during the Valley Campaign of ’62, and does a fine job of showing why the Army of Tennessee suffered so much with its leadership. The Union response seems typical and well planned, and the author takes care to not tilt his loyalties too far one way or the other. Perhaps one army of the next may have had an advantage in Tennessee at this juncture of the war, and the author glossed over that, but it in no way detracts from the book.
The book is simply terrific, and it made me have a greater interest in the events of the western armies of both sides. I cared very little about either of these armies before I read this book, but Thomas has constructed a vivid storyline and character development that makes you want to find out more about these guys. For instance: who in heck was Claudius Sears, George Maney, and Matthew Ector? Well, after reading this book you will surely find out.
Thomas has written, what by my accounts, is the best alternative history that I have ever read. I don’t say this lightly, as I have read several good other books on the matter. This book is really well done and enjoyably on several levels, and every fan of the Civil War – and especially the Western Theater of the war -- will want to read and enjoy this work.
Mr. Thomas did a great job of capturing the differences in personalities between the CS armies of the West and the armies of the East and he did a great job of growing Stonewall Jackson from a corps commander to an Army commander, which I appreciated very much. He also made Gen. Jackson his own man and not merely a stooge of Gen. Lee, which many authors seem to make the mistake of doing when they write alternative history.
All in all, this book is a very welcome addition to the alternative history genre and it is highly recommended for anyone
who is a Stonewall Jackson lover and one who likes to read alternative history in the American Civil War. Keep up the great work Mr. Thomas!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a well read student of the Civil War, I found it very realistic and entertaining.Read more