In the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, New York Times best-selling author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows best. A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for a vivid re-creation of one of the war's bloodiest and most iconic engagements: the Battle of Shiloh.
It's the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Hot on Johnston's trail are two of the Union's best generals: the relentless Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at Fort Donelson, and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush Johnston's army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely will be over. There's just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union plans, and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant's encampment - a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored by a humble church named Shiloh.
With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here too are the thoughts and voices of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause, among them Confederate cavalry lieutenant James Seeley and Private Fritz "Dutchie" Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment - brave participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this war. By the end of the first day of fighting, as Grant's bedraggled forces regroup for could be their last stand, two major events - both totally unexpected - will turn the tide of the battle and perhaps the war itself.
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I Love Shaara, But Perhaps More in Print
Great telling of the story of the Battle of Shiloh
Yes, largely because I've listened to most of the author's books on more than one occasion. While fiction, it's very fact intensive and listening a second time tends to provide more insight into the story.
As with all of the author's novels since "To the Last Man," at least a portion of the story is told from the perspective of someone serving on the front line. This, to me, makes these novels stronger even than his father's "Killer Angels" and the two follow ups written by Jeff. People that haven't served in war have no idea what the average soldier goes through on a daily basis while serving the front lines, so the perspective provided by Mr. Shaara is both real, fascinating and frightening all at once.
I believe, but can't be certain, that he has read many of Mr. Shaara's novels. If I am correct they are all outstanding jobs.
The front line infantrymen.