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Remise
07-24-2009, 08:44 AM
Has anyone read this book? I just purchased it recently, and am halfway through it. I have to say that it is already near the top of my list of favorite Civil War novels, right up there with "The Black Flower" and "Play for a Kingdom," among others.

It is the story of two boys from Martha's Vineyard who join the 20th Massachusetts just before the Gettysburg campaign. You can pretty much guess where they end up.

What most impressed me about the book is the description of life in the ranks and on the march. The author, John Hough, has clearly done his research, and a little research of my own revealed he had gotten a lot of assistance from Gettysburg NPS rangers Scott Hartwig and John Heiser (also of the 53rd Pennsylvania). I don't know if I am right or not, but I feel as if he must have spent some time in the reenacting ranks, himself, as -- just like Howard Bahr, who was a reenactor -- he writes about things that you just wouldn't know (such as the taste of gunpowder, as a minor example) without having been there.

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Pennsylvania Reserves

sbl
07-24-2009, 10:37 AM
Sounds like a good gift for "my dear wife!" She used to work with John Heiser back before we were married.



I just ordered a "used" copy from Amazon.

dale beasley
07-24-2009, 01:12 PM
I bet it is a great book, it sounds like it. I have not read anything about the Civil War in two years, but I am now, thanks again.

Remise
07-24-2009, 03:46 PM
I bet it is a great book, it sounds like it. I have not read anything about the Civil War in two years, but I am now, thanks again.

....once you have read the book. My only regret about it so far is that I am reading it too quickly!

B.C. Milligan, First Penna. Reserves

snk22nd
08-25-2009, 09:03 AM
Just finished reading. Really enjoyed this one. Goes into how they really interacted with each other on campaign. Worth the read.

sbl
08-25-2009, 09:06 AM
I'm next after my wife finishes it. She seems to like it.

Swag
08-28-2009, 03:57 PM
Sounds quite interesting, I'll have to find a copy and pick it up to read during my free time. Let us know how it is once your finished.

agrnbrt
08-29-2009, 07:08 AM
I finished it last week. It is a quick and easy read. Not too bad for a yankee book...that is, when you get past, or around the PC "white folks were bad unless they were abolitionists" bull.
The feelings for service life are good. And the trials and emotions of the troops during the war come accross right on the money. Almost right from any of the well know first person accounts of the war.
But I have to say it's a bit predictable twards the end. {I wont give it away for those who have not read it.} But those who have, most likely know what and where I mean. The whole white boy from the north falls for {putting it nicely} the colored house servant thing is a bit over the top. The constant pushing of the abolitionist view being "ordained by God" is way too much bull for me.
But if you'r deluded enough to think Licoln upheld the Constition...you'll love it.
Guess I'm just too much of a GOOD 'OL REB.
Glad I got it free.

Remise
08-30-2009, 09:12 AM
(and I speak as someone who was raised in Virginia), if you can free yourself from your own political prejudices, and remind yourself that the book's central characters are members of an abolitionist family that was involved in the Underground Railroad before the war (and thus -- not surprisingly to me at least -- to be presumed to have been anti-slavery themselves), you will, I am sure, find this book worthwhile to read.

As the detractor (of the political stuff, I mean) above notes, the accounts of life in the ranks are pretty good, helped no doubt by the NPS rangers (one of them a reenactor himself) who contributed.

B. C. Milligan

sbl
11-27-2009, 09:34 AM
Boy there's a lot of "n**kie" in this one!

Still reading it. Not bad.

Just wondering about the sack coat with two pockets.

sbl
11-28-2009, 08:04 AM
I haven't read a CW/WBTS novel where the Confederartes were "evil" until Seen the Glory.

Good account of Gettysburg. I got out a map of where the 20th Mass was as I read the Pickett's Charge account. Details line up.