Published by Ballantine Books (2015) it is a wonderful piece of historical fiction. More than, however, merely weaving a fictionalized account into dramatized history, Shaara explores the mind and emotions of both Yankee and Rebel alike as they march, and retreat, through Georgia, then South Carolina, and finally North Carolina as the war comes to an end.
With the conquest of Atlanta in the rear view mirror, William Tecumseh Sherman marches his bluecoats toward Savannah and beyond. The story of that famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, March to the Sea and beyond is the stage upon which Shaara explores those final six months of the war through the views, emotions, and actions of not just Sherman but also his two Confederate rivals, General William Hardee and Captain James Seely and, from the unique perspective of a Georgia slave who is freed by the marching Yankees as they go by and through the plantation where he has lived, a man who would become known as Abraham Lincoln Franklin. Franklin would follow Sherman’s army to the near end of the war, where he would survive a battle with rebel forces, only to return to his future wife in Savannah.
With clear attention to detail of both tactics and the events of battle, Shaara brings a clearly written tale of hope and despair; victory and defeat; life and death. One of the things that I loved about this book is that Shaara does an outstanding job of getting the reader into the mental and emotional aspects of war, humanity and leadership in war.
I truly enjoyed this novel as it brought to life the other ending of the American Civil War in the deep south.
I rate this book an “outstanding” read.
Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the Amazon Vine review program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.