Witness to Appomattox

Richard Wheeler, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-06-016078-4
As he did so successfully in Witness to Gettysburg (1987), Wheeler links together the words of participants and eyewitnesses in a moving chronological narrative, this time covering the final three months of the Civil War. The accounts of fighting at Five Forks, the breakthrough at Petersburg, the evacuation of Richmond and the final skirmish at Sayler's Creek all point with solemn inexorability to the haunting surrender ceremony at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. Wheeler does not confine hismelf to military operations, but provides a rich continuum of anecdotes conveying the growing sense of victory or defeat on the part of soldiers and civilians, along with homely details of daily life as the war winds down: a Confederate officer arguing with a woman who insists that her husband should desert the Stonewall Brigade; General Grant, trying to open negotiations with General Lee while at the same time trying to rid himself of a sick-headache; President Lincoln, walking the streets of the captured Confederate capital, delivers ``a mortal blow to caste,'' by returning the bow of an elderly black man. Illustrations. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-06-092068-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1947-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-9772-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0179-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-7990-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-3440-3
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