Cain at Gettysburg

Ralph Peters. Forge, $25.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3047-5
Peters (The Officers’ Club) uses the same structure as Michael Shaara’s 1974 Civil War classic The Killer Angels to depict the seven crucial days before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. In this compelling tale of men at war, Peters weaves fictionalized accounts of actual Confederate and Union officers (including Robert E. Lee, George Meade, James Longstreet, and Dan Sickles), with stories of the privates, corporals, and sergeants who slaughtered each other in an orgy of blood, gore, suffering, heroism, and villainy. Lee’s stubborn hubris overrode all tactical sense, resulting in a colossal blunder, while Meade didn’t want command of the Union army, but turned out to be the first Yank to beat Lee in a fight. The generals bicker, argue, and worry, making decisions that will cost thousands of lives. Meanwhile, the soldiers endure hunger, thirst, fatigue, illness, and injury only to face a firestorm of rifle bullets, exploding artillery shells, and grim work with the bayonet. Peters’s colorful depictions of harsh army life and the utter chaos of battles are accurate and convincing, revealing that there’s no idealism on the battlefield, just men doing gruesome and frightening work. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 02/28/2012
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-60998-786-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-8529-3
Hardcover - 719 pages - 978-1-4104-4919-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 549 pages - 978-0-7653-6822-5
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4299-6847-8
Paperback - 442 pages - 978-0-7653-3624-8
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