Hell or Richmond
North vs. South, Grant vs. Lee – what could be more engrossing? This novel, a followup to the author’s Cain at Gettysburg, covers the Civil War’s pivotal month from May 10 to June 5, 1864. It begins with Grant’s assignment to the Union’s Army of the Potomac, carries the reader through several meat-grinding battles, as the two armies do their death dance moving ever southward after each bloody and indecisive battle, and concludes with the Union army crossing the James River on their way to besieging Petersburg—the key to taking Richmond and defeating Lee.
This is historical fiction with a capital “H” to the point of being dramatized history in the grandest style. No plot? No problem. History provides the storyline—as well as many of the details. Much more than just Lee and Grant, dozens of other characters, both North and South, are brought to life in meticulous detail drawn largely from the hundreds of letters these men wrote home—as well as official field reports and biographies penned by earlier writers. You feel what they feel. You bleed with them—and you find yourself alternately cheering for both sides in this epic as the author, a career officer himself, takes the reader into the minds of individual soldiers in language as rich, earthy, and politically incorrect as the time and circumstances they were trapped in. Highly recommended.