Glory in the Name

Written by James L. Nelson
Review by John R. Vallely

An exciting and nicely crafted fictional account of the early days of the U.S. Civil War. Nelson’s Samuel Bowater heads a diverse set of characters in the struggle to protect Confederate ports and bases. Bowater, a patrician and ex-officer in the U.S. Navy, commands an armed tugboat and a makeshift ironclad in naval battles off Roanoke Island and in defense of New Orleans. An erstwhile painter, Bowater discovers aspects of his personality he never knew existed in more peaceful days. By the time New Orleans falls to the Union Navy, readers are left eager to sign on for another voyage. The naval battles are intense and offer the reader a glimpse into the savagery of 19th century naval warfare. Those who select the novel for the combat narratives will soon find Nelson has an equally refined talent for character analysis and plot.