Incident at Pittston Crossing
“Bud” Nelson was a combat soldier with U.S. Airborne Forces in Europe in World War II. He takes his firsthand knowledge of small unit infantry actions from his youth and applies them to a fictional U.S. Civil War battle in his first book for the adult market. His account of the action at Pittston Crossing features Union Major Michael Ellison’s courageous and imaginative defense of this important crossroads against a larger Confederate raiding party.
The combat narrative is brisk and filled with enough gritty detail to satisfy most fans of this genre. The problem lies with Nelson’s writing style. Instead of relating the story of the stress and uncertainty of battle, he provides the reader with prose directly lifted from dry “after action reports” that read more like training manuals than a work of fiction. Historical fiction should not read like the notes for a university lecture, and a dry one at that.