The American War
In this unusual Vietnam War story, Sam Kensington, an average G.I., along with his buddy Wilson, are veterans of numerous patrols and closely attuned to each other and to their surroundings. Their outfit, a platoon of the 101st Airborne, is ordered to join an offensive to take back the A Shau Valley because it is a direct supply route for the Viet Cong to their troops. Just prior to beginning the action, Sam has startlingly realistic dreams that simultaneously he is fighting in the Civil War campaign to take the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. These dreams continue and are an enigma to Sam, his friend, and even the XO, who is a Civil War buff. Sam consults him, and the answer is only revealed at the end of the book. The verbalization and references are those employed by troops in the field during that conflict, the settings believable, and the book is well-written and moves along reasonably well. However, although, and perhaps because of the similarity of patrol activity in the existing terrain, further editing might have reduced some of the repetition of similar details to produce a more compact package.