The Fires of Pride

Written by William R. Trotter
Review by Pat Maynard

This is the second novel in a powerful duo (the first being Sands of Pride) set during the American Civil War. The story begins shortly before the Battle of Gettysburg and culminates with the Battle of Fort Fisher, the Confederacy’s last major stronghold. Fort Fisher, a massive earthen fort located along the southern coast of North Carolina, kept one of the major supply lines open for Robert E. Lee’s army by protecting blockade runners smuggling goods via the Cape Fear River into and out of the port of Wilmington. One would think, considering its vital importance in this regard, that the Confederacy would have kept it well armed, stocked, and defended. Ironically, this couldn’t have been further from the truth and the author’s reasoned and articulate insights as to why, I’ll leave to the reader’s enjoyment.

The finely drawn characterizations on both sides of the conflict vividly portray the anguish of civil war. Steeped in atmosphere of the times, this novel (as well as its forerunner) often kept me on the edge of my seat as events unfolded that would change the course of American history forever. My only criticism is the editing, which overlooked numerous typos throughout. However, the problems are well worth overlooking, because the author is a virtual fount of knowledge when it comes to North Carolina during the Civil War.