the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, New York Times bestselling
author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows best.
A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for
a vivid re-creation of one of the war’s bloodiest and most iconic
engagements—the Battle of Shiloh.
It’s the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters
on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort
Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to
pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally
his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Hot
on Johnston’s trail are two of the Union’s best generals: the relentless
Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at Fort Donelson,
and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush Johnston’s
army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely will be
over. There’s just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union plans,
and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant’s
encampment—a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored
by a humble church named Shiloh.
With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the
maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous
research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders
on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious
Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here too are the thoughts and voices
of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their
all for the cause, among them Confederate cavalry lieutenant James
Seeley and Private Fritz “Dutchie” Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment—brave
participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count
would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this
war. By the end of the first day of fighting, as Grant’s bedraggled
forces regroup for could be their last stand, two major events—both
totally unexpected—will turn the tide of the battle and perhaps
the war itself.
Hardback, 464 pages, 6x9, 2012, $28.00.