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A Blaze of Glory

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A Blaze of Glory

A Novel of the Battle of Shiloh
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"[An] exciting read . . . [Jeff] Shaara returns to the U.S. Civil War in this first book of a new trilogy. . . . This novel is meticulously researched and brings a vivid reality to the historical...
"[An] exciting read . . . [Jeff] Shaara returns to the U.S. Civil War in this first book of a new trilogy. . . . This novel is meticulously researched and brings a vivid reality to the historical...
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Description-
  • "[An] exciting read . . . [Jeff] Shaara returns to the U.S. Civil War in this first book of a new trilogy. . . . This novel is meticulously researched and brings a vivid reality to the historical events depicted."--Library Journal

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    Spring 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse. General Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to 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: Ulysses Grant 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.

    Drawing on meticulous research, Jeff Shaara dramatizes the key decisions of the commanders on both sides of the conflict--and brings to life the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause. With stunning immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before.

    "Brilliant . . . riveting . . . a work to be embraced."--Bookreporter

    Includes a preview of Jeff Shaara's next Civil War novel, A Chain of Thunder.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter ONE

    SEELEY

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

    february 22, 1862

    "Keep those men out of there! They will not pass!"

    Seeley's words were harsh, loud, the men around him doing all they could to obey. The shotguns hung by each man's side, and the lieutenant felt a shaking nervousness, was not ready to give the order that would point the long guns at these civilians. Like him, most of these troopers had never fired their weapons at anything but crude targets. Now the targets were men, surging toward him through the darkness, pushing their way toward the gaping doorways of the supply depot, a massive warehouse close to the river. Seeley had positioned his six horsemen in an even line, to block the way of the crowd, but the crowd was a mob, desperate and mindless, their goal the precious food and bundles of supplies that lay in the warehouse. A few cavalry meant nothing at all, and quickly the mob pushed into them, some slipping past, between the horses. He felt his own frustration rising, could feel the tinder­box explosiveness of the mob, and he shouted out again, could not help the higher pitch, his voice betraying the fear.

    "You will stand away! These are government stores!"

    Close between him and the next man, a civilian shoved hard, jostling his horse, punching it.

    "Get out of my way! Damn you!"

    Seeley steadied the horse, his outrage more of instinct, protective of the animal. He drew his saber, but the man ignored him, punched the horse again, and the saber rose high, came down hard against the man's shoulder, flat-­sided, the man collapsing right below him. The civilian rolled over, crying out, shielding himself with one hand above his face. There was no blood, not yet, the lieutenant trying to get control, the horse calmer, the man crawling out through the horse's legs. The lieutenant felt relief, did not want blood. He raised the saber again, mostly for show, but most of the mob ignored him, ignored all the horsemen, still pushed into the warehouse, spreading out in the dark. Behind him a lantern was lit, the glow filling the vast building with soft light reflecting off the mounds of boxes and barrels, bundles of cloth.

    More cavalrymen galloped close, and he looked that way, hoped to see wagons, the army's own efforts to gather up the supplies, to move them out of this vulnerable place. But there were only men, a sergeant leading six more, and so Seeley was the only officer, was still in command, the sole authority. The horse jostled beneath him again, men still slipping by him in a rush, and he felt the saber in his hand, could not just assault these people, could not add to what was fast becoming a riot. But still . . . there were the orders, the strict need to guard what was piled up behind him. He steadied the animal with the reins, shouted toward the other horsemen, "Formation here! Beside us! No one is to pass! We must protect the depot!"

    The other cavalrymen had already seen the futility of that, were as uncertain as he was. He wanted to shout again, but the mob was growing, more people coming down the side streets, noisy and energetic, women alongside men, shoving their way past, seeking anything they could carry. Some came past him the other way, from inside, weighed down by loot, by the very goods he was supposed to protect. He fought for it in his own mind, how to control these people, how to obey the orders he had been given, the responsibility for this one depot.

    "Stop them! They must not pass!"

    Seeley's anger was ripening into full fury, the frustration complete, his orders useless, the crowd still swarming around the line of horsemen. Some of the mob was already disappearing into the...

About the Author-
  • Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure--two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father's Pulitzer Prize--winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives again in Tallahassee.

Reviews-
  • Baltimore Sun Gods and Generals "Shaara's beautifully sensitive novel delves deeply in the empathetic realm of psycho-history, where enemies do not exist--just mortal men forced to make crucial decisions and survive on the same battlefield."--San Francisco Chronicle "Powerful . . . Though the story of the Civil War has been told many times, this is the rare version that conveys what it must have felt like."--Chicago Sun-Times "Compelling . . . a work of vivid drama and skill."--The Dallas Morning News The Last Full Measure "The Last Full Measure is more than another historical novel. It is rooted in history, but its strength is the element of humanity flowing through its characters. . . . The book is compelling, easy to read, well researched and written, and thought-provoking. . . . In short, it is everything that a reader could ask for."--Chicago Tribune "[Shaara] writes with considerable sensitivity and skill, setting vivid scenes and adding drama and suspense to a familiar tale."--The Seattle Times "Masterful . . . These characters come alive as complex, heroic, and flawed men."
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