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on Aug. 02, 2010 :
Knoxville 1863 deals with the Battle of Fort Sanders, November 29, 1963. One of a number of battles in the Knoxville Campaign, a small number of Union troops occupying the high ground of Fort Sanders successfully repelled Confederate troops in a bloody, one day encounter, incurring few losses themselves, but inflicting may upon their assailants. It was hardly a turning point in the Civil War, but it is a good example of the type of warfare practiced at the time, and in Mr. Stanley's hands, an excellent example of what the times felt like to those involved.
The chapters are narrated by a number of participants, civilians and soldiers on both sides. Meticulously researched as explained in an afterword, most of the characters and details of the battle are accurately portrayed. Only a couple infantrymen, artillerymen, and townspeople are his creations.
The result is a highly readable account of one of many brutal battles in a brutal war, the effects of which remain with us today. Scholars of the Civil War should enjoy this novel. For the reader with general interests but not necessarily a historian, Knoxville 1863 is an excellent, accessible way to deepen one's understanding of a crucial time in our nation's history.
Dr. Al Past is the author of six works: music, photography, and the popular Distant Cousin series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)