Cain at Gettysburg
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Winner of the American Library Association's W. Y. Boyd Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
Two mighty armies blunder toward each other, one led by confident, beloved Robert E. Lee and the other by dour George Meade. They'll meet in a Pennsylvania crossroads town where no one planned to fight.
In this sweeping, savagely realistic novel, the greatest battle ever fought on American soil explodes into life at Gettysburg. As generals squabble, staffs err. Tragedy unfolds for immigrants in blue and barefoot Rebels alike. The fate of our nation will be decided in a few square miles of fields.
Following a tough Confederate sergeant from the Blue Ridge, a bitter Irish survivor of the Great Famine, a German political refugee, and gun crews in blue and gray, Cain at Gettysburg is as grand in scale as its depictions of Civil War combat are unflinching.
For three days, battle rages. Through it all, James Longstreet is haunted by a vision of war that leads to a fateful feud with Robert E. Lee. Scheming Dan Sickles nearly destroys his own army. Gallant John Reynolds and obstreperous Win Hancock, fiery William Barksdale and dashing James Johnston Pettigrew, gallop toward their fates….
There are no marble statues on this battlefield, only men of flesh and blood, imperfect and courageous. From New York Times bestselling author and former U.S. Army officer Ralph Peters, Cain at Gettysburg is bound to become a classic of men at war.
Sickles’ direction, the two men cinched his leg tightly. There was no pain. Where was the pain? There was only a terrible fight to remain conscious. Revelation struck him: What a piece of luck! Meade couldn’t very well court-martial a wounded man, a hero struck down amid a desperate battle. The thought quickened all of his senses. He considered the mess of his leg. It might have to come off above the knee. The prospect chilled him. Yet, even that might be an acceptable price, he told himself.
better, they’d slept far less than their soldiers. Flies swirled around the remnants of the meal. The recognition of how well he understood these men—men so like himself, for all their differences—penetrated the haze afflicting Meade. Everyone was fighting to stay awake until the fight began. But they’d come back to life with the first shots, their minds saber sharp and bodies pulsing with energy. It was just the way it worked. Expressing what each of them felt, Hancock declared, “Bobby Lee
east, he wasn’t scouting in the west. Meade couldn’t understand the logic of what seemed to him a folly, but he meant to take advantage where he could. He had sent Reynolds a message to ensure he was pushing Buford’s First Cavalry Division forward as far as Gettysburg. Lee was at Chambersburg. He knew that now. Rumors put some of his men across South Mountain … although that could have been warmed-over talk from Ewell’s passage the week before. Or it might be a token force meant to cover the
the army about the preferments given to Virginians. Longstreet was the odd man out. But it did not bear talking over with a foreigner. Horsemen drew up in the shadows. Scheibert, the Prussian observer, and Ross, his Scotland-born Austrian counterpart, made their way through a squadron of moths maddened by the lantern. Lawley, the fellow from The Times of London, trailed in after them. Most men had at least one quality to recommend them. The newspaperman didn’t. “Find us any Yankees?” Goree
Rage filled him. Rage at anyone, in any army, who would commit such a criminal blunder. “Commence firing!” he shouted. “Fire at will!” He dropped his hand for the benefit of the more distant gun crews. Nearly forty cannon spit flame and recoiled in quick succession. The sound briefly deafened every man, but the resumption of battle made sense to the horses, who calmed. He didn’t need his field glasses to see the gashes torn in the Rebel ranks. The range and trajectory made it hard to miss.