Gods and Generals: A Novel of the Civil WarBy Jeff M. Shaara
- Author: Jeff M. Shaara
- Binding: Paperback
- Published: 1998-01-01
- Edition: First Mass Market Paperback
Here is Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian. His fierce exterior hides a compassionate soul that few - students and soldiers alike - will ever see, and he becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War. We follow Winfield Scott Hancock, a Captain of Quartermasters who is assigned command of a brigade of infantry, quickly establishing himself as one of the finest leaders in the Union army. Then there is Joshua Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career to volunteer for service in the new army, only to become one of the most heroic soldiers in American history. And here too is a brilliant portrait of the complex, aristocratic Robert E. Lee, who is faced with the agonizing decision of resigning from a distinguished thirty-year army career in order to defend his home, never believing until too late that a civil war would ever truly come to pass. As the war gathers momentum, Stonewall Jackson wins his reputation by a series of stinging victories over ineptly led Union forces. Lee, finally given command of the Confederate forces, recognizes that this strange, devout, and dangerous man is his greatest weapon. For a time, it truly seems as if God is on their side and that Lee will lead his army to final victory against overwhelming odds. Nowhere is this plainer than at the Battle of Fredericksburg, where, for the first time, all four men meet on the same field and experience the exhilaration and raw horror of battle from four very different points of view. But it is in the next great fight, the Battle of Chancellorsville, that Lee's brilliant strategy, and Jackson's supreme achievement, are overshadowed when Jackson is mortally wounded by his own men. This loss is the true turning point of the war. Lee now realizes that against the ever-growing numbers of Union forces, he can only win by a direct threat to Washington. So the battle-hardened armies of the Confederacy begin their fateful invasion.