The Fateful Lightning

The Fateful Lightning

A Novel of the Civil War

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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November 1864: As the Civil War rolls into its fourth bloody year, the tide has turned decidedly in favor of the Union. A grateful Abraham Lincoln responds to Ulysses S. Grant's successes by bringing the general east, promoting Grant to command the entire Union war effort, while William Tecumseh Sherman now directs the Federal forces that occupy all of Tennessee. In a massive surge southward, Sherman conquers the city of Atlanta, sweeping aside the Confederate army under the inept leadership of General John Bell Hood. Pushing through northern Georgia, Sherman's legendary "March to the Sea" shoves away any Rebel presence, and by Christmas 1864 the city of Savannah falls into the hands of "Uncle Billy." Now there is but one direction for Sherman to go. In his way stands the last great hope for the Southern cause, General Joseph E. Johnston. In the concluding novel of his epic Civil War tetralogy, Jeff Shaara tells the dramatic story of the final eight months of battle from multiple perspectives: the commanders in their tents making plans for total victory, as well as the ordinary foot soldiers and cavalrymen who carried out their orders until the last alarum sounded. Through Sherman's eyes, we gain insight into the mind of the general who vowed to "make Georgia howl" until it surrendered. In Johnston, we see a man agonizing over the limits of his army's power, and accepting the burden of leading the last desperate effort to ensure the survival of the Confederacy. The Civil War did not end quietly. It climaxed in a storm of fury that lay waste to everything in its path. The Fateful Lightning brings to life those final brutal, bloody months of fighting with you-are-there immediacy, grounded in the meticulous research that readers have come to expect from Jeff Shaara. Praise for Jeff Shaara's new Civil War series A Blaze of Glory "[An] exciting read . . . This novel is meticulously researched and brings a vivid reality to the historical events depicted."-Library Journal "Dynamic portrayals [of] Johnston, Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman."-The Wall Street Journal A Chain of Thunder "Shaara continues to draw powerful novels from the bloody history of the Civil War."-Kirkus Reviews "Shaara's historical accuracy is faultless, and he tells a good story. . . . The voices of these people come across to the reader as poignantly clear as they did 150 years ago."-Historical Novels Review The Smoke at Dawn "Beautifully written . . . Shaara once again elevates history from mere rote fact to explosive and engaging drama."-Bookreporter "Shaara's mastery of military tactics, his intimate grasp of history, and his ability to interweave several supporting narratives into a cohesive and digestible whole . . . will appeal to a broad range of historical and military fiction fans."-Booklist
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780345549198
Characteristics: xiii, 615 pages : maps


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Sep 23, 2018

Sherman is my favorite General in WW2, a no nonsense go after the enemy agressive leader who had respect of his men in the field. This is a great book that shows that follows Shermans final months of the war beginning with the end of the battle of Atlanta and as he goes south to Savannah and cuts north through the Carolina's to meet up with Grant. I like Shaara's writing as he intertwines history with a touch of fiction that brings out the human aspect of this great war.

Jun 29, 2015

The final novel in Jeff Shaara's four book series on the Civil War in the West. This emphasizes Sherman's campaign in Georgia and the Carolinas, and as before, Shaara's take on Sherman feels very true to the man himself. Confederate officers like Hardee feature prominently as well, and Shaara gives a new and distinctive point of view throughout to an escaped slave who's come along with the army as it moves through the south. A fitting finale to Shaara's series, with great attention to detail and characterization.


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Jan 20, 2016

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell.

Jan 20, 2016

I'm not here from God, old man. Just President Lincoln.

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