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Shrouds of Glory brings the reader into the general's tent, where Grant, Sherman, Lee, and others plot out their often unorthodox strategies...
Shrouds of Glory brings the reader into the general's tent, where Grant, Sherman, Lee, and others plot out their often unorthodox strategies for winning the war. At its center is the courageous but reckless Hood, prematurely thrust into the spotlight by a combination of destiny and fate. We witness the unlikely rise of this young Confederate, who graduated 44th out of a class of 52 at West Point, as he overcomes a nearly fatal amputation of his shattered leg and eventually devises a strategy to turn the tide of the war. From the fall of Atlanta, during which Hood assumed command, to the eventual decimation of his troops on the outskirts of Nashville, Groom presents Gen Hood and his nemeses--Union generals Sherman, Schofield, and Thomas--on their bizarre cat-and-mouse chase through Georgia and Tennessee to the horrors of the heroic charge at Franklin, where five Confederate generals died and the great Confederate army of of Tennessee marched into legend.
Weaving eyewitness accounts, journal entries, military communiques, and newspaper headlines with his own straightforward narrative style, Groom constructs a meticulous and atmospheric re-creation of the war— especially the charged battlefields where general and foot soldier alike were thrown into the fray. Groom paints vivid portraits of the major players in the conflict, revealing the character, the faults, the emotions, and most of all the doubts that molded the course of the war.
|1.||A Midsummer's Change||5|
|2.||I Will Go On While I Can||26|
|3.||Crazy Like a Fox||46|
|4.||This Army Is Going to Do Something Wrong||59|
|5.||If You Want It, Come and Take It||71|
|6.||They Must Be Killed||82|
|7.||To Conquer the Peace||97|
|8.||Go On As You Propose||109|
|9.||It Is Almost Worth Dying||122|
|10.||The Best Move Come to Naught||136|
|12.||Seeing the Elephant||168|
|13.||An Indescribable Fury||182|
|14.||All Those Dead Heroes||207|
|16.||Like a Lot of Beasts||236|
|17.||Didn't I Tell You We Could Lick 'Em?||253|
|18.||A River of Fire||266|
|19.||Black Care Was the Outrider||276|
|Bibliographical Note on Sources||293|
Posted June 14, 2012
Winston Groom’s first military history effort is promising. The Atlanta-Nashville campaign had its quota of drama and tragedy and John Bell Hood was a lightning rod for controversy. Groom uses his novelist’s eye to give them full play. He seems more sympathetic to Hood than most writers. As I read the book I felt his jumps back and forth in time were distracting and I detected some factual errors that I felt made it only a 3 star effort. Overall, though, this is a good debut and I plan to read more of Groom’s military histories. Those who want more authoritative accounts of the Tennessee invasion might want to check out Five Tragic Hours by James McDonough and Thomas Connelly or The Confederacy’s Last Hurrah by Wiley Sword.
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Posted May 16, 2001
Groom's exploration of Hood's march into Tennessee of 1864 is a fair, but not good, analysis of the last major offensive operation by the Confederate army in the western theater.<P> The reader is initially bogged-down in an excessive summary of prior battles of the Civil War. The author spends too much time reviewing Vicksburg, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville (where neither Sherman nor Hood were involved), etc., with more time spent in this background than is necessary to 'set the stage' for the main topic. <P> There also exists some editing failures such as at the beginning of Chapter 10, describing Stephen Lee's artillery being 4 miles to the east of Hood's pontoon bridge, where actually Hood's flanking force was itself east of Columbia with S. Lee's artillery facing the town.<P> Groom also spends a rather tiresome interlude describing Hood's quest for the hand of an indecisive flirt in Richmond (Buck Preston). The tangible effects of this courtship on, and its contribution to, the Nashville Campaign of 1864, I have yet to surmise. Groom in a number of places in the book pursues a literary style invoking 'flashbacks' to prior events while describing the current topic that, while adding color to a fictional novel, serves to confuse and needlessly distract a history reader's attention to detail.<P> The Nashville Campaign of 1864 is a story that needs telling, but would be better told by an experienced history author.
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Posted April 12, 2013
Posted May 5, 2012
in a voice reminiscent of Shelby Foot and Shaara, Père et fils, Groom carries us along a terrible journey from Tennessee to Atlanta and back to Nashville. Groom's writing is free of excuses and overstatements, so often found in memoirs. I found it hard to put this book down. Since reading this history I have added all Groom's was books to my NOOK library.
Thinking of Groom as a novelist, I admit to being skeptical about accuracy before buying "Shrouds of Glory". Well, Foote was a creative writing teacher; it seems "creative writer" and "novelist" perfectly combine to make "readable history".
Posted November 27, 2010
After being dragged through a host of previous battles, the reader is finally subjected to a revisionist reconstruction of the incompetent John Bell Hood. Hood, an ally of the equally incompetent Braxton Bragg, was responsible for the destruction of the once proud CS Army of Tennessee, squandering officers superior to him in ability and intellect and slaughtering brave veteran troops who deserved so much better than Hood could have possibly ever offered them. Do not waste your time (or your money) on this revisionist tripe.
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Posted June 20, 2000
Posted October 23, 2011
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Posted April 30, 2012
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