North America 1869: It has been six years since the South won the Civil War on the bloody fields of Gettysburg. An icy peace has descended across the continent. In the economically devastated North, war hero William Tecumseh Sherman has just been elected President of the United States. He is determined to pick up where the North left off six years earlier, and restore the Union no matter the cost.
Using Confederate and French military involvement in Mexico as a pretext for war, Sherman lights the fuse that once again causes America to explode into the fires of battle. The fragile peace is shattered and armies in blue and gray once again slaughter one another on an epic scale. In the South, the aging Confederate President Robert E Lee once again summons his daring strategic mind, his audacious spirit and his last reserves of strength to once again lead the embattled Confederacy. But the weapons of war have grown evermore terrible. The introduction of breech loading rifles and lethal Gatling Guns has made the battle field deadlier and more horrendous than ever before in history.
By Force of Arms is an epic novel of the Second American Civil War. From Ironclads battling in the Gulf of California to the horrors of trench warfare in Virginia, from black Buffalo soldiers fighting for the Union in the wild west to Confederate partisans in Missouri led by the notorious and daring outlaw Jesse James, By Force of Arms shows the most horrible war in American history through the eyes of those forced to fight it. With the fate of a nation, a continent and ultimately the world itself in the balance, both sides struggle to win the victory by force of arms.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An interesting read with diverse characters who saw this "What-If" war firsthand. While the scenario and plot are worthy of applause, some of the writing is a bit awkward and the battle scenes are repetitive. Everybody involved in a battle seems to have a near-brush with death only to be saved by someone nearby. The writer overuses a few phrases as well; I can't count how many times a person "went down clutching a bloody wound." In the end, however, the book is extremely well done and very plausible in the realm of alternate histories. I will be buying the sequel for sure.
Good work. Didn't like it on the first partial read-through. Put it away for a while after getting bored with it. However, I decided to read Book 3 of the series and it was a page turner that I read through in a couple of settings so I went back and started this from scratch. Mr. Bennett has come a long way since writing this book and I recommend this book as a good alternative to some of the other alternative history series out there. I am waiting on his next book to see how things go. I agree some phrases were overused, but nowhere near as overused as Turtledove does in his various series. Typos are a problem, but Turtledove who uses a professional editor and publisher has plenty in his books. I don't know why I had a problem getting into this book, but glad I read Book 3 and went back to read this one. Maybe it was going slower than I thought it would in the early pages, but once I got deep enough into this one, it was an enjoyable read and I am a hard sell.
Cant wait for part 3 to come out
It is fiction BUT the basic facts about Lincoln's War and it's major leaders are fairly true to their real life period history. The writer uses several story lines within the work to allow the reader to get an overall very of this new war against the South by the Union. As a student of the War Between the States for over 50 plus years, I found the work to be an enjoyable read and an insight into "What If....."!