Cain at Gettysburg

Cain at Gettysburg

by Ralph Peters
4.0 27

Paperback(First Edition)

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Cain at Gettysburg by Ralph Peters

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765336248
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Series: Battle Hymn Cycle Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 566,044
Product dimensions: 6.26(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

RALPH PETERS, New York Times bestselling author of The War After Armageddon, is a retired U.S. Army officer; a controversial strategist and veteran of the intelligence world; a journalist who appears frequently in the broadcast media; and a lifelong traveler with experience in over seventy countries on six continents. Peters has studied the Battle of Gettysburg since childhood, when his parents took him on annual pilgrimages to that hallowed ground. Combining years of walking those fields and painstaking research with insight into the souls of generals and privates gleaned from his own military career, Ralph Peters tells this great American tale in a masterful style.

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Cain at Gettysburg 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
civiwarlibrarian More than 1 year ago
Allow me to answer the first question most readers of Killer Angels ask. Yes. Cain At Gettysburg is as good as Michael Shaara's novel and in some ways it is better. Peters is a career military man who also writes compelling fiction. Owen Parry is a pseudonym of Ralph Peters and Parry writes a detective/mystery series with Able Jones as the main character. Enjoyable and having eastern a Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. settings, CWL always looks forward to the next in the series. With really good fiction, the reader finishes the novel and ponders the characters, the plot, the setting and the truths that fiction is able to tell. Peters' Cain At Gettysburg may be the most accurate fiction work about Gettysburg. The best fiction offers felt facts and felt history: what is going on in the inside of the generals and the combat soldiers. Killer Angels and Cain at Gettysburg are informed to a degree by Biblical notions. Peter's detective Abel Jones often presents an 19th century understanding of religion, faith and justice. Peters does so again in Cain at Gettysburg. Two characters in the 26th North Carolina are very familiar with the Bible and quote it to explain or describe a situation, environment or the human condition. Blake, a sergeant, has turned in back of his Quaker faith and Cobb, a private, has turned is back on his call to preach. German and Irish immigrants are in the forefront of Cain at Gettysburg. Peters challenges the myths of Germans and the Irish unwillingness to fight and fighting poorly when they do. Generated by the press, these stereotypes dominated wartime and post-war interpretations of the battle. In contrast, the author offers a 'boots on the ground' perspective of what the Germans and Irish accomplished through courage and tenacity. There are extensive scenes with George Gordon Meade, the Federal commander and Robert E. Lee, the Confederate commander. Meade is the center of scenes regarding Federal military leadership; Lee is often viewed through the eyes of Longstreet, a Confederate corps commander. Sickles, Federal corps commander, drives the story forward at times. Peter's expertise as a army veteran intelligence officer and strategist comes to the fore in these characters' interior thoughts. Among these generals, it is Meade and Sickles that are most fully described. Meade, who took command of the Army not quite three day before the battle, becomes exhausted in course of six days. Sickles, who left his troops right after the May 1863 battle of Chancellorsville, returns less than three full days before the July battle of Gettysburg. He is the politician-on-the-make who needs battlefield glory to rehabilitate his career from a pre-war murder charge. The Confederate officers are exhausted and aware that their futures are in the balance during the battle. They each realize that imminent capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi will tip the war's balance as would a defeat in Pennsylvania. A major difference between Killer Angels and Cain at Gettysburg is the realism. There are vulgar dialogues and behaviors in Peters' novel. Latrine issues in open fields and shaded woods are described; human and animal corpses are graphically described. All the wounds in Cain at Gettysburg are felt and shown, not just mentioned. Lusts, hatreds and bigotries are among the common discourse of the soldiers. The Blue and The Grey are not brothers but enemies intent on killing each other. So, Cain at Gettysburg stands beside Killer Angels on CWL's personal bookshelf along with Shelby Foote's Shiloh, Perry Lentz's The Falling Hills, Richard Slotkin's The Crater and Howard Bahr's The Black Flower. Each are very fine novels with their individual strengths.
Editor-ArmchairGeneral More than 1 year ago
The award-winning author’s latest novel is a true masterpiece that reveals the very soul of the Civil War’s most famous battle. Peters’ riveting novel vividly brings the battle’s desperate fighting to life through the eyes of historical figures and unforgettable fictional characters in a way no other novelist has achieved. Reading Cain at Gettysburg is the closest any of us today will ever come to actually experiencing the horror of Civil War combat. Peters has studied the Battle of Gettysburg throughout his life, and his expertise on the battle is clearly demonstrated in his marvelous prose capturing the 'real' experience of those who fought on both sides. His knowledge of the battle is revealed in his presentation of important aspects of the fighting that other authors are either ignorant of or who ignore in their books. For example, Peters spotlights the crucial role in the Union victory of Union Army of the Potomac Chief of Artillery General Henry Hunt and his Union gunners. Hunt's positioning of Union artillery throughout the battle's three days and particularly Hunt's discipline during the battle's final day -- when he conserved the Union's precious artillery and ammunition in the face of strong pressure by Union infantry commanders to open fire early -- that preserved the artillery in order to blast to shreds Pickett's Charge and thereby decisively defeat Lee's last attempt to salvage a victory. Such insight into what really happened in the Battle of Gettysburg make Peters' superb novel THE classic account of the Civil War's greatest battle.
Once-a-Soldier More than 1 year ago
Ralph Peters has done a masterful job of bringing to life the men who fought through the fields and woods of Adams County, Pennsylvania in July, 1863. Not one in a thousand soldiers had ever heard of Gettysburg before that month, but none of them would ever forget their experiences there. Thoroughly researched by soldier-turned-author Peters, this is a wonderfully readable account of not just the three-day battle but the individual American soldiers who struggled there. You owe it to yourself to read this story as told by someone who truly cares about our collective history. It is superb!
Goldenpen More than 1 year ago
I have read about the civil war and v8sited Gettysberg many times since my 1st in 1947. While I don,t usually read historical fiction , I found Peter's recital accurate and engrossing. He gave the battle a sense of reality with his characters . I found his portrayal of the officers on both sides spot on and their comments fit in with the facts. I reccomendation. this book can't wait for his Next. Hmg 14th Brooklyn
Donna13 More than 1 year ago
Any one interested in the civil war should read this book. The truth comes out. Well written
insanepoet65 More than 1 year ago
We are taught about our nation’s history and some of its famous battles in school, and for the most part we are given a sanitized version of the events. We think we know what happened and we can parrot it back. At least that was the case for me. I love history. All kinds, but for some reason I have skittered around the subject of America’s Civil War. I had a great friend who lived, ate, breathed the Civil War and could tell you everything that there was to know*. I can honestly say that my views have changed. Cain At Gettysburg is the telling of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3 1863). Now, I will warn you that the book is a bit slow to start, but like any good author, Ralph Peters has to set up the story and get the players in place. THEN, it starts. Mr. Peters does not pull any punches. You get war in all of its gore and glory. He brings history to life! You get a good feel for the principal historical figures and you really feel for the made up ones. (Personally, I will never forget Cobb and Blake or the Bunyan Twins…you’ll see.) If you are a fan of history, you wonder about what happened, or just want a fantastic book to read on the subject, Cain at Gettysburg is not to be missed! 5 out of 5 stars.
silencedogoodreturns More than 1 year ago
Stunning book. An outstanding read. I must admit I was quite surprised, as this was the first book by Peters I have read. The somewhat dour TV commenter can write! Seriously. This book provides more detail about Gettysburg than The Killer Angels did, and remarkably, is just as well written. For those interested in history and the personal conflicts of those thrust into dire situations, this is one to spend your time reading.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
10/22/13 A realistic and emotional work on the Battle of Gettysburg.
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CMKmom More than 1 year ago
I am not a person who enjoys blood and guts books, but this vivid recreation of this major battle during the civil war is excellent. It is a long book - developing the characters of the generals who won/lost the war. Astonishing how the various personalities impact the battle. One wonders if there is a lot of that in these times as well! Well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No matter how many times I walked the Gettysburg battle fields, I still wonder if I understand this historic battle. This book is the most factual work of fiction ever published on the subject and puts the reader right in the midst of the encampments, battles, and personal stories of the men who fought on both sides. An absolute amazing read! This is not a love story...simply a factual, well written work of fiction which truly puts the reader in Gettysburg, PA in early July 1863! ENJOY
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