"Gritty and absorbing. Finally, a novel that takes you into the ranks of a Civil War combat outfit, propelling you through months of training, campaigning, privation and danger, without the golden glow of post-war remembrance. Steven Acker is an important new voice in the growing chorus of evidence-based novels and narratives."
- Brad Graham, Civil War documentarian and historian
Clay Miller joins a Mississippi regiment to escape the brutality of his father only to find himself in the even more brutal world of a western Confederate soldier. Through the trials of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and every footfall in between, through mud, heat, cold, poor living conditions and often worse leadership, aided by the teachings of Transcendentalism and the guidance of mentors, he finds peace in war. He finds himself.
Meticulously researched and gritty in every detail, this is not a romantic tale of chivalry and honor. Shoeleather and the Bayonet is the journey of a foot-sore, hungry confederate soldier fighting to find the good in man and in himself.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Eye opening and engaging. Acker gives the reader a real feel for what the Civil War was like. A well written novel, historically accurate but not dry like a history book. Well developed characters that keep you invested and wanting more. Has you rooting for the main character.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The author has researched the civil war extensively and the story, the characters day-to-day lives comes across as authentic. It's fictional but based on actual historical figures and battles. The writing is hard and savagely strips away any illusion the reader may have about war and its effects on just surviving, whether as a soldier, leader, their families and homes. Recommended.
A thumping good read. Early on, I found myself caring about the characters' fates. The appropriate use of vernacular lends authenticity. Acker has a way of turning an ordinary phrase into the unusual. Interweaving some tenets of Transcendentalism give the story depth and richness. Highly recommended.