The Devereuxs of Alexandria, Virginia were moderate people. The eldest son seemed the most moderate of all.
Claude Devereux wanted no part of secession. None of his family wanted Virginia to leave the Union. This family of bankers owned no slaves and believed slavery to be an institution to be rid of. The Devereux wanted to be left alone in their private world.
Nevertheless, they found Virginia's decision to secede compelling and the Lincoln Administration's decision to "suppress rebellion" in the South to be unacceptable.
Family separation and exile from their home had been the inevitable result. Some family members sided with the Union, but the overwhelming majority "went South" into the 17th Virginia Infantry, the Alexandria Regiment.
In the third year of the war, the crushing forces of greater manpower, the naval blockade and the world's largest industrial base were steadily driving the Confederacy to its knees.
Desperate times demand desperate measures. In such times who could be better placed for action against disaster than a family of merchant bankers?
In that year of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg, something had to "be done". Some gateway leading out of the maze had to be found.
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.13(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In the initial tale, 'The Butcher's Cleaver', of Colonel Lang's fictional trilogy about Claude Devereux of the Confederate Secret Services, the reader is taken along on a trip through the clandestine backdrop of the Civil War landscape. Using General Tidwell's nonfictional 'April '65' and 'Come Retribution' as a springboard, 'The Butcher's Cleaver' chief protagonist, Claude Devereux, opens eyes wide to covert activities that have long been off limit topics to historians and buffs. Thanks to Tidwell and now Lang, the CSA's Spy Master, Judah Phillipe Benjamin, is no longer classified a best kept secret subject. In a well-crafted story, Lang's hero walks the thin line of literature and history, breathing life into previous assumptions and prior presumptions about espionage efforts of the Southrons of the Confederacy and "those people' who propagated the National Compact. If readers really want to get to the head and heart of Civil War spying then 'The Butcher's Cleaver' will wet your whistle and whet your appetite for CD's next mission, 'Death Piled Hard'. Well done, Colonel, well done!
The Butcher's Cleaver by Col. Paul Lang USA-Ret., explores an area of the Civil War that has been overlooked. This historical novel delves into the use of intelligence by the Confederate forces and the Counter-intelligence by the Union. In it we follow many of the major leaders of both sides not only political, Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, but also the Generals, Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Meade, Hooker and Longstreet, to name a few. Spies, covert operations, codes and dis-information are used by both sides to help the military in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and many minor engagements. The descriptions of the Virginia countryside, the dress and moral of the people,plus the toll it takes on them,is another fine aspect of this book. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys an excellent novel on the Civil War and on this time period in American History.
This book is not just a must read for all Civil War buffs, its required reading. Lang portrays civil war espionage and life like never before. The reader will find themselves not just reading a book but taking a voyage back into history.
Pat Lang has managed to take full advantage of his decades of experience as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency, combined with a deep knowledge of American history and culture, to weave an incredible Civil War tale. The story is gripping, the narrative is wonderful, and the author gives life to all the characters, in a way that is quite an achievement for a first-time fiction writer. Above all else, the book is one of the best primers on how intelligence really works, the layers of intrigue, plots within plots, and the human factor that is always unpredictable. For anyone who has a black and white picture 'no pun intended' of what the issues were behind the war that nearly destroyed the Union, this book is a wonderful corrective. The book offers an insight into the various currents of thinking and culture within the Confederacy, and forces the reader to take pause. And from a military history standpoint, The Butcher's Cleaver is also an outstanding read.
'The Butcher's Cleaver' will be a thoroughly satisfying novel not only to students of the Civil War, but to those interested in intelligence operations as well. The author, Pat Lang, is a retired Army intelligence colonel, recognized for his extensive experience in combat and peacetime human agent operations. He's captured everyday life in Civil War Washington and the civilian and military forces with which the Confederate operatives must contend. He cleverly mixes actual historical figures into the story and brings his own combat experience to descriptions of various clashes. A very fine job throughout.