Bright Starry Banner: a novel of the Civil War

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9781569473818: Bright Starry Banner: a novel of the Civil War
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“The fascinating story of a ferocious three-day battle, among the bloodiest ever fought on US soil. Six months before Gettysburg, there was Stones River, near Nashville, in which 44,000 Union troops and 37,700 Confederates hammered away at each other, savagely and unremittingly, and yet so indecisively that at the end, both sides could claim victory. . . . Carter’s theme––war is hell––is familiar enough, yet ever fresh when rendered, as it is here, with the kind of creative force that amounts to a sense of mission. Buffs will love it.”––Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Monumentally ambitious. . . . For a depiction of war, this is as good as it gets.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Carter brings not only Stones River, but also all Civil War conflict to life in a manner that no novelist since Josepeh Pennell has done. . . . It’s a wonderful book all the way around.”––Peter Cozzens, author of No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River

Bright Starry Banner transports me into the thick of the Stones River campaign and enables me to see the tragic battle and its personalities in a new and dramatic way. Bravo!”––David J. Eicher, author of The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War

With Bright Starry Banner, Alden R. Carter adds an invaluable chapter to the war’s legend, presenting not only a great battle, but also the terror and courage of the men who fought it.

Alden R. Carter’s nine novels and 20 nonfiction titles have won numerous honors, including six ALA Best Book awards.

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About the Author:

Named to the Wisconsin Library Association's list "Notable Wisconsin Authors" in 2002, Alden Carter joined the company of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Carl Sandburg, Sterling North, George Shannon, and Kevin Henkes among the state's finest writers. His nine novels, twenty nonfiction titles, and six picture books for children and young adults have won numerous honors including six ALA Best Book Awards.

From Publishers Weekly:

This monumentally ambitious novel covers in exquisite and graphic detail one of the bloodiest two-day engagements of the Civil War. Carter, the author of nine YA novels and 20 works of nonfiction, is confident of his materials in his first adult novel, masterfully describing massive military maneuvers while also shifting to the viewpoint of individual after individual caught up in the horrific action. The Battle of Stones River on the outskirts of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is not a clash as familiar as Gettysburg or Antietam, but it was a compelling, brutal episode in Civil War history. From December 31, 1862, to the morning of January 2, 1863, the Union forces under William S. Rosecrans engaged the troops of Confederate commander Braxton Bragg. When the smoke cleared, both sides declared victory. Among the combatants was Ambrose Bierce, at age 20 a topographical engineer with Rosecrans, who witnessed horrors he later would write about: "The two lines have achieved a frightful equilibrium in the trading of deathâ€"an exchange that, if left undisturbed, might eventually lead to the last two men in the world killing each other." In a series of brilliant vignettes, Carter pays homage to Bierce's tales of the war such as A Horseman in the Sky. While Carter provides backstory for his many characters, he lacks a major love story that might help the novel rival such commercial successes as Cold Mountain. For a depiction of war, however, this is as good as it gets.
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