History buffs and those new to Civil War combat will enjoy going behind battle lines with this penetrating and masterfully researched first novel, Baptism at Bull Run.
In graphic and action-packed detail, author James Reger offers a realistic, almost three-dimensional portrayal of what the battle was really like-from the moment the starry-eyed boys in blue and gray arrived along the steamy tangles of Bull Run Creek to their final moments of agonizing glory as they charged, fought and died among the shell-blasted hillsides.
From the smoky battlefields to the smoke-filled political chambers in Washington and Richmond, Reger reveals a set of realities rarely discussed in history classes-President Lincoln surrounded by lazy commanders and corrupt cabinet members, President Davis struggling to cope with incompetent and cantankerous commanders.
Combining a masterful knowledge of history with penetrating sights, sounds and smells of battle, Reger brilliantly resurrects the naive dreams of glory and horrific realities that that drove ordinary farmboys and their aristocratic commanders forward to face their final destiny.
In these pages the reader comes face-to-face with many legends in blue and gray-P.G.T. Beauregard, the ambitious and arrogant Confederate general at Fort Sumter; Thomas J. Jackson, an ungainly, eccentric descendant of mountaineers who will eventually become the Confederacy's "savior in the saddle;" William T. Sherman, nervous and brittle, the sole voice of reason in the Union ranks who would go on to become the most hated man in Dixie; and James Longstreet who wrangles with over-zealous and jealous fellow commanders in the field.
This refreshing and riveting account of the first major clash during the Civil War is destined to become a classic, in the tradition of Black Flower, Gods and Generals and Killer Angels.
"Baptism at Bull Run has reinvigorated my interest in Civil War fiction," writes William D. Paterson Jr., a great-grandson of General James Longstreet, one of the many military generals featured in the book. "It tells the story in graphic detail of the first major land confrontation of America's Civil War. Starting with the much overlooked opening action at Blackburn's Ford and concluding with a conversation between President Lincoln and a Federal recruit, Mr. Reger has covered all the bases, the confusion, lack of leadership and preparation, the political intrigue, military blunders - as well as the reality of Civil War combat."
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James P. Reger hails from a West Virginia family rich in Civil War history and lore. His great-great-grandfather joined Jeb Stuart's cavalry during the Peninsula campaign and did not sheath his saber until Appomattox. His grandfather's first cousin marched barefoot and fought hard with the Stonewall Brigade. A third ancestor died in a Northern prison camp. Even civilians in Reger's family tree endured hardships at the hands of raiders, guerillas, the home guard, and angry neighbors who had once been friends before the bitter divisions over the war afflicted their communities.
Reger majored in U.S. history at West Virginia University with an emphasis on 19th century America. He minored in English with an emphasis on creative writing and was an active contributor of articles, poetry, and short fiction to various university publications. He also earned a credential for teaching social studies at the secondary level and now teaches U.S. history at the high school level in southern California. He writes every day and has published several books for the middle reader and young adult markets as well as many articles, essays, poems, and songs.
Reger's books include The Battle of Antietam, Life in the South During the Civil War, Generals of the Confederacy, The Indian Fighters, and Rebuilding Bosnia.
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Book Description Harbor House (GA), 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111891799142
Book Description Harbor House (GA), 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1891799142
Book Description Harbor House (GA). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1891799142 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1731083