Winner of the 2015 Boyd Award for Literary Excellence in Military Fiction
New York Times bestselling author Ralph Peters returns with Valley of the Shadow, the third installment in his Boyd Award-winning series on the Civil War
In the Valley of the Shadow, they wrote their names in blood.
The summer and autumn of 1864 witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the American Civil War, from a daring Confederate raid that nearly seized Washington, D.C., to a stunning reversal on the bloody fields of Cedar Creek―mighty battles now all but forgotten. The desperate struggle for mastery of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley pitted a remarkable cast of heroes in blue and gray against each other: Philip Sheridan, a Union general with an uncanny gift for inspiring soldiers, and Jubal Early, his Confederate counterpart, stubborn and deadly; George Armstrong Custer, and the brilliant, courageous John Brown Gordon. Ralph Peters brings to life yesteryear’s giants and their breathtaking battles. Sharp as a bayonet and piercing as a bullet, Valley of the Shadow is a great novel of our grandest, most-tragic war.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In my more than half a century of devouring military history, I don’t know another author that can get under the skin of a battle like Ralph Peters. His account of the 1864 Valley Campaign is enormously illuminating as he skillfully pulls the reader into the long ago in such a way that you feel you are there. But the book is more than just about fighting. Battles are fought by men, and Peters can draw a man’s character with a subtle perception and compelling empathy that few other authors can match and in a way that adds a special poignancy and understanding to the story. Despite the nonfiction nature of the book, he is true to the history and writes of events with more clarity and insight than any nonfiction treatment of this campaign has ever achieved. All of this is set in stunning prose for which Peters is a master. This book is a worthy brother to his earlier Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond and is equally highly recommended. For three generations Mike...
Ralph Peters just keeps getting better and better. In lesser known, but consequential, fights, he explores the behavior of leaders and soldiers in stand-up combat while revealing the inside mechanics of Civil war tactics: "If I extend his flank with one division and swing the other north of that creek bottom--then clear out that artillery and recross, we can turn their flank." His portrayal of leaders are word-portraits: "Sheridan drove subordinates hard and gave superiors victory, damn the cost; Early, a man as gifted as he was unlikable; Crook smiled his old-Army smile, a phenomenon as thin as frontier rations; The double-quick pace was not quite quick enough, not for Emory Upton." His masterfully forged prose cuts through war's dark fog with rewarding insights: "Valor might withstand numbers, but only to a point; veterans killing veterans with resolve; obedience had to be clear-eyed, rather than blind." Peters' vale of death's shadow is a feat of...
Ralph Peters follows his award-winning Civil War historical novels 'Cain at Gettysburg' and 'Hell or Richmond' with another stunning triumph of riveting story-telling informed by meticulous research as he brings the story of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign to vivid life in 'Valley of the Shadow.' Peters has studied the Civil War for over five decades and uses that knowledge, combined with his own many years of experience as a soldier, to craft this marvelously written account of one of the Civil War's most important -- but too often overlooked -- campaigns. By 1864, the Civil War was 'total war,' and the grim chieftains like Grant, Sherman and Sheridan waged campaigns that gutted the South's war making capacity. Although Sherman's Atlanta Campaign--'March to the Sea' is the first such campaign that immediately jumps to mind when 'total war' comes up, the Shenandoah Valley Campaign that same year was, in its impact, more devastating to the Confederacy's ability to continue the war...
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