GLORY TURNED GRIM…
…and warfare changed forever. As Grant pinned Lee to Petersburg and Richmond, the Confederacy’s stubborn Army of Northern Virginia struggled against a relentless Union behemoth, with breathtaking valor and sacrifice on both sides. That confrontation in the bloody summer and autumn of 1864 shaped the nation that we know today.
From the butchery of The Crater, where stunning success collapsed into a massacre, through near-constant battles fought by heat-stricken soldiers, to the crucial election of 1864, The Damned of Petersburg resurrects our Civil War’s hard reality, as plumes and sabers gave way to miles of trenches.
Amid the slaughter of those fateful months, fabled leaders—Grant and Lee, Winfield Scott Hancock and A. P. Hill—turned to rising heroes, Confederates “Little Billy” Mahone and Wade Hampton, last of the cavaliers, or Union warriors such as tragedy-stricken Francis Channing Barlow and the fearless Nelson Miles, a general at twenty-four.
Nor does Ralph Peters forget the men in the ranks, the common soldiers who paid the price for the blunders of leaders who’d never know their names. In desperate battles, now forgotten, such as Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern and Reams Station, soldiers on both sides, pushed to the last human limits, fought on as their superiors struggled to master a terrible new age of warfare.
The Damned of Petersburg revives heroes aplenty—enriching our knowledge of our most terrible war—but, above all, this novel’s a tribute to the endurance and courage of the American soldier, North or South.
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