Robert Burns Clark
Definitive Words Cyber Publishing, Feb 15 2012, $19.95
Fortyish West Point graduate widower Will Moore knows the horror of war having served in the Mexican conflict. He opposes the War Between the States that have Americans fighting Americans. However, he joins the Union army and trains a unit in Indiana. There he meets twentyish surgical assistant “little Sarah” who years ago he taught to jump her horse. They fall in love and marry just before he leads his troops into battle.
Mexican War vet Amos Bingham vowed to never kill again after he killed over thirty soldiers in one horrible night. When the Confederacy called for soldiers to enlist, he refused. His family and neighbors called him a coward and his teenage son Noah, disgusted with him, joined the Southern army. Fearing for his son’s life, Amos pursues Noah vowing to kill anyone who gets in his way.
On April 6, 1862, the two armies collide at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The fighting is brutal with Will and his unit at the front; while Sarah joined a field surgical team also near the fighting. Noah and Amos are on the other side of the combat that by the end of April 7, 1862 left 23000 dead.
The two soldiers and the surgical assistant put faces to the horror of war as the bloody battle at Pittsburg Landing (AKA Battle of Shiloh) proves a key victory for the Union and made the early reputations of Grant and Sherman. Character driven, military historical fiction fans will relish this insightful look at one of the most pivotal bloody Civil War fights as none of the lead characters want to go to war but each feels compelled they must.