By Benson Bobrick, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 132 pages
“Then the greatest cavalry movement of the war began. Under the boyish Wilson, 12,000 mounted men made a wide detour around the Rebel left, dismounted, and advanced. Armed with the seven-shot Spencer repeating carbines, they cut their way through to the Confederate rear. Before long, the Rebels found themselves fighting on all sides.”
The bloody and brutal battles of the Civil War took a toll on a young United States. Although battle sites like Gettysburg, Appomattox, and Antietam have been mentioned throughout history, one skirmish in particular stands out, replenishing the assurances of Union soldiers. The Battle of Nashville by Benson Bobrick explores this significant fight led by General George H. Thomas.
Written for younger readers, Bobrick sets the stage by looking at philosophical differences that led to the beginning of the war. He spends ample time laying the groundwork for the victories and defeats that led to the Nashville conflict.
An entire chapter is devoted to General Thomas. Is this important to the story? Yes. Thomas isn’t a well-known Civil War figure, and Bobrick introduces readers to the man and the military strategist. He’s an interesting figure.
Although only 20 pages are devoted to the actual battle, Bobrick’s description is so vivid that readers are exposed to a visually stunning portrait of early American warfare.
Significant photos, maps and illustrations add to the realism of the time period and events in the United States during this time. The book offers a perfect overview for anyone not familiar with this particular battle or the Civil War, in general.
Bobrick’s editorializing tone about other military figures is bothersome, especially since it’s his opinion set in this otherwise fact-filled book.
Reviewed by LuAnn Schindler