#127 ~ A Civil General

December 1, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Books | 4 Comments
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A Civil General
by David Stinebeck and Scannell Gill

General George Henry Thomas was an interesting man.  Although born and raised in Virginia, he chose to fight for the North during the Civil War.  That decision cost him his family.  Despite his sacrifices, he was still viewed with some suspicion by his fellow officers.  It was his drive, determination, wisdom and dedication to his troops, however that earned him the utmost respect from his troops.  As Colonel Swain, A Civil General’s narrator, described so well, the way in which he worked with his men made them so devoted to him that they would follow him to a sure death if that was what he asked of them.  After Thomas’ death five years after the war, 10,000 people attended his funeral, including President Grant.

After reading just a few chapters of A Civil General I realized that this book is really a love story written from the point of view of one soldier to another.  Colonel Swain clearly believes that General Thomas is the best military leader he has ever met.  Despite being taken into the General’s confidence on the way to Chattanooga, Swain remains in awe of this man.  As he relates the story of Thomas’ last meeting with his friend General Robert E. Lee, it is obvious that Swain took to heart all that Thomas told him.  This was the type of man Swain hoped to become.

A Civil General
is a fitting tribute to an American hero.  General Thomas was a man who, when called upon, put his country before his family and friends.  However much it must have pained him to do so, he never let it show because he knew that he was not alone in making sacrifices.  He felt it was his duty to ensure that no one made the ultimate sacrifice unnecessarily.  At just over 150 pages, this was a fairly quick read.  It did go into some depth during the battle scenes and, as a military novice, I did have some difficulty following exactly what was happening.  This didn’t prevent me for enjoying the book, though.  This would make an excellent addition to the library of anyone who is interested in the Civil War or military history in general.


To learn more about George Henry Thomas, here is a link to his page on Wikipedia.

To buy this novel, click here.


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  1. This sounds like something my father would love! Thanks for the review.
    I think that my dad would really love it, too. I almost said that it would be a good gift for dads, but I didn’t want to sound sexist.

  2. I *think* I have this one on my to-be-reviewed stack. Remember I told you I haven’t been updating my spreadsheet? Well, case in point 🙂

    I’m really glad you enjoyed it Jennifer!
    LOL, Shana! I realized I’m almost half way there. That was a real morale booster.

  3. I tagged you for an award!


  4. Hello there! My name is Holly. I found your page through a link on Amy’s Passages to the Past page. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on books and was wondering if it would be alright to add a link on my blog to yours? Let me know, would love it!


    Holly! Thanks so much for stopping by! I will add you to my blog roll and to my Google Reader. I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to your comment. We’ve been sick here and I’ve pretty much taken care of my family, worked and gone to sleep this month. 🙂

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