A Stillness at Appomattox

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Doubleday, 1953 - History - 438 pages
6 Reviews
This is the story of the last desperate, heartbreaking, cruel year of the Civil War. In the winter of 1864, the Army of the Potomac stood at the crossroads. The old army, fired with the spirit of men who had joined out of love of country and who had long since become disillusioned, was gone. The new army, made up of mercenaries, bounty-jumpers, and a hard core of seasoned and embittered veterans, had lost sight of its original goal of radiant victory and had become a ruthless machine of war. Its leader was General Ulysses S. Grant, a seedy little man who instilled no enthusiasm in his followers and little respect in his enemies. Opposing Grant and the Army of the Potomac was Robert E. Lee, the last great knight of battle. He was a god to his men and scourge to his antagonists. The stage was set. Somehow everyone knew that from now on there would be little glory in victory; little pity in defeat.

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User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

This third volume in the Army of the Potomac trilogy is a marked change from the first volume. The supreme civil war buff that wrote, and very often entertained us, in the first volume, has ... Read full review

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User Review  - bcrowl399 - LibraryThing

What a wonderful tome! Bruce Catton brings the civil war to life and death with his clear accounting of troop movements, strategies, missed opportunities, and person stories full of triumph and ... Read full review



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About the author (1953)

Bruce Catton, whose complete name was Charles Bruce Catton, was born in Petoskey, Michigan, on October 9, 1899. A United States journalist and writer, Catton was one of America's most popular Civil War historians. Catton worked as a newspaperman in Boston, Cleveland, and Washington, and also held a position at the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1948. Catton's best-selling book, A Stillness at Appomattox, a recount of the most spectacular conflicts between Generals Grant and Lee in the final year of the Civil War, earned him a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1954. In 1977, the year before his death, Catton received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Gerald R. Ford, who noted that the author and historian "made us hear the sounds of battle and cherish peace." Before his death in 1978, Catton wrote a total of ten books detailing the Civil War, including his last, Grant Takes Command. Since 1984, the Bruce Catton Prize was awarded for lifetime achievement in the writing of history. In cooperation with American Heritage Publishing Company, the Society of American Historians in 1984 initiated the biennial prize that honors an entire body of work. It is named for Bruce Catton, prizewinning historian and first editor of American Heritage magazine. The prize consisted of a certificate and 2,500 dollars.

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