Cain at Gettysburg
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Winner of the American Library Association's W. Y. Boyd Award for Excellence in Military Fiction
Two mighty armies blunder toward each other, one led by confident, beloved Robert E. Lee and the other by dour George Meade. They'll meet in a Pennsylvania crossroads town where no one planned to fight.
In this sweeping, savagely realistic novel, the greatest battle ever fought on American soil explodes into life at Gettysburg. As generals squabble, staffs err. Tragedy unfolds for immigrants in blue and barefoot Rebels alike. The fate of our nation will be decided in a few square miles of fields.
Following a tough Confederate sergeant from the Blue Ridge, a bitter Irish survivor of the Great Famine, a German political refugee, and gun crews in blue and gray, Cain at Gettysburg is as grand in scale as its depictions of Civil War combat are unflinching.
For three days, battle rages. Through it all, James Longstreet is haunted by a vision of war that leads to a fateful feud with Robert E. Lee. Scheming Dan Sickles nearly destroys his own army. Gallant John Reynolds and obstreperous Win Hancock, fiery William Barksdale and dashing James Johnston Pettigrew, gallop toward their fates….
There are no marble statues on this battlefield, only men of flesh and blood, imperfect and courageous. From New York Times bestselling author and former U.S. Army officer Ralph Peters, Cain at Gettysburg is bound to become a classic of men at war.
James Johnston Pettigrew watched Longstreet approach with a surge of anger he knew he dared not reveal and with trepidation that must remain equally hidden. The division placed in his hands was in no condition to match Pickett’s fresh men in a grand attack and his reputation might suffer in comparison. The carnage of the battle’s first day had gutted the best of his regiments, their valor confirmed by their grimly shrunken rolls, and he could rely upon only two reduced brigades of the four he now
his horse, and stumped up the slope toward him. Pettigrew always found the man uncouth. Except for Lee, few former regulars were men of social distinction. He had much preferred the company of the French officers in Italy—wellborn men who behaved with savoir faire—and the charming villages of Piedmont or the Veneto ran more to his taste than this odorous Dutch town. But he had not received the desired commission in time to fight at Magenta or Solferino, after which there had been no point in
eight when his father took him along on the expedition he led across the Missouri, founding Ft. Leavenworth on the western bluffs. Hunt remembered days of boundless prairies, food that you just got down any way you could, lilting songs raised by dusty throats—music hoarse and wonderful—and the disappointment he felt upon meeting Indians at last: Instead of whooping, attacking, and making a spectacle, they had carried themselves submissively, men broken and ashamed. He recalled the immense,
carnage had stunned Blake. The regiment’s skirmishes in North Carolina had not amounted to war. Malvern Hill was war. What killed the last prayers left in him wasn’t a sense of revulsion at the suffering and death, but how much he loved it. * * * “Old George, ever cheerful…,” Reynolds kidded. “You sound as if you’ve been sentenced to hang at daybreak.” “Haven’t I been?” Meade asked. They walked along a farm road beyond the headquarters picket line. A cavalry unit had followed the track some
but he ain’t up to this. And here I am, with no cavalry watching the ground beyond my flank. I could be surprised, if I stayed in that low ground. Up here, at least I could see the enemy coming.” Hunt shook his head. “I don’t see it. Oh, the battery positions are fine, you’re right about that. Excellent lines of fire. Although there’s a bit of dead ground down on the left. But look here, General Sickles…” Hunt’s horse shied at nothing, then settled again. “This position’s impossible, under the