© 2014 Jeff Shaara
The bells of the South in 1863 rang death knells, not peals of joyous victory. In July, on the same day that Lee's army suffered a staggering loss at Gettysburg, General Grant of the Union army took possession of Vicksburg, and within it gained complete command of the Mississippi river. The South fractured and its strength wasted, the Confederates needed a fresh triumph. In November, General Braxton Bragg commanding rebel forces in Tennessee thought he might be the man to deliver it. After routing a Union army, he cornered them in Chattanooga, where he hoped a quick siege would see their surrender and regain the South its lost momentum. The Smoke at Dawn is the story of the Chattanooga Campaign, of armies stumbling in the night through battlefields that soar into the sky. It's also the tale of commanding personalities, of men set at odds even against their comrades. The third book in Shaara's new Civil War series is a third triumph for the author -- and General Grant.