The Smoke At Dawn by Jeff Shaara

The Smoke At Dawn

This is the third novel in the Civil War Trilogy of the Western Theater, by Jeff Shaara.  The focus in on Chattanooga, and more specifically the battle of Mission Ridge.  It is definitely one of Shaara’s best.

From the outset, Shaara illustrates the tension on both sides, showing the difficulties with certain commanders.  In the north, Lincoln solves the problem by placing General Ulysses S. Grant in command of the Union forces in the West.  Jefferson Davis opts to continue with General Braxton Bragg in command, despite a petition signed by twelve of his senior generals demanding Bragg be relieved of duty.  It would prove to be a mistake.

Like the previous two novels, Shaara uses not only the generals, but lower officers and the guy with the musket, Private Fritz Bauer, to tell the story of this pivotal battle.  Unlike the last novel, The Chain of Thunder, this one gripped me from the first few pages, and held me all the way to the end.

5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2014
495 pages

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About Suzanne

I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids who loves to read.
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