No single group of men at West Point--or possibly any academy--has been so indelibly written into history as the class of 1846. The names are legendary: Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, George B. McClellan, Ambrose Powell Hill, Darius Nash Couch, George Edward Pickett, Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox, and George Stoneman. The class fought in three wars, produced twenty generals, and left the nation a lasting legacy of bravery, brilliance, and bloodshed. This fascinating, remarkably intimate chronicle traces the lives of these unforgettable men--their training, their personalities, and the events in which they made their names and met their fates. Drawing on letters, diaries, and personal accounts, John C. Waugh has written a collective biography of masterful proportions, as vivid and engrossing as fiction in its re-creation of these brilliant figures and their pivotal roles in American history.
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(210mm x 140mm x 28mm)
Ballantine Books Inc.
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
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US Kirkus Review »
The "brothers' fight" of Civil War legend and historical cliche is grounded in firm fact: not only did the war split many actual families along partisan lines, but a sizeable number of celebrated officers in blue and in gray had been bosom buddies at West Point and subsequently comrades and mess-mates in the prewar Federal army. In an exceedingly well-written narrative, Waugh tackles this subject head-on, following school friends of the 1846 West Point graduating class from their four rigorous years at the Academy through the questionable heroics of the Mexican War and the early Indian wars on the Great Plains to the grim carnage of America's Iliad. The "Class of '46" produced ten generals on the Union side, including the ultimately unsuccessful George McClellan (who at least survived the war), and nine on the Confederate, including those fabled warriors "Stonewall" Jackson and A.P. Hill (both of whom were killed) and the luckless, ultimately bitter George Pickett, who had graduated last in his class. By a perversity of fate, the number-one man in the class (McClellan was ranked second) never made it higher than colonel during the conflict. Wonderful, poignant stories, often alluded to but rarely told, and even more rarely told so well. (Kirkus Reviews)
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