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A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton
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A Stillness at Appomattox (original 1953; edition 1957)

by Bruce Catton

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1,11037,455 (4.35)24
Member:InigoMontoya
Title:A Stillness at Appomattox
Authors:Bruce Catton
Info:Doubleday & Company Inc. (1957) 438 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Study, History

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A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton (1953)

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If you're going to see things with just one eye, which eye would you choose?

Bruce Catton's writings were devoted almost entirely to the American Civil War, and -- because he was such an excellent writer -- he wrote many, many books on the conflict. Most are very good, and most are quite popular, but to distinguish them, he had to write from different perspectives.

This book, and the series which contains it, isn't really a history of the war. It isn't even a history of the war on the Virginia front. It's a history of the Union's Army of the Potomac -- and of the peculiar circumstances which caused it to fight so well as a group of soldier and be so unsuccessful as an army. It is, in a way, not a history but a psychological study.

To manage that, Catton supplies many anecdotes, about raiders and freed slaves and slaves killed and minor men who succeeded or failed in unusual ways. As often as not, these stories are about things which really didn't affect the outcome of the war at all. What they supply is the feeling -- the frustrations of the men, the confusion of the officers, all the things that made the Army of the Potomac what it was. Sometimes, I find this a little too cutesy. But I am very much a just-the-facts type. And even I think it's a good book. If you like all those human interest touches, you're likely to regard this as a great book. ( )
  waltzmn | Dec 14, 2013 |
Final chapter of trilogy - covers Grant years. ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 16, 2007 |
It is not often that histories can keep one up at night. This whole trilogy could be the best books I've ever read on the Civil War. If you read this series in corelation with Shelby Foote's trilogy, you've got the whole picture. ( )
2 vote watchman146 | May 15, 2006 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my sister Barbara
First words
Everybody agreed that the Washington's Birthday ball was the most brilliant event of the winter.
Quotations
Chatper Five
Away, You Rolling River
1. Special Train for Monocacy Junction
Private Spink belonged to the 147th Regiment of Ohio National Guard Infantry, and in a modest and wholly innocent way he symbolized all that was wrong with the defenses of Washington.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A Stillness at Appomattox is the third volume of Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy. This volume covers Grant's campaigns in Virginia from 1864 to the end of the war in 1865.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385044518, Paperback)

If every historian wrote like Bruce Catton, no one would read fiction. This marvelously well-told account of the final year of the Civil War marches readers from Wilderness, through Petersburg, and finally to the climax at Appomattox. The surrender scene, when Grant and Lee meet at last, is spine tingling. This is the third book of Catton's Army of the Potomac trilogy. It's also the best of the bunch, even though the first two, Mr. Lincoln's Army and Glory Road, are both exceptional. Not to be missed. --John Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Undoubtedly Catton's most brilliant books, A Stillness at Appomattox won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in nonfiction. Caton recounts the most spectacular conflicts between Grant and Lee and details the end of hope for the Confederacy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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