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A Stillness at Appomattox (1953)

by Bruce Catton

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1,693108,635 (4.38)39
Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volume by Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in non-fiction. In this final volume of the Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Catton, America's foremost Civil War historian, takes the reader through the battles of the Wilderness, the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbot, the Crater, and on through the horrible months to one moment at Appomattox. Grant, Meade, Sheridan, and Lee vividly come to life in all their failings and triumphs.… (more)
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This book is highly readable, well researched and most informative. It is not a history of the war in general, but a history of the Army of the Potomac the Union's principal force inthe eastern Theatre. This third volume is a narrative of the army's last, and professional period, the one where Ulysses Grant and George Meade ran it. There is a bias in favour of the unon, but those who have been ensorceled by Shelby Foote's narrative, "The Civil War" should read this book and its two companions as a corrective. A balanced look at the conflict demands it. We move as does the army fom the wilderness all the way to the end. The triology is a considerable achievement. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 13, 2022 |
A really fine history book by a master of the genre. Pulitzer Prize winner for history and rightfully so. Brings the Civil War to life. Grant takes over the Army of the Potomac and slowly and then suddenly conquers the gallant but hungry and decimated Army of Northern Virginia. Sedgwick, Sheridan, Custer, Chamberlain, Pickett, Lee, Early, A.P. Hill. Wow. Just a great read. Highly recommended as blue ribbon history. ( )
  BayanX | Jan 9, 2019 |
This third volume in the Army of the Potomac trilogy is a marked change from the first volume. The supreme civil war buff that wrote, and very often entertained us, in the first volume, has transitioned in each following volume to become a most competent professional historian. While the genuinely fascinating anecdotes that highlighted the first volume have diminished, this final volume is constantly and consistently still very interesting, blending more smoothly the "stories" with the facts and analysis. Also, this final volume no longer gives the impression of blindly looking at the history from an unnecessarily one-sided perspective, a problem that occasionally marred the first two volumes. Perhaps the biggest highlight of many in this volume is the telling of General Philip Sheridan's actions during the Battle of Cedar Creek: extraordinarily stirring without embellishment. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
What a wonderful tome! Bruce Catton brings the civil war to life and death with his clear accounting of troop movements, strategies, missed opportunities, and person stories full of triumph and sometimes despair. But it's a story of the civil war and it wasn't pretty. I spent a good deal of time reading the bibliography as well as the story, because Mr. Catton's research is so thorough and clear. I plan to read the other two books in this series and I have no doubt they will be as eloquent as this portion. ( )
  bcrowl399 | Mar 18, 2018 |
Infinitely readable and absorbing, Bruce Catton's The Civil War is one of the best-selling, most widely read general histories of the war available in a single volume. Newly introduced by the critically acclaimed Civil War historian James M. McPherson, The Civil War vividly traces one of the most moving chapters in American history, from the early division between the North and the South to the final surrender of Confederate troops. Catton's account... ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 21, 2015 |
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To my sister Barbara
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Everybody agreed that the Washington's Birthday ball was the most brilliant event of the winter.
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They could see the Confederate line drawing back from in front of them, crowned with its red battle flags, and all along the open country to the right they could see the whole cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac trotting over to take position beyond Chamberlain's brigade. The sunlight gleamed brightly off the metal and the flags, and once again, for a last haunting moment, the way men make war looked grand and caught at the throat. . . .
Then Sheridan's bugles sounded, the clear notes slanting all across the field, and all of his brigades wheeled and swung into line, every saber raised high, every rider tense; and in another minute infantry and cavalry would drive in on the slim Confederate lines and crumple them and destroy them in a last savage burst. . . .
Out from the Rebel lines came a lone rider, a young officer in a gray uniform, galloping madly, a staff in his hand with a white flag fluttering from the end of it.
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Recounting the final year of the Civil War, this classic volume by Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for excellence in non-fiction. In this final volume of the Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Catton, America's foremost Civil War historian, takes the reader through the battles of the Wilderness, the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbot, the Crater, and on through the horrible months to one moment at Appomattox. Grant, Meade, Sheridan, and Lee vividly come to life in all their failings and triumphs.

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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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Tantor Media

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