A detailed, presumably accurate account of one of the Union Army's most famous infantry brigades brings to life more Civil War history as the Centennial begins. The ""Iron Brigade"" was actually a group of Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana volunteer infantry companies which fought valiantly through the mid years of the War. Starting with its early training and first battle skirmishes, the book breaks out into solid action as the Brigade earns the name of ""Iron""---plus the black hats of the Army of the Potomac--at Manassas, Brawners Farm, and later, South Mountain. Much detail too is given to the later bloody actions at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. At the end the Brigade, driven on by General John Gibbon, had earned not only glory, but the highest casualty rate of any Federal brigade in the War. Too much attention to minor detail, too much local history and enumeration of officers and men, however, tend to dull the overall result. Fine reading for Civil War buffs, or descendants of Iron Brigade veterans, but perhaps too undramatic and unfocused for a very wide audience.