As in the author's previous book With Banners Flying, this recounts the details of several battles with emphasis on weapons, equipment and strategy, rather than on historical motivation and significance. The era is limited to the nineteenth century- a time when five unusual battles took place on an equal number of diversified battle-fields the Battle of New Orleans, the Charge of the Light Brigade, Colonel Mosby's ""gray ghost"" campaign against the Union, the battles of the 54th all-Negro Regiment, the battle between the Zulus and the British. The descriptions of each battle are made more dynamic by eye witness reports and the dramatic style of the author. Whether viewing Old Hickory ride valiantly into the valley of death, or the ""gray ghost"" terrorizing Union forces, or the double edged battle of the first Negro Infantry regiment, or the strange battle between Zulus and British -- the reader comes through quite breathless. Gory details can be found here and there -- but Mr. Orbaan does not capitalize on them for purposes of sensation. This is sturdy fare for the stout hearted.