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General George H. Thomas & the Most Decisive Battle of the Civil War

by Benson Bobrick

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-84887-2
Publisher: Knopf

On the eve of the Civil War, two Virginians pledged their allegiances—Robert E. Lee to his state, George H. Thomas to his national government. By the end of the war, it was Thomas who won the battle that sealed Lee’s fate, the Battle of Nashville, the “single most important battle of the Civil War,” according to Bobrick, who generously calls Thomas “the greatest patriot-soldier America had ever produced,” next to George Washington. Drawing on Master of War (2009), his adult biography of the general, he demonstrates a scholar’s authority and writes lively, lucid prose. Abundant archival photographs, paintings, drawings, engravings and magazine illustrations add to the visual appeal of the volume, though more maps would have helped readers follow the flow of the war, a good idea for any study of the Civil War. Most of the volume is a history of the Civil War, though, highlighting the career of Gen. Thomas, and only the final chapter is devoted to the Battle of Nashville itself, a missed opportunity to make this the first full treatment of the battle for young readers. (appendices, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)