THE PROUD RETREAT by Clifford Dowdey


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In reader interest this belongs with the group of novels which Dowdey has written concerning the Tidewater Virginia area in the Civil War: Where My Love Sleeps and Bugles Blow No More. The surrender of Lee's army has shocked the Confederacy into realization that all is over, but President Davis clings to false hopes, and his generals and his cabinet can't come to grips with him over the next step. Malvern, Colonel in the raider forces, is reassigned to Davis and has the unpleasant task of trying to make Davis see that escape- with the mysterious ""Confederate Treasure""- and the few loyal adherents, is the only answer. The retreat turns out to be a slow march, punctuated by stopovers now in loyal, now in mob-controlled areas- the treasure is dissipated in an hysterical ""pay day""- and the remnants sent off under inadequate guard- Davis himself is captured, and Malvern writes a tragic finis to an ill-fated romance.... The story seems, by comparison with the earlier Civil War stories, somewhat labored and artificial in the telling. But the material is unhackneyed and adds a vital segment to the saga.

Pub Date: March 5th, 1953
Publisher: Doubleday