A vivid chronicle of the final weeks of the Civil War, companion volume to Wheeler's Witness to Gettysburg (1987, not reviewed) and woven of contemporary eyewitness accounts and the author's narrative. Wheeler (The Siege of Vicksburg, 1978; Iwo, 1980; etc.) splices together in chronological order excerpts from a wide array of primary documents, including diaries, military field reports, and letters. The majority of voices are military, and the details are often bloody and shocking: a southern soldier, for instance, firing a bullet point-blank through the back of the head of a man in a Yankee overcoat, only to find out that he had killed one of his own comrades who happened to be wearing a blue coat taken in battle. Vivid and immediate as it is, Wheeler's method allows for little reflective analysis or historical interpretation, but incidents and personalities (Lincoln, Grant, Lee, etc.) come alive in memorable vignettes, making for exciting reading for Civil War enthusiasts.