A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.
Stillness at Appomattox
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, my book club chose A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton as one of our selections.
This well-written recounting of the final year of war for the Army of the Potomac was mesmerizing. The research was based on journals, letters, diaries, and other documents so that much of the story is from the perspective of the soldiers involved in the struggle. You were immediately drawn into the conflict and the conditions that the soldiers had to endure, the constant marching, hunger, and lack of sleep. I felt that I could taste the dust that was kicked up by thousands of marching feet, enjoyed the camaraderie of the troops, and shared in their longing for victory. Not being one who normally reads military history, I found that I couldn’t put it down and could not help but be moved by the raw courage of these men.
Stillness at Appomattox won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the National Book Award for Nonfiction. It is the final volume of Catton’s The Army of the Potomac trilogy, but can be read on its own. It can be found on the third floor in the Drexel Library at E470.2.C36S.