After Bloody Shiloh; by Larry Murley

MWSA Review
Civil War novels tend to share certain common features. The majority tell the story of the war from the winning side. But those books with a Northern focus are more likely to be filled with tales of great battles won, brilliant generals leading the way, and patriotic citizens at home bravely carrying on in the face of dangers. Those with Confederate sympathies are more likely to be romantic in nature, with bell-skirted damsels waiting sadly but bravely for their heroes to come home, “bloody but unbowed.” Narrators and main characters tend to be men with relatively high military rank, so they are in a position to understand and explain the battles taking place. And the action usually takes place in easily recognizable places like Gettysburg or Appomattox.
Josh’s story features none of those characteristics. His letters from the western front come from places like Pumpkinville, Georgia, or Tullahoma, Tennessee. His comrades are still his good old friends from back home. And his main concerns include the sole of his boot that keeps falling off and the cookies he failed to share with his mates. This story is simple fare, too—the war through the eyes of an uneducated and inexperienced farm boy thrust into a cataclysm he cannot hope to understand. The story is therefore limited but also fascinating in the manner of a trainwreck one cannot help but watch.
Civil War buffs will learn nothing new here, but young readers who need characters with whom they can identify may enjoy the book.
Reviewed by Carolyn Schriber, MWSA Reviewer

Author's Synopsis:
Young Josh leaves his home in the hills of northern Mississippi to go and join the Confederate Army at Corinth, Mississippi in April, 1862 to help defend his home form the damn Yankees. Only he discovers that the war will test everything he believes in. As the months progress, he describes camp life and the battles of the western theater of the Civil War through letters home to his parents and family back home in Mississippi.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-9960148-8-5, 0-9960148-8-8 paper version
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 207