We often romanticize war in our literature, painting pictures of glory and grandeur. James R. Woolard makes no such attempt in Riding for the Flag—a Pinnacle paperback from Kensington—instead providing a far more realistic portrait of carnage and killing.
But the book also captures a more intimate side of America’s Civil War, telling the stories of three brothers: a Union cavalry officer, a Confederate raider, and a fledgling newspaper reporter. The brothers, sons of a privileged life in Ohio, find themselves immersed in events surrounding the battle of Shiloh in the Western theater in the war’s early days. Woolard relates both the big picture and telling details in his tale, with intense descriptions that bombard the senses with the sights and sounds and smells of the battlefield, even—and perhaps most vividly—in the dark of night.
Beyond the war, Riding for the Flag delves into the personal and romantic lives of the brothers and the love each one finds to sustain him through the war’s darkest hours.
All in all, a big book—just over 400 pages—with big stories to tell. Give it a read.