Glory Road

Glory Road

by Bruce Catton

Volume II of The Army of the PotomacThe critical months between the autumn of 1862 and midsummer 1863 is the focus of Glory Road. During this time the outcome of the Civil War is determined, as the battles at Fredericksburg, Rappahannock and Chancellorsville set the state for Union victory as Gettysburg.

  • Series: Army of the Potomac
  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 4.38
  • Pages: 389
  • Publish Date: February 13th 1990 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
  • Isbn10: 0385041675
  • Isbn13: 9780385041676

What People Think about "Glory Road"

There was a bright moon that night, and most of the army kept to the road long after the sun had gone down ... took his men through a little town, where the moonlight lay bright in the street, and in every doorway there were girls waving flags and cheering ... There was the long white road in the moonlight, with the small town girls laughing and crying in the shadows, and the swaying ranks of the young men waving to them and moving on past them.

Even without this, lasting Anglo-American enmity could have resulted from the manner in which Confederate independence was gained and internationally recognized, or indeed from the way in which the break-up of the Union encouraged London to pursue its traditional policy of trying to maintain a balance of power in North America rather thanas actually happened after 1865accepting the hegemony of the United States in its hemisphere and appeasing American leaders. Since Anglo-American solidarity was crucial to the victory of democracy in the twentieth century, the possibility that it could have been compromised by the long-term consequences of the American Civil War is of great significance." (Dominic Lieven, Empire) And this "It was not simply that Jim Crow undermined propaganda for the war against Germany and Japan.

Bruce Catton was known as a popular historian when he first published books about the American Civil War, because of his narrative nonfiction format. This reviewer hunted down Cattons three volume Centennial History of the Civil War at a used bookstore some time back, and although they were among the best I have ever read by anyone on this topic, I was convinced that anything he had published earlier on the subject was probably repackaged in this trilogy, and so I stopped reading Catton, thinking I was done. Now that I am disabused, I will have to find the first and third volumes also, because Catton is so eloquent that he can spin ordinarily dry-sounding military history into as good a read as the most compelling fiction. Although his Civil War books are not written in academic format, there is no denying Cattons research or his credentials.

This is history at its most interesting and I recommend Glory Road, as well as the two accompanying books, to anyone who is able to get their hands on a copy.

The description of the major battles is detailed, and I learned a LOT regarding the tactics and sometimes the lack of them.

Oliver Jensen, who succeeded him as editor of American Heritage magazine, wrote: "There is a near-magic power of imagination in Catton's work that seemed to project him physically into the battlefields, along the dusty roads and to the campfires of another age." Bruce Catton was born in Petoskey, Michigan, but spent most of his boyhood in Benzonia. As a boy, Bruce first heard the reminiscences of the aged veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Their stories made a lasting impression upon him, giving "a color and a tone," Catton wrote in his memoir, Waiting for the Morning Train (1972), "not merely to our village life, but to the concept of life with which we grew up ... From then until 1941, he worked for the Newspaper Enterprise Association (a Scripps-Howard syndicate), for which he wrote editorials, book reviews, and served as a correspondent from Washington, D.C. At the start of World War II, Catton was too old for military service and, starting in 1941, he served as Director of Information for the War Production Board and later held similar posts in the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior.