The Cotillion Brigade: A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History by Glen Craney–#BookReview–#womenshistoricalmonth

#1 Best Seller in History of American Civil War Regiments

 Book Blurb:

Georgia burns.
Sherman’s Yankees are closing in.

Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?
Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart RiflesThe Cotillion Brigade is a sweeping epic of the Civil War’s ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood amid devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

“Gone With The Wind meets A League Of Their Own.”

  1. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hillmakes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles to the north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

The Cotillion Brigade by Glen CraneyFive years later, secession and total war against the homefronts of Dixie hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

Nannie defies the traditions of Southern gentility by forming a women’s militia and drilling it four long years to prepare for battle. With their men dead, wounded, or retreating with the Confederate armies, only Captain Nannie and her Fighting Nancies stand between their beloved homes and the Yankee torches.

Hardened into a slashing Union cavalry colonel, Hugh duels Rebel generals Joseph Wheeler and Nathan Bedford Forrest across Tennessee and Alabama. As the war churns to a bloody climax, he is ordered to drive a burning stake deep into the heart of the Confederacy.

Yet one Georgia town—which by mocking coincidence bears Hugh’s last name—stands defiant in his path.

Read the remarkable story of the Southern women who formed America’s most famous female militia and the Union officer whose life they changed forever.

My Review:

An amazing narrative of the Civil War and the convergence of two historical characters begin in May, 1856 with the introduction of sixteen year old Nancy (Nannie) Colquitt Hill (Morgan) of LaGrange, Georgia, and Hugh LaGrange of rural Wisconsin. (Amazing coincidence, huh?)

In a trade off of biographies between these two major characters of the north and south, the reader is embroiled in the minutia of a young southern belle at her “coming out” ball wherein she is introduced to society, all the better to prime for the search of a suitable husband. She certainly has her eye on the match at that point, strongly contested by another of the area’s well-heeled targets.

The Cotillion Brigade by Glen CraneyA large portion of the book delves into the lives of the two–Nannie in her immature societal connivances and Hugh in his innocent induction into the Underground Railroad. Well developed, the novel issues into the Civil War and gradually into the bloody underbelly of battles, barbaric hospitals, disease, starvation, and the indictment of impotent officers as well as the politicians pulling the puppet strings of the conflagration. In the meantime, Nannie has come to the realization that she must follow in the footsteps of a well known female militia leader of the Revolutionary war, Nancy Hart, and create her own band of 40 women who become the “Nancy Harts.”

The women, left in a town nearly devoid of men, proceed to care for the wounded, managing food and supplies where little exists.

As the story progresses to conclusion and the obvious confrontation by the Union forces behind Colonel LaGrange and Captain Nancy Hill Morgan defending her town from being burned to the ground, the tension ramps. His orders are to “destroy any town that offers resistance.” Will his forces indeed be forced into an armed conflict with a brigade of women? The women are a formidable force, having been trained, and are armed and ready.

But women sometimes battle differently.

Nancy Hart-Georgia MilitiaSo much history here, so many stories of the Civil War, the most destructive of our nation, remaining the deadliest military conflict in American history, and accounted “for more American military deaths than all other wars combined until the Vietnam War.”*

The book includes pictures of these historic figures in American history. The novel another savage view of the war between our own north and south told in almost Shakespearean quality prose, southern vernacular, and harsh reality.

Any reader of historical fiction, Civil War history, and the strengths and roles that strong women can rise to meet in the face of conflict will enjoy this novel. My only problem—the length.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions. The CE previously read and reviewed The Yanks are Starving, also lengthy but excellent.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: History of American Civil War Regiments, History of Women in the American Civil War, History of the US Confederacy
Publisher: Brigid’s Fire Press

  • ASIN : B08XJ4Z3DM

Print Length: 590 pages
Publication Date: March 15, 2021
Source: Direct author request

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Glen Craney - authorThe Author: A native Hoosier, Glen Craney is a novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He practiced trial law before attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and then joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial. After heading west to Hollywood, he won the Nicholl Fellowship prize from the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences for best new screenwriting.

The recipient of numerous fiction awards, he is a three-time Finalist for Foreword’s Book of the Year. His debut novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Committee. His historical fiction and mystery-thrillers have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to Scotland of Robert the Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, into the tunnels of ancient Jerusalem, along the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

He lives in southern California.

— Visit Glen’s website and join his newsletter at http://www.glencraney.com.
— Follow him on:
** Facebook (www.facebook.com/GlenCraneyAuthor)
** Twitter @glencraney
** Bookbub (https://www.bookbub.com/profile/glen-craney)
** Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/gcraney5618/)

©2021 V Williams

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

I Jonathan: A Charleston Tale of the Rebellion by George WB Scott – A #BookReview – #historicalfiction #TuesdayBookBlog

“The book is pro-South, but not pro-Confederate.” …

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars

5 stars

Book Blurb:

NEW CIVIL WAR NOVEL SEES CONFLICT THROUGH NEW EYES

First-time novelist George WB Scott debuts a novel that offers a thrilling glimpse of Civil War Charleston through the eyes of a newcomer from Boston.

Readers join the main character of “I Jonathan, A Charleston Tale of the Rebellion” on his journey as a young man, marooned in a strange city just as the Civil War begins. His relationships with working men and women, slaves, merchants, planters, spies, inventors, soldiers, sweethearts and musicians tell the story of a dynamic culture undergoing its greatest challenge. Scott’s novel shows the arguments and trials of a wealthy cosmopolitan community preparing to fight a nation superior in manpower and arms.

“I wanted to tell a personal story built on the framework of history,” says Scott, “and the real story is Charleston’s challenges and experience in the war.

“The book is pro-South, but not pro-Confederate. It’s anti-war and anti-slavery. I wanted to go beyond stock characters and themes. I hope this encourages readers to reflect on a people who lived through a fundamental change of their society.”

His Review:

This is a magnificent civil war saga as told by a non-combatant. I was immediately immersed in the confusion and blockade that was the conflict between the North and the South during the American Civil War. Mr. Scott has distilled a myriad of letters into an eye-opening tale of survival during the conflict. I was swept away into another time and developed a kinship to the protagonist, Mr. I. Jonathan Vander.

Raised by a doting mother who falls ill and dies, Jonathan is sent to France by his father after an affair with a younger step-sister. Then his father falls ill and he is sent a bank draft to cover the voyage back to his boyhood home in Boston. The return voyage is interrupted by a rogue wave and Jonathan winds up in Charleston due to needed ship repairs. He misses the boat back to Boston and now being low on funds he is forced to stay in Charleston.

The relationship between the rich and poor in Charleston is apparent throughout the conflict. The rich land owners were able to escape the low country and retreat to the mountains to be cooler during the summers. The plight of the African American slaves was a bit different than expected. They too had a caste system which separated them into very distinct groups. Those that were freed were able to own businesses and controlled other groups of slaves. Jonathan being destitute was hired by one of these freed slaves. This entrepreneur dealt in all kinds of commodities and Jon was able to move easily through the area to collect and deliver the goods.

I was particularly intrigued by the blockade running enterprise of some of the traders. Avoiding Yankee blockades, the blockade runners were able to go to the Bahamas or Nassau and procure everything needed to make life a little more comfortable in the blockaded city. Jon is constantly harassed by the Confederate military because he was young and of the age of conscription. He was carrying papers which detailed his reasons for not being in the military. Being a Boston-Yankee, he avoided fighting with either side but simply fought to survive.

His relationship with a young woman that he saved from a fire is particularly moving. Their near poverty lives came together in comfort during this tumultuous time. Disease was always prevalent and yellow fever and sleeping sickness played a part in everyone’s lives. It seemed nobody was immune from the heartbreak and sorrow that living in marshlands during the summer can bring.

The development of instruments of war is also well described. The ballistics of the weapons and the distances they could shoot with accuracy amazed me. Thirty-five pound cannon balls lobbed into Charleston with various incendiary devices seemed particularly cruel. Simply starting a fire in this timbered city could wipe out major portions of the city and leave inhabitants destitute. This became an everyday event in the latter parts of the war.

CE Williams

Give yourself a block of time to allow yourself to be taken back to this era. It’s frighteningly eye-opening. The relationships of the inhabitants and their struggles are a rewarding infusion of knowledge. The tale is an immersion into another time and place. 5 stars CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. These are my honest and unbiased thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Kindle eBooks (Historical Fiction)

Publisher: Archetype Imprints

ASIN : B08GH3YPJ1

Print Length: 442 pages

Publication Date: August 21, 2020

Source: Direct author request

Title Link: I Jonathan [Amazon]

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George WB Scott-author

The Author: George WB Scott was born in Stuart, Florida where he lived until he went to college in North Carolina. He graduated from Appalachian State University and went into television news in Tennessee. He is now an independent video producer and lives in Knoxville with his wife Mary Leidig.

His childhood memoir “Growing Up In Eden” explores experiences of his youth and of Martin County during the 1960s and 1970s. It includes more than a hundred photographs, mostly taken by the author just before the 2004 hurricanes, and has a CD with a screensaver of photographs and music by Gatlinburg acoustic guitarist Bill Mize.

In autumn of 2020 he will release his first novel, “I Jonathan, a Charleston Tale of the Rebellion.” More information is available on my blog at http://www.southernrocket.net/i-jonathan

(c) 2020 CE Williams – V Williams

V Williams