Murphy, Jim. A Savage Thunder: Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom. Simon & Schuster, 2009. ISBN 9780689876332. $17.99. 103 p.
Reviewer: Laura Wadley
Reading Level: Intermediate, Young adult
Genre: Informational books;
Subject: Antietam, Battle of--Juvenile Literature; Civil War--Juvenile Literature; Books--Reviews;
Not as well known or as well documented as the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in the history of American warfare. North and South battled to a virtual draw that day near the small town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. In the end, the South had to withdraw because the North had more soldiers. Had General McClellan, commander of the Union army, acted more decisively, he might have shortened the War by two years or more. The same might also have been the case had General Robert E. Lee been less skillful. Nevertheless, they were who they were and Murphy does his usual masterful job of outlining the bold elements of the battle without sacrificing the telling personal stories. One such story is that of Private William Brearley—struck by bullets on the top of his head, as well as his finger and thumb—who "concluded they ment [to shoot] me." History for all ages at its finest.
Volume 30, no. 1 (September/October 2009)
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