Saturday 19 September 2020

Guest Review: Some Wore Blue & Some Wore Gray: Civil War Biographies By Heather Graham

With the 150th Anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg, New York Times Best Selling Author, Heather Graham, is revisiting one of her favorite time periods - The American Civil War. This time, however, she has compiled biographies of some of her favorite real-life characters of the period. We hope you'll enjoy her gift to you in SOME WORE BLUE & SOME WORE GRAY. And feel free to comment in the review section if there are people you would be interested in reading about from the Civil War. Ms. Graham sees this as a living, growing document and is certain to add to it as time goes by. Enjoy!

And then when you want to see where all this love of history took her, check out her three Bantam novels ONE WORE BLUE, ONE WORE GRAY, and AND ONE RODE WEST.

Review: Heather Graham is known more as an author of romantic fiction, but this is a short, non-fiction work comprising fifteen biographies of notable persons from the American Civil War that took place from 1861 to 1865. These are split between those who supported the Federal, or Union, cause (wearing blue) and those who supported the Secessionist, or Confederate, cause (wearing gray).

The biographies cover presidents, generals, cavalry commanders and spies. However, I was mystified by the choice of Scarlett O’Hara, a fictional character, for the last chapter. She is the heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s book “Gone With the Wind” set in the Civil War. In fact, the chapter is more a biography of Margaret Mitchell, born thirty-five years after the end of the conflict, than Scarlett O’Hara.

I found numerous typographical errors throughout the book. This resulted in some incorrect dates, such as Ulysses S Grant’s marriage stated to have taken place in 1948, and Jefferson Davis’s death being recorded as 1989. Also it would appear that Heather Graham has transposed two dates when she writes that Vicksburg surrendered on July 3rd and the Battle of Gettysburg ended on July 4th. Most sources state that the three-day Battle of Gettysburg ended on July 3rd 1863, whilst Vicksburg surrendered to Ulysses S Grant’s besieging Union forces on the following day of July 4th.

Being a short book, each biography is necessarily short and I found the resulting lack of detail frustrating. Also, the choice of subjects was somewhat arbitrary. As a brief, and very basic, background to the Civil War it would be of interest, but there are more detailed texts on this conflict that almost tore the United States of America apart and whose legacy still resonates today.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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