Gods and Generals Summary
An epic portrayal charting the early years of the Civil War in early 1861; the tale continues through 1863, climaxing with the famous Battle of Chancellorsville. Along the way it illuminates heroes from both sides of the war, such as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, a professor at Maine's Bowdoin College who gave up a promising academic career to enlist in the Union army, then went on to become one of the North's finest military leaders; Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, a distinguished 25-year veteran of the United States Army and native Virginian, forced to choose between allegiance to his country and loyalty to his home state; and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a devoutly religious man whose faith and courage and audacity made him an outstanding soldier and Lee's most trusted lieutenant. The tremendous suffering and bravery of the Civil War was not confined to the battlefields. Also explored are the stories of the wives and families who were forced to assume responsibility at home, often in cities under direct attack from the opposition. Joshua Chamberlain's wife Fanny, Thomas Jackson's wife Anna and Jane Beale, whose family was caught in the Battle of Fredericksburg, reflect the spirit, courage and anxiety of those who were left behind.