Monday, May 6, 2013

April 1865 by Jay Winik

As part of my research for the sequel to Hiram's Honor, I read Jay Winicks April 1865. This book focuses on the month, that among other happenings, saw the fall of Richmond, the surrender of Robert E. Lee to U. S. Grant at Appomattox, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the surrender of Joseph Johnson's army to General William Sherman. Since I wanted to get a feel for the deeper and personal meanings of the war at its end, this book proved very helpful. Winik put the war and the people into context using an engaging but factually rich style. The main point was that this conflict, unlike many others, ended without a prolonged and agonizing guerilla war, primarily due to the conciliatory policies of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman and the insights and courage of Lee and other Confederate generals.  My only disappointment was that the explosion of the Sultana (that happened on April 27, 1865) was not mentioned. Ironically, the tragedy of the Sultana was also given limited coverage to the war weary public at the time as well.

1 comment:

  1. Max, the neglect of mentioning the Sultana was also my biggest disappointment with this book. It's hard to believe how Mr. Winick could have overlooked this extremely important historical event but he's certainly not alone in doing so. That's why I'm so grateful for authors, like yourself, who make it a point to bring the story of the Sultana to the awareness of the reading public. Keep up the great work!