On September 17, 1862, the "United States" was on the brink, facing a permanent split into two separate nations. America's very future hung on the outcome of a single battle--and the result reverberates to this day. Given the deep divisions that still rive the nation, given what unites the country, too, Antietam is more relevant now than ever.
The epic battle, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was a Civil War turning point. The South had just launched its first invasion of the North; victory for Robert E. Lee would almost certainly have ended the war on Confederate terms. If the Union prevailed, Lincoln stood ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He knew that freeing the slaves would lend renewed energy and lofty purpose to the North's war effort. Lincoln needed a victory to save the divided country, but victory would come at a price. Detailed here is the cannon din and desperation, the horrors and heroes of this monumental battle, one that killed 3,650 soldiers, still the highest single-day toll in American history.
Justin Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president--struggling with the recent death of his son, Willie--summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation's most inspired leader. And, in fact, the battle's impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history.
A Fierce Glory is a fresh and vibrant account of an event that had enduring consequences that still resonate today.
Hachette Books; September 2018
- ISBN: 9780306825262
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: A Fierce Glory
- Author: Justin Martin
Imprint: Da Capo Press
In The Press
"If you're looking for an Antietam book with minute-by-minute movements of regiments and brigades, look elsewhere-this isn't a 'right-flank, left-flank' account. Instead, you'll find an exquisite, compelling narrative, with Martin serving as your tour guide at the Bloody Lane, the West Woods, the 40-Acre Cornfield and elsewhere...Unlike other Antietam books, Abraham Lincoln...is deeply embedded in the narrative."—John Banks' Civil War Blog
About The Author
Justin Martin is the author of five books, with his two most recent titles covering Civil War-era subjects. Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians, selected as the outstanding biography of 2014 by the Victoria Society, New York, and as a finalist for the Marfield Prize, was also picked as one of the best books of that year by both the Kansas City Star and Choice magazine. Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted was also met with many plaudits and glowing reviews nationally. Martin lives with his wife and twin sons in Forest Hills Gardens, New York.