Chancellorsville (The Civil War Battle Series #4)
The narrative of Chancellorsville begins in Mississippi and the situation on the western front. Before reaching Vicksburg, Cory Brannon stumbles into a campsite where all is not well and briefly encounters a cautious Confederate patrol. A veteran of the battles of Forts Henry and Donelson and Shiloh, but not a soldier in the Confederate army, h continues to search for Lucille Farrell, the daughter of his late employer. When he finds her, he also discovers that he may have a role to play in supplying the South with the food, weapons, and ammunition being brought in through Texas by blockade-runners. The path, however, is strewn with renegades and outlaws, and on the horizon there may be a rival for Lucille’s affections.
Meanwhile, Cory’s brothers, Will and Mac, enjoy a brief visit with the family members still in Culpeper. Will is greatly relieved that his mother, Abigail, who had banished him from the farm in the weeks before the war, now welcomes him with open arms. Brother Titus’s marriage to Polly Ebersole comes as a surprise to the two brothers in gray, but their presence stirs a sense of obligation and duty in the hotheaded Titus. Shortly after the two return to their units—Will to the Shenandoah with Jackson and Mac with Stuart near Richmond—the Confederate cause claims another Brannon, this one a gifted rifleman.
In December 1862 a new Union commander launches another campaign to claim the Southern capital, and Ambrose Burnside brings the Federal army to Fredericksburg. With him marches the conscience-driven Nathan Hatcher. When the battle breaks loose, Will and Mac are on the right side of the Confederate line, and Titus is on the left. After the terrible bloodletting of the Federal defeat, news comes that Titus has been lost. The brothers carry the information back to Culpeper, where the aloof Polly surprisingly grieves over the loss of Titus, her husband. She reaches out to the Brannon family and finds a comforting response from the people she has tried to keep at arm’s length.
In early 1863 a fitful calm pervades the Virginia front until yet another Union commander is named. Joe Hooker leads his army into the wooded wilderness of the Rappahannock again and confidently stakes his fortunes to an encounter with Robert E. Lee near the roadside inn at Chancellorsville. As the battle rushes toward them, Will and Mac witness the boldest move a field commander can make and the greatest loss the Confederacy can struggle to bear.
Chancellorsville is the fourth book in a series of historical novels spanning the Civil War.