In 1861, 15o years ago (April 12, 1861) the Civil War began and nearly destroyed the country. With over a half a million fatalities, this war far exceeds any other American historical event with its loss of life. Many theories have been put forth as to why this happened. Perhaps the most persistent ideas suggest that advanced weaponry combined with outdated strategical troop deployment and poor medical techniques, all share responsibility for this huge loss of life. One interesting historical note exists, whereabouts the majority of battlefield leaders were all graduates of the United States Military Academy, better known as West Point. It is estimated that during the 60 major battles fought during the war, 55 field commanders on each side were West Point graduates. This list included General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysess Grant and General Tecumseh Sherman.
Of special note to this imposing fact is the release of a new historical novel about how the various West Point generals conducted their campaigns and related to their fellow officers from the other side. In commemoration of the attack on Fort Sumter (April 12) by Confederates and the beginning of the Great War, a novel has been released this week. The book is called “Duty, Honor, Country, A Novel from West Point to The Civil War” and the author is named Bob Mayer. Mr. Mayer is a prolific author with many titles available in both paper and ebook formats. For more info about Mayer’s venture into ebook self-publishing, you can check out his recent post at Jon Konrath’s blog, entitled A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing. Mayer passes over the storyline rather quickly, and spends much of the time discussing why he has decided not to go with a major publisher (St. Martin’s) and go it alone with a self-published kindle version on Amazon. I wonder how many more successful legacy authors are going to pass lucrative deals and publish their own ebook version. As far as I know, no paper editions of this book are available.