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Cover image for Never call retreat : Lee and Grant, the final victory
Never call retreat : Lee and Grant, the final victory
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dune Books, 2005.
Physical Description:
xi, 496 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
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"New York Times" bestselling authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen conclude their inventive trilogy with this remarkable answer to the great "what if" of the American Civil War: Could the South have indeed won?
After his great victories at Gettysburg and Union Mills, General Robert E. Lee's attempt to bring the war to a final conclusion by attacking Washington, D.C., fails. However, in securing Washington, the remnants of the valiant Union Army of the Potomac, under the command of the impetuous General Dan Sickles, is trapped and destroyed. For Lincoln there is only one hope left: that General Ulysses S. Grant can save the Union cause.
It is now August 22, 1863. Lincoln and Grant are facing a collapse of political will to continue the fight to preserve the Union. Lee, desperately short of manpower, must conserve his remaining strength while maneuvering for the killing blow that will take Grant's army out of the fight and, at last, bring a final and complete victory for the South.
Pursuing the remnants of the defeated Army of the Potomac up to the banks of the Susquehanna, Lee is caught off balance when news arrives that General Ulysses S. Grant, in command of more than seventy thousand men, has crossed that same river, a hundred miles to the northwest at Harrisburg. As General Grant brings his Army of the Susquehanna into Maryland, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia maneuvers for position. Grant first sends General George Armstrong Custer on a mad dash to block Lee's path toward Frederick and with it control of the crucial B&O railroad, which moves troops and supplies. The two armies finally collide in Central Maryland, and a bloody week-long battle ensues along the banks of Monocacy Creek. This must be the "final" battle for both sides.
In "Never Call Retreat, " Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen bring all of their critically acclaimed talents to bear in what is destined to become an immediate classic.

Author Notes

Newt Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was brought up in the transient household of a military family and survived the Hungarian Uprising as a boy. His Baptist faith also helped mold his conservative philosophies. He received a Bachelor's degree from Emory University and Master's and Doctorate in Modern European History from Tulane University. Before his election to Congress, he taught history and environmental studies at West Georgia College for eight years.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970, he rose to the position of Speaker when the Republicans gained control of Congress in 1995. A staunch conservative, he gained nationwide recognition with the successful Contract with America, but his political career suffered a setback when his admission of violating House ethics rules resulted in a reprimand from the House and a fine of $300,000.

He has written over 20 fiction and non-fiction books including Days of Infamy, To Try Men's Souls, Valley Forge, Window of Opportunity: A Blueprint for the Future, To Renew America, To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, and Trump's America: The Truth about Our Nation's Great Comeback. He was honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1995.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Kirkus Review

What if the Civil War had ended in the summer of 1863? Those who suspect that former Speaker of the House Gingrich's politics hinge on getting even for Appomattox may be surprised to read in the pages of this tome, the third volume in his conscripted Civil War trilogy (Gettysburg, 2003; Grant Comes East, 2004), that the North's superiority lay in the unified power of the federal government: "That is the paradox and the curse of their system even more than ours, states' rights," says Union politico Elihu Washburne, though that may just be co-author Forstchen talking. The premise is this: on the third day of Gettysburg, Lee realizes that it would be a waste to send Pickett's men against the well-protected foe, orders a wheeling action, and carries the day. As this installment picks up, the rebels threaten to torch Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. The Yankees, spurred by U.S. Grant, are gathering strength; Sickles's boys beat up on Pickett's division, poor lads, but Sickles falls; and Lee's forces turn to the foot of Maryland's Catoctin Mountains to face down McPherson's opposing army. In the ensuing bloodbath, George Custer is felled by an exploding railcar ("Damn rotten place to die, he thought. Out in the open, after a damn good charge. That's how I wanted it, Custer's Last Charge"), lots of Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs die, and the contending armies drain each other's veins. And yet, and yet, the North has reserves and industry, the South now nothing, and in August 1863, there at Monocracy Junction, Lee realizes that he has nothing left to fight with. With Grant's generous surrender terms in hand--among them a promise that, with Southerners back in office, the unified federal government will resume come January 1864--Lee makes his way back to Richmond, and the U.S. lives happily ever after. Reasonably well-written and plausible, with excellent period photographs as a bonus. Still, there's so much good Civil War history to read that this what-if exercise seems more than a touch unnecessary. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and his historian coauthor conclude their best-selling trilogy offering an alternate history of the Civil War. As was true of its predecessors, this is a swiftly paced and authentically grounded novel; this installment covers the end of the terrible North-South strife. In the previous volumes in the trilogy, Gettysburg (2003) and Grant Comes East (2004), the authors invented an alternative to how the Battle of Gettysburg was fought and won (in their version, the South won that battle) and offered a plausible consequence of the Confederate victory: namely, an advance on Washington, D.C. Now, the authors move up Lee's actual April 1865 surrender to August 1863 and, in the process, create quite realistic and creative actions and movements for each side leading up to the war's blessed end--with Lee realizing the futility of further Southern persistence. Again, as in the previous volumes in the trilogy, the authors' research is impeccable, and their presentation brings events down to a personal level, and, as in any good alternate vision of history, the reader is left believing it could really have happened this way. --Brad Hooper Copyright 2005 Booklist

Library Journal Review

The last bugle call of a best-selling Civil War series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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