Cover image for The Tubman command : a novel
Title:
The Tubman command : a novel
ISBN:
9781948924344
Physical Description:
326 pages ; 24 cm.
Subject Term:
Summary:
It's May 1863. Out-generaled and out-gunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines. In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people. The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, "Moses" must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn--though one reminds her that love shouldn't have to be the price of freedom.
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Summary

Summary

If you loved the movie HARRIET https://www.focusfeatures.com/harriet/ you will love THE TUBMAN COMMAND! From the bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair , a novel based on a thrilling chapter of Civil War history and African American history, how Harriet Tubman lead a Union raid to free 750 slaves.

It's May 1863. Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines.

In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people.

The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, "Moses" must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn--though one reminds her that love shouldn't have to be the price of freedom.

It's the perfect read before going to see the big new movie about Harriet Tubman, Harriet (November 2019) starring Kasi Lemmons, Cynthia Erivo, and Janelle Monae.


Author Notes

An award-winning novelist, historian, and documentary filmmaker, Elizabeth Cobbs is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling novel, The Hamilton Affair, and The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers, which has been made into a musical. Elizabeth earned her Ph.D. in American history at Stanford University. She holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair at Texas A&M University and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. She lives in La Mesa, California.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cobbs (The Hamilton Affair) delivers an immersive account of Harriet Tubman's involvement in the 1863 Combahee Ferry raid. As a spy for the Union Army in Yankee-occupied Beaufort, S.C., Harriet works for General David Hunter. In order to convince Hunter to take ships down the Combahee River to free slaves, Harriet must discover the location of torpedoes in the river, which she does with the help of scouts Samuel Heyward and Walter Plowden. After the raid commences, complications arise when there isn't enough room on the ships to transport all the rescued slaves, though many are freed in the raid. Rich historical detail adds texture, but the highlight is Harriet, a woman who repeatedly risks her life for the freedom of others. Cobbs's terrific portrait of Tubman will both move and inform readers. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Cobbs' (The Hamilton Affair, 2016, etc.) third novel follows Harriet Tubman as she leads a crucial raid on behalf of the Union Army.This novel veers away from what Tubman is primarily known for: engineering the Underground Railroad and smuggling, often single-handedly, fugitive slaves from the South to the North. Now, Tubman, aka Moses, is assisting Union troops hoping to turn the tide of the Civil War, which, as of May 1863, the North is losing. Up to now, there has been a hands-off policy toward civilian property, but it has dawned on the war office that Southern plantations constitute an unbroken supply chain for the "Secesh" resistance. A disastrous defeat in Charleston harbor has led certain officers, notably Col. Montgomery and Gen. Hunter, to espouse a new approachcrippling the slavery-based agrarian economy. Tubman and her small band of escaped slaves volunteer as scouts for a pivotal mission that forms the throughline of this novel: They are to guide U.S. gunboats, carrying 300 black soldiers, from their base on Port Royal Island to the South Carolina coast. On landing, Union forces intend to free hundreds of slaves and destroy the rice harvest. But to further this goal, the scouts must first determine the exact locations of underwater mines planted by the Rebels. Under cover of night, Tubman twice sneaks behind enemy lines to a plantation to gain intel and alert the enslaved. Tubman's world is vividly brought to life as we see her go about her daily routines: making gingerbread, befriending a cat, taking on humble duties in a military hospital. She is extolled by abolitionists in the North but still greeted with some suspicion on the part of the white Union military. Re-creating the speech patterns and culture of black and white characters alike, Cobbs strives for verisimilitude while avoiding caricature. Although Cobbs allows her heroine a brief love affair, her treatment of her protagonist is so reverential as to render Moses almost superhuman.A stirring fictional tribute to an American icon. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Cobbs (The Hamilton Affair, 2016) spotlights another significant chapter in American history by putting her own spin on some of the lesser-known yet extraordinary achievements of revered human rights icon Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery to become an abolitionist and activist. In addition to her legendary work as a "conductor" leading enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad, Tubman, as Cobbs so richly reveals, was an intrepid and invaluable scout and spy for the Union Army. Even more dramatically, we see Tubman commanding a group of black soldiers and sneaking behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of plantation slaves, many of whom she subsequently recruits into the Union Army. Highlighting her close association with Union general and abolitionist David Hunter, Cobbs paints a vivid portrait of Tubman at the heart of one of the most innovative, daring, and dangerous missions of the Civil War. The heroic and brilliant Tubman is brought vividly to life as a flesh-and-blood woman and a strong and cunning leader in this compelling and instructive fictional tribute.--Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Cobbs (The Hamilton Affair), an award-winning novelist, historian, and documentary filmmaker, highlights the lesser-known achievements of Underground Railroad "conductor" Harriet Tubman. The novel unfolds over the course of a month in 1863, a time when many think the South will win the Civil War. The Union hopes to improve its chances by liberating enslaved people from plantations and then recruiting them as soldiers. "Moses," as Tubman is known in the North, lobbies the Union Army brass to let her use her many connections to scout a safe passage for Union ships to travel from the islands off the South Carolina coast up the Combahee River to the plantations. Because it is a work of fiction, Cobbs can paint a vivid picture of Tubman's internal struggles, as well as her role as a covert Union agent. With steady pacing and an outstanding portrayal of the characters' varied accents, including many with the musical Gullah dialect, narrator Heidi Franklin offers a captivating performance. Listeners may want to note that because Cobbs pulls no punches with her depictions of the horrors of slavery, the novel is extremely painful at times. VERDICT With a feature film about Tubman on the way, as well as her potential future depiction on the $20 bill, this is an excellent addition to historical fiction audio collections.--Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib.