Traces of the Bloody Struggle

Do you love a good battle? I do! I have a new review to share with you – about a rarely talked about Civil War battlefield. Let’s dive into Traces of the Bloody Struggle: The Civil War at Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania Court House.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Publisher: Savas Beatie

There are aspects of the Civil War that are not as well documented, and the struggle at the Spotsylvania Court House is one of those battles that is not well known. Chris Mackowski takes the battle and breaks it down, giving the reader insight into the battle without completely overwhelming those who may not know a lot about the Civil War.

While many know the overtures, the major battles, and the major players – many do not realize that there were minor skirmishes and battles all over – many in Virginia. It was also a long and drawn out, consisting of a few battles over a two-week period, that was costly – mostly in the lives of men. The Court House was a meeting spot for the two armies.

The Civil War at Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania Court House was a fantastic, well-thought-out book. Mackowski takes on Grant’s campaign, his determination to end the war at all costs, and in 1864 – met the Confederate Army at the Battle of the Spotsy Court House. Each of the major players is noted, their exploits, those killed and who survived, the ups, the down, and all the in-betweens are looked at. Finally, there are also tour tips for the battlefield if you choose to visit, and I plan to use it this summer as I take a group of teenage boys across some of the battlefields of Virginia.

My Thoughts

I have not found a book so intent on getting the message across without coming across as pretentious or talking above the reader. This book is broken down into an easy-to-read and digest work, giving the one reading a complete picture of what happened, the outcome, the lasting effects, and the impact that this battle had on the war – for both sides. However, I was very impressed with the work and enjoyed how the book was laid out. This is one that I could easily share with my students, allowing them to find some new sources for the Civil War without leaving them frustrated or struggling to decipher what the author is attempting to get across.

Now, for the author, I look forward to reading more from him! For those who love military history, the Civil War, or history in general – this is one book that you NEED to read!

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