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Judgment at Appomattox

Judgment at Appomattox

A Novel

The Battle Hymn Cycle (Volume 5)

Ralph Peters

Forge Books

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The fifth historical novel of New York Times bestselling author Ralph Peters's breathtaking, Boyd Award-winning Civil War series

Written with the literary flair and historical accuracy readers expect from Ralph Peters, Judgment at Appomattox takes readers through the Civil War’s last grim interludes of combat as flags fall and hearts break.

A great war nears its end. Robert E. Lee makes a desperate, dramatic gamble that fails. Richmond falls. Each day brings new combat and more casualties, as Lee’s exhausted, hungry troops race to preserve the Confederacy. But Grant does not intend to let Lee escape. . . . In one of the most thrilling episodes in American history, heroes North and South battle each other across southern Virginia as the armies converge on a sleepy country court house.

Capping the author’s acclaimed five-novel cycle on the war in the East, this “dramatized history” pays homage to all the soldiers who fought, from an Irish-immigrant private wearing gray, to the “boy generals” who mastered modern war. This is a grand climax to a great, prize-winning series that honors—and reveals—America’s past.

ONE


Three fifty a.m., March 25, 1865

Petersburg, Virginia

Gordon stood at the earthen wall, fingers attacked by the cold. Winter still fought rearguard actions before dawn broke. Two days back, a tempest...

Praise for Judgment at Appomattox

“The final volume of Ralph Peters’ series on the epic story of the Army of the Potomac and Army of Northern Virginia from Gettysburg to Appomattox lives up to the standard of high drama of its predecessors. Here is fiction firmly rooted in historical sources, dialogue that reflects the genuine vernacular, personalities true to the characters they portray. If you thought you knew the Civil War, read these books to discover how much you still had to learn.” —James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“Ralph Peters makes history come alive. His vivid prose captures the burdens of command, the horrors and exhilarations of combat, the hopes and fears of the soldiers—all with deep respect for historical accuracy. Grant and Lee, Meade and Longstreet, Sheridan and Gordon, and so many other historical figures emerge from these pages as living, breathing human beings, teeming with the range of motives and emotions that mark the human condition.” —Richard J. Sommers, author of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege of Petersburg

“Ralph Peters makes you see, taste, smell and hear battle and brings to vivid life the long-dead warriors who fought the Civil War. His award-winning Civil War series is fascinating reading.” —Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of War

“Ralph Peters brings to life the dramatic story of the largely overlooked—yet most significant—campaign of the Civil War. The reader becomes part of the … More…

“The final volume of Ralph Peters’ series on the epic story of the Army of the Potomac and Army of Northern Virginia from Gettysburg to Appomattox lives up to the standard of high drama of its predecessors. Here is fiction firmly rooted in historical sources, dialogue that reflects the genuine vernacular, personalities true to the characters they portray. If you thought you knew the Civil War, read these books to discover how much you still had to learn.” —James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

“Ralph Peters makes history come alive. His vivid prose captures the burdens of command, the horrors and exhilarations of combat, the hopes and fears of the soldiers—all with deep respect for historical accuracy. Grant and Lee, Meade and Longstreet, Sheridan and Gordon, and so many other historical figures emerge from these pages as living, breathing human beings, teeming with the range of motives and emotions that mark the human condition.” —Richard J. Sommers, author of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege of Petersburg

“Ralph Peters makes you see, taste, smell and hear battle and brings to vivid life the long-dead warriors who fought the Civil War. His award-winning Civil War series is fascinating reading.” —Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of War

“Ralph Peters brings to life the dramatic story of the largely overlooked—yet most significant—campaign of the Civil War. The reader becomes part of the armies, from Fort Stedman to Lee’s surrender. Another riveting narrative by this prolific author.” —Patrick A. Schroeder, Historian, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

"Once again a master of historical military fiction has made real the sound and fury of the Civil War.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Superlative . . . [Peters] excels at bringing well-known historical characters to life [and] captures the harsh realities of common soldiers caught in the crossfire of horrific historical circumstances . . . a master martial historian. An absolute must-read for Civil War buffs.” —Booklist

“For those who want to truly understand what the war was like for the men who fought and endured it, there is no better reference than Ralph Peters’ five Civil War novels . . . superbly researched, richly imagined, brilliantly written.” —America’s Civil War

"Epic . . . battles explode from Ralph Peters' pen . . . with his five-novel masterwork—from Gettysburg to Appomattox—Peters has become one of our most important historians." —Washington Times

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Reviews from Goodreads

Ralph Peters

RALPH PETERS is an award-winning, bestselling novelist; a retired U.S. Army officer and former enlisted man; the author of numerous works on strategy; and a popular media commentator. In uniform and as a researcher and journalist, he has covered numerous conflicts and trouble spots, from Africa to the Caucasus, from Iraq to Pakistan.

Renowned for accuracy and authenticity, his Civil War writing, under his own name and as Owen Parry, has won numerous prizes, including the American Library Association’s Boyd Award (three times), the Hammett Prize, the Herodotus Award, the Grady McWhiney Award, and the Meade Society’s Order of Merit. Peters was the recipient of the 2015 Andrew J. Goodpaster prize as an outstanding American soldier-scholar, and in 2017 he was inducted into the U.S. Army's Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

His Civil War series, the Battle Hymn Cycle, spans five books: Cain at Gettysburg, Hell or Richmond, Valley of the Shadow, The Damned of Petersburg, and Judgment at Appomattox.

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Katherine McIntire Peters

Ralph Peters

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