promiseofglory A Novel of the Civil War

C. X. Moreau
Tom Doherty Associates
September 2000 (Hardcover)
December 2002 (Mass-Market)
June 2006 (Trade-Paperback)
Genre: Historical
Format: Hard/Soft Mass-Market

From the author of the critically acclaimed DISTANT VALOR comes a powerful now novel of men at war.

August 1862—For some months past, two Federal armies have threatened Richmond, the Confederate capital. From the east The Army of the Potomac, commanded by General George McClellan, has edged closer to the city day by day until the citizens of Richmond are able to listen to their church bells and the report of cannon with equal clarity.

The second, driving down on the city from the north, is commanded by General John Pope, who has promised to treat the rebellious populace as criminals and traitors. To the west, a third Federal army operates in the Shenandoah Valley, disrupting communication with the vital railheads and supply depots required by the Confederate government to feed and clothe its soldiers. Late in the summer of 1862 President Jefferson Davis replaces a wounded Joseph Johnson with the untried Robert Edward Lee. It is a momentous decision. Lee swiftly takes control of the battered Rebel army before Richmond, and orders Stonewall Jackson with the Army of the Valley to march east. Together they will confront the two Federal armies which threaten the Rebel capital.

In a series of battles fought virtually in sight of the city, Lee defeats the Army of the Potomac, then turns on General Pope and drives his army back into the ring of forts around Washington D.C. Southerners rejoice, newspaper editors proclaim Lee the savior of the Southern cause, and the captured weapons and equipment enable the Rebel commanders to prepare for their next campaign.

In the North there is widespread despair. Members of Congress discuss ending the hostilities, signing an honorable peace with the Southern Confederacy. As the defeated Union Army commanded by General Pope staggers back into Washington D.C. the citizenry prepares for the capital city to be invaded by the Confederate army and clerks prepare to remove the government to Philadelphia or New York. In the Potomac River navy gunboats lay close by shore, ready to shell an approaching foe or evacuate government officials.

Much against the advice of his Secretary of War, President Lincoln directs George McClellan to again assume command of the dispirited and disorganized Federal Army that now waits behind the Washington fortifications. The men in the ranks, ever ready to follow their personal favorite, welcome McClellan's return to command.

For two days there is rain and thunderstorms. The ground becomes sodden, roads an impassable quagmire of mud and water. The Confederate Army, firmly under the command of Robert E. Lee, is concentrated around Chantilly, Virginia, guarding the approaches to the Shenandoah Valley, threatening Washington.

The Confederate infantry is worn from a long summer of campaigning against larger, better equipped armies. Men and animals are footsore, the quartermaster corps ill-prepared to supply an army on the march despite a large amount of stores seized from captured Federal supply depots. The mounts of the hard riding Rebel cavalry are equally unprepared to begin a new campaign.

The Confederate army encamped at Chantilly is fighting for more than nationhood, it is fighting for survival. No officer knows this better than its commander. Robert E. Lee has spent a life in service to his nation. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, as well as a former superintendent of that institution, Lee knows the capacity of the United States to make war, and he knows that a prolonged conflict favors the Northern cause. Lee is determined to bring the war to the north, before the Federal armies can further savage the Virginia countryside.

During the first week of September the storms break. Days are long and hot, the rains having forsaken the skies in favor of a summer sun. A faint chill in the night air reminds privates and generals alike that winter is only weeks away. Roads dry, and summer returns to Virginia. There is time yet for one last campaign, a battle that could bring about the end of the war, insure a southern nation.

Robert E. Lee, aware that the Richmond government has sent emissaries to both Great Britain and France in hopes of formal recognition of the southern Confederacy from Europe, prepares for his next campaign, an invasion of the United States. This is the story of that campaign, and its culmination in a battle every bit as important to the history of the United States as Gettysburg. This is the story of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil War.

 "After all that has been written about the bloody battles of the Civil War, chroniclers are hard put these days to add something that really grabs our attention or lets us see more clearly what happened. ...C.X. Moreau has succeeded on both counts.... His intuition rings true.

"Moreau spares readers neither the hideous consequences (including the often forgotten mangling of that war's animals) of close combat nor a hard-eyed examination of the foibles of some of the commanders. As for the 'glory' in his title, he makes clear the folly of those in that era or since who find anything at all glorious about battlefields."—THE VIRGINIAN PILOT, Norfolk, VA (October 29, 2000)

"Moreau displays an astute grasp of military history as he chronicles the battle that culminated in the 'bloodiest day of the Civil War'.... The author invests the cast of authentic historical characters with a wide range of strengths and failings, infusing this gripping narrative with a dramatic human element, resulting in a passionate retelling of a legendary battle."—BOOKLIST

"Moreau's research is impeccable and smoothly incorporated, and his descriptions of battle scenes are vivid...."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
(August 21, 2000)

"Lee and McClellan and most of the officers on both sides had attended West Point together, drank at taverns together, served early assignments together. They knew each other, and Moreau captures this. A must for Civil War buffs!"—THE LEDGER, Baldwin City, KS (December 15, 2000)

"...the action carries the story; it feels authentic.... ...a readable, exciting view of the nation's bloodiest day...Mr. Moreau can feel good about his first entry into Civil War literature."—THE WASHINGTON TIMES (October 21, 2000)

The "logical followup" to THE KILLER ANGELS. "...a verbal movie. Its celebrity cast performs with dash and distinction."—THE BALTIMORE SUN (September 17, 2000)

"An entertaining book from a skillful new author."—MILITARY IMAGES

"It is refreshing to read a historical novel that is both faithful to historical fact and yet imaginative enough to make the often dry bones of fact come alive... C.X. Moreau succeeds in that endeavor by portraying the events of the battle of Antietam, which produced America's single most bloody day, through the eyes of the generals who planned and fought the battle.

"...As only a veteran can do, Moreau paints a convincing portrayal of the ebb and flow of battle, providing his characters with credible though processes as that terrible day proceeded. The terror, dismay, and savage emotion that one would expect to feel on a great battlefield show up in the fictionalized account of the actions of Lee, Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson, Burnside, Hooker, and McClellan. Those who enjoy good historical fiction will find this an entertaining book."—THE CHATTANOOGA TIMES

British Rights: The Zack Company, Inc.
Translation Rights: The Zack Company, Inc.
Audio Rights: The Zack Company, Inc.
Film & TV Rights: The Zack Company, Inc.
Rights Sold: Unabridged Audio rights sold to Blackstone Audiobooks; abridged rights are available.