Grant Comes East, the second book in the bestselling series by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, continues the story of a Confederate victory at Gettysburg.
The first book examined the great "what if" of American history: Could Lee have won the Battle of Gettysburg? A Confederate victory, however, would not necessarily mean that the Southern cause has gained its final triumph and a lasting peace. It is from this departure point that the story continues in Grant Comes East, as General Robert E. Lee marches on Washington, DC, and launches an assault against one of the largest fortifications in the world.
Across 140 years, nearly all historians have agreed that after the defeat of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, the taking of Washington, DC, would end the war. But was it possible?
Lee knows that a frontal assault against such fortifications could devastate his army, but it is a price he fears must be paid for final victory. Beyond a military victory in the field, Lee must also overcome the defiant stand of President Abraham Lincoln, who vows that regardless of the defeat at Gettysburg, his solemn pledge to preserve the Union will be honored. Lincoln will mobilize the garrison of Washington to hold on no matter what the costs.
At the same time, Lincoln has appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as commander of all Union forces. Grant, fresh from his triumph at Vicksburg, races east, bringing with him his hardened veterans from Mississippi to confront Lee.
What ensues across the next six weeks is a titanic struggle as the surviving Union forces inside the fortifications of Washington fight to hang on, while Grant prepares his counterblow. The defeated Army of the Potomac, staggered by the debacle dealt at Gettysburg, is not yet completely out of the fight, and is slowly reorganizing. Its rogue commander, General Dan Sickles, is thirsting for revenge against Lee, the restoration of the honor of his army, and the fulfillment of his own ambitions, which reach all the way to the White House. All these factors will come together in a climatic struggle spanning the ground from Washington, through Baltimore, to the banks of the Susquehanna River.
Once again, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen create a brilliant story of how the Civil War could have unfolded. In Grant Comes East, they use their years of research and expertise to take readers on an incredible journey.
Former congressman Gingrich and historical fiction writer Forstchen once again collaborate to produce an exciting alternative history of the Civil War (after 2003's bestselling Gettysburg). This second volume finds Lee and his victorious army in Maryland, poised to assault Washington, D.C.. The Confederates hope to capture the capital and President Lincoln, bring a sympathetic Maryland into the Confederacy, gain European recognition and force the Union into peace negotiations. The Union is in a desperate situation. The capital is cut off, Northern cities are burning in the bloody draft riots and the nearest intact Union army is General Grant's western force, rushing to the east from Vicksburg. In the midst of the military chaos, sniping and bickering by generals and politicians on both sides hamper Grant and Lee. Most of Lee's tactical and strategic plans succeed, but he miscalculates Lincoln's resolve and Grant's single-mindedness. And then Grant does something so unexpected that suddenly Lee is the one on the run. Building on their strong first volume, Gingrich and Forstchen craft an original, dramatic and historically plausible "what if?" story. Character depictions of Lincoln, Grant and Lee; of the soldiers who fight and die; and of the civilians who plot and panic are vivid, detailed and insightful. This is one of the best novels of the Civil War to appear in recent years.
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Very nicely done.