Scribner, September 2014
From the author of the prizewinning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of how Civil War general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson became a great and tragic American hero.
Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country's greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson's strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.
In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked -- hope -- and struck fear into the hearts of the Union.
Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne's hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson's private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. Rebel Yell traces Jackson's brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
Hardcover | ISBN: 9781451673289 | Publication Date: September 2014
"With the reporter's eye for the revealing vignette and the
story-teller's ear for the rhythm of human striving, S. C. Gwynne
gives us a beautifully penetrating account of the meteoric rise
and tragic death of the most legendary of Civil War soldiers."
-- H. W. Brands, author of The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace
"Rebel Yell is the best biography of Stonewall Jackson I
have ever read. The scholarship is exemplary, the narrative
riveting and richly textured. With a rare combination of
unflinching objectivity and genuine compassion, Rebel Yell
unraveled for me the enigma of Stonewall Jackson. A magnificent
achievement, Rebel Yell represents a milestone in Civil
-- Peter Cozzens, author of Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign
"The great tragedy of modern historiography is that more
historians don't write like S.C. Gwynne. In this book on Stonewall
Jackson's Civil War career, Gwynne has fashioned a fast-paced
narrative of a man complex and enigmatic, awkward and exceptional.
Gwynne has taken on a giant figure of quirks and brilliance who
demands both restraint and a facile pen, and he delivers in vivid
-- John Hennessy, author of First Battle of Manassas: An End To Innocence and Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas