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Richard Croker's new book, "No Greater Courage: A Novel of the Battle of Fredericksburg," skillfully waves story around the facts. By Michael Aubrecht
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AMONG THE MANY perks
In short, our soil is hallowed soil, and for that we should all feel very fortunate. Why else would thousands of tourists travel here from all over the world to experience our little patch in the fabric of American culture?
From the American Revolution to the War Between the States, no other event in the history of our town is more significant or notable than the Battle of Fredericksburg, a terrible clash of epic proportions that was fought in, over and around the city on Dec. 13, 1862.
This mêlee, between Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union's Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the American Civil War. It put Fredericksburg "back on the map," so to speak.
One of the most disturbing factors in this particular engagement was the staggering loss of life suffered by the invading Union forces. The end result was the senseless sacrifice of thousands of Federal soldiers in frontal assaults against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city, bringing to an early end their campaign against the Confederate capital of Richmond.
The Richmond Examiner de-scribed it as a "stunning defeat to the invader, a splendid victory to the defender of the sacred soil."
Civil War novelist Richard Croker's newest effort, "No Greater Courage: A Novel of the Battle of Fredericksburg," presents the events leading up to, during and after this engagement, in all of its futility and glory. As with his first book, "To Make Men Free: A Novel of the Battle of Antietam," the author takes the reader on a whirlwind journey, from the battlefield to the boardroom and beyond. For Free Lance-Star readers, this book hits especially close to home.