Shenandoah (The Civil War Battle Series #8)
In this eighth volume of the ten-volume Civil War Battle Series, the action returns to northern Virginia and Culpeper County. The long absent Titus Brannon returns home on Christmas Day, 1863, just over a year since his disappearance during the battle of Fredericksburg. As much as his family is startled to learn that he is alive, he is surprised to find that his wife, Polly, is now married to his brother Henry. And she is pregnant.
Unwilling to accept Polly and Henry's marriage, Titus insists that Polly is still his wife, and a judge agrees. He refuses to divorce her, and later Polly's body is found at her father's plantation. The evidence points to Titus, and he is arrested and jailed.
As spring approaches, Will Brannon recuperates from his Gettysburg wound and returns to his regiment. In the meantime, a new commander leads the Union army into northern Virginia—U.S. Grant. To block Grant's march on Richmond, Robert E. Lee attacks. Grant, however, does not retreat after this surprise engagement but marches on. The two armies clash again and again, maneuvering ever closer to the Rebel capital.
Will throws himself into the battles with abandon. At last his pain ends at the portentously named crossroads, Cold Harbor.
After Titus's innocence is proven, he joins the partisan rangers of John S. Mosby. This guerrilla-style warfare suits his nature, and the rangers so effectively harass the Federals in the rich farmland of the Shenandoah that Grant dispatches a special force to squash Mosby. This unit adopts a policy of total war in the valley so as to undercut Mosby's support.
Titus vows vengeance on the Yankees for this wanton destruction, but even he knows that there is little chance that the tide will be stemmed. Both the Confederacy and the Brannons have suffered much in the year 1864. Now even the hotheaded Titus begins to wonder if the nation and his family will survive into 1865.