Coming Soon: Hell Itself

Layout 1One of the most anticipated volumes in the Emerging Civil War Series is finally on its way.

Hell Itself: The Battle of the Wilderness completes a cycle of Savas Beatie books that includes A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White; Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River by Chris Mackowski; and Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor by Daniel T. Davis and Phillip Greenwalt. The battles are all part of Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign. The Wilderness was the first battle in the sequence of battles that made up the campaign–and yet, ironically, the last book in the cycle.

For more than a decade, author Chris Mackowski has guided visitors across the battlefields of the Overland Campaign. Now he invites readers of the Emerging Civil War Series to join him for Hell Itself in the Wilderness—one of the most storied battlefields of the entire Civil War.

“I’m especially excited that the series is finally closing out the Overland Campaign,” said Mackowski. “I realize the sequence is a little off, having the book about the first battle appear last, but if readers are as excited as I am about it, then it’ll definitely be worth the wait. Next up: Kris White, Dan Davis, and I are going to go full-throttle on our Gettysburg series. Look for the next one of those books later this year.”

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From the back cover:

Soldiers called it one of the “waste places of nature” and “a region of gloom”—the Wilderness of Virginia, 70 square miles of dense, second-growth forest known as “the dark, close wood.”

“This, viewed as a battleground, was simply infernal,” a Union soldier later said. “A more unpromising theatre of war was never seen,” said another.

Yet here, in the spring of 1864, the Civil War escalated to a new level of horror.

Ulysses S. Grant, commanding all Federal armies, opened the campaign with a vow to never turn back. Robert E. Lee, commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, moved into the Wilderness to block Grant’s advance. Immovable object intercepted irresistible force—and the Wilderness burst into flame.

With the forest itself burning around them, men died by the thousands. The armies bloodied each other without mercy and, at times, without any semblance of order. The brush grew so dense, and the smoke hung so thick, men could not see who stood next to them—or in front of them.

Driven by desperation, duty, confusion, and fire, soldiers on both sides marveled that anyone might make it out alive.

Proceeds from the sale of this book support the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield.

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About the Author:

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief of Emerging Civil War and the author of more than a dozen books. A professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University, he’s also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property located on the Spotsylvania battlefield. Chris is a former historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, which includes the Wilderness battlefield.

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