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A Savage Thunder: Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom
Contributor(s): Murphy, Jim

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ISBN: 0689876335     ISBN-13: 9780689876332
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
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Binding Type: School And Library
Published: July 2009

Annotation: By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the Judgment Day:
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray.

-- "The Blue and the Gray" by Francis Miles Finch

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862; Juvenile literature.
Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | History | Military & Wars
- Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Social Science
Dewey: 973.7/336
LCCN: 2008032738
Lexile Measure: 1180
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 3-4, Age 8-9
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.50" H x 10.25" W x 0.75" (1.55 lbs) 103 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 131132
Reading Level: 8.8   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 5.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q46822
Reading Level: 11.7   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 7.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Jim Murphy is the author of more than thirty books about American history, including An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and The Great Fire, both Newbery Honor Books. He lives with his wife and their two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey. For more information visit his website at jimmurphybooks.com.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring)
Murphy defines the Battle of Antietam, with almost 23,000 casualties, as the military and emotional turning point of the Civil War. Maneuver by maneuver, he recounts the day's myriad skirmishes. Clear maps, showing tactical attacks and retreats, stand in stark contrast to the numerous, affecting photographs of young soldiers, dead bodies, and makeshift hospital sites. Personal quotes reiterate the human toll. Bib., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #5)
The Battle of Antietam, with almost 23,000 casualties, is known as the bloodiest single day of fighting in American history, a day Murphy defines as the turning point of the Civil War, both emotionally (the Emancipation Proclamation is signed at battle's end) and militarily. Maneuver by maneuver, he recounts the myriad skirmishes of that day, although the plethora of detail allows the physical fighting to somewhat overpower the less-developed theme of the battle's impact. Clear maps, showing tactical attacks and retreats, stand in stark contrast to the numerous, affecting photographs of young men who stare solemnly into the camera but are soon to die in battle. Other archival prints depict the carnage of bodies scattered across the farmlands and the filth of makeshift hospital sites littered with discarded limbs. Personal quotes, such as the following from a man burying the fallen, reiterate the human toll: "When the Pit is dug deep enough the Bodies are placed crosswise and as many as fourty seven in one Grave. After the Union men were all gathered up and buried then we commenced gathering up the Rebs... We seen among the rebels Boys of Sixteen & Fifteen and old Grey headed men." Here, war is detailed, messy, and, yes, hell. Extensive source notes are appended. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2009 August)

Gr 4–8—"It is terrible to march slowly into danger, and see and feel each second your chance of death is surer than it was the second before." These words from a Union officer begin to provide some reckoning of the horror that was the 1862 Battle of Antietam, which surely changed the course of the Civil War and provided Lincoln with the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Murphy provides readers with a lucid and compelling narrative, drawn mainly from firsthand accounts, of the deadliest day in American military history. From the drama that unfolded in the cornfield to brutal confrontation on the sunken road, the unflinching prose compels readers forward in anticipation of the events yet to unfold. Ever-present throughout the narrative is the dichotomy in leadership styles between the two generals. Lee is presented as firm and resolute, while McClellan is crippled by his fear of Lee's "phantom soldiers." Replete with excellent-quality archival photos, reproductions, and maps, this is an outstanding account of a battle that was truly a "savage thunder."—Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL

[Page 125]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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