["Time of Drums"] is a likable book—sober, honest, unpretentious for the most part—about a North Carolina colonel and his brigade during the Civil War, chiefly and climactically at the Battle of Gettysburg…. [It] should come as no surprise that [Mr. Ehle's] narrative has a certain sharpness and assurance about it. There's a wealth of rustic detail here, closely observed; a potentially arresting conflict between two brothers in love with the same girl; gory battle scenes; famous generals (Lee and Jackson in particular).
Ehle has Owen Wright, the colonel, tell his own story, for reasons Owen gives toward the end of the novel: "The notes about the war and my life in it I am writing for my children...
(The entire section is 573 words.)