Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 278
The Last Full Measure: A Novel (1998), by Jeff Shaara, takes up the story of what happened after the Battle of Gettysburg. Shaara, who is Michael Shaara’s son, covers Lee’s retreat from Pennsylvania and continues through the end of the war. He tells the story through the eyes of Lee, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, and Ulysses S. Grant. Readers may also be interested in Jeff Shaara’s novel, Gone for Soldiers (2000), which covers the action prior to Gettysburg.
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The Red Badge of Courage (1895), by Stephen Crane, is one of the most famous novels set in the Civil War period. The hero, Henry Fleming, is a young farm boy who comes under fire in battle for the first time and runs away in fear. The battle is unnamed but may have been Chancellorsville. Henry rejoins his regiment, which does not know about his cowardice, and in a later battle shows great courage.
Cold Mountain (1998), by Charles Frazier, is an epic novel about the return of a wounded Civil War veteran to his home in North Carolina following the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. The soldier travels three hundred miles, struggling with physical hardship and despair.
Carol Rearden, in Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory (1997), examines Pickett’s Charge through the lens of memory and reveals why the charge endures so strongly in the American imagination. Over the years, soldiers, journalists, veterans, politicians, orators, and others have shaped and revised the facts of the charge to create versions that met shifting needs and deeply felt values. Rearden shows that the story of Pickett’s Charge as told in the late twentieth century is really an amalgam of history and memory.