HEART ALLY BOOKS
Without Warning is a historical novel of the Battle of Gettysburg appealing to fans of Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Killer Angels. Without Warning is a surprising story that discloses a previously hidden truth, like Dee Brown’s 1971 revelatory book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, that forever changes our vision of a historical event.
Shaara’s legendary novel focuses primarily on key Confederate leaders and a few Union soldiers. Without Warning is the “flip side.” It’s a gritty retelling of the battle from the perspective of the Union’s newly appointed commander, General George Meade, and some of his lieutenants. The story opens with Lincoln ordering Meade to take command of the Union army three days before the Battle of Gettysburg. Under severe protest, Meade reluctantly relieves General Hooker as Lincoln’s fourth commander of the Army of the Potomac, and unexpectedly and against all odds, soundly defeats the Confederate army.
Meade’s remarkable story has remained largely untold for the past 150 years, at least in part because most people find it difficult to accept that a brilliant military commander such as Robert E. Lee was outgeneraled and defeated by an unheralded, goggle-eyed opponent. Instead, they place the blame for the crushing defeat on Lee’s subordinates, believing the Federals had little to do with the victory.
Remaining faithful to history, I have not consciously changed any facts. All the federal officers and soldiers are real-life participants in the battle, including the conniving General Daniel Sickles, who flagrantly disobeyed orders, creating a situation that nearly destroyed Meade’s army. Counter to The Killer Angels, Lee’s army and his generals are the villains in Without Warning. The result is a surprising story as accurate as the history but more fascinating and compelling.
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