Saturday, October 24, 2009
OHP BOOK REVIEW: GENERATIONS OF WARRIORS BY PERRY SHORT
Novel, illustrated, 545 pp., 2007. Arbor House, 1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 300, Bloomington, IN 47403.
Generations of Warriors is a novel written by Perry Short about the events that lead up to and the Battle of Chickamauga. There are five primary characters, Spillsby Dryer of Walker County, Georgia, Thomas Benton Johnson of Morgan County, Alabama, Henry and Jabez Massey of Claiborne Parrish, Louisiana, and Drewy B. Short of Columbia County, Arkansas. They are among the 132,000 soldiers who will become a part of history. The key players of this battle are well known by historians, such as General Braxton Bragg and General Nathan Bedford Forrest; yet, this novel explores the life of the average soldiers who fight for many different reasons. “As most historical novels, it’s about what did happen and what could have been said,” states Mr. Short.
The reader sees the mental struggle a soldier had dealing with his duty to his country and his family, especially when close to home. In addition to this, the fear of survival was eminent daily. However, the main characters were more concerned with the welfare of his family more then himself, pondering if the war had made it to their doorsteps or if the family had been able to survive adequately.
There are several main story threads that take place simultaneously, intertwining with the other at some point. The reader is taken from Virginia, Tennessee, Atlanta and ultimately to Northwest Georgia. The novel engages the reader to continue the saga taking place. The characters are varying in age and personality, complimenting one other to establish a believable tale.
This is not another book about the battle, but more about the hardships of the soldiers and the citizens. The reader is exposed to the families who lived in and around the battlefield, with the Dryer family being the focal point. Faced with sometimes impossible circumstances, the reader sees these people coming together to handle the nightmare before them. In the Dryer family you have three generations of perspectives: Monroe who is ten, his father Spillsby who, at the age of thirty-five, is a soldier and scout for General Bragg, and Dr. Dryer is a pillar of the community at the age of sixty-four.
An interesting caveat of this historical fiction is that the five primary characters were real people. At the end, Mr. Short gives a brief genealogical history of the individual and their families. In many cases there is a picture of the actual person.
This is a great book to expose individuals to War Between the States. It allows a person to visualize a very bloody battle, but consider the feelings of the people involved. There are many punctuation errors and other grammatical issues. While this does not take away from the story, it does stand out to the reader. Overall, this is a great rainy day book to allow a person to lapse into history and away from today’s world.
Written by Cassie A. Barrow