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March of Glory is a handsomely written novel for young adults, teachers interested in integrating American Literature and American History, and Civil War buffs. It is about the mind-set of a young southern soldier. It is an American history experience masterfully crafted, richly documented and accurate in every detail. Cadet Charlie Stuart's story is...
March of Glory is a handsomely written novel for young adults, teachers interested in integrating American Literature and American History, and Civil War buffs. It is about the mind-set of a young southern soldier. It is an American history experience masterfully crafted, richly documented and accurate in every detail. Cadet Charlie Stuart's story is a "must read" alone, or as a parallel piece to Red Badge of Courage. Born into a prosperous North Carolina family with business ties in the North, Charlie decides to become a soldier when North Carolina secedes from the Union. Against his father's wishes, he joins the Virginia Military Institute to become a good fighting soldier for the honor of his state and his country. The war, he believes, was started over states' rights but was now becoming a war over slavery. Through Charlie's relationships with and observations about his Southern family, VMI cadets and upperclassmen, we experience the internal psychological and real toll on the Southern family unit and social group in terms of emotions and economics. The external economics of the plantation system and slavery are clear, too. Hard work, long hours of study, little food and belittling relationships with upperclassmen and close, cherished friendships with other new cadets are all here. Characters have pasts and personalities. The reader is a witness in real time to real people. Even Charlie's brief capture by Union soldiers has unusual depth as he dramatically shares his fear and his discovery that a Union soldier is capable of compassion. Although the South is ill-equipped for war, the pervading feeling is that it will fight to the death to preserve its way of life. Therefore, when the VMI Corps of Cadets supports General John C. Breckenridge's forces in Staunton, Virginia, we see an extraordinary battle scene. March of Glory is an American novel of human feelings, honor, values and soldiering. It is superb!
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