Sunday, February 28, 2016

August 1864 a Civil War Naval Adventure

Captain John Taylor Wood was the commander of a fast cruiser named the Tallahassee during the American Civil War. During a single month, under Wood’s command, the Tallahassee captured more than 30 enemy ships . Some days, she captured as many as four or five ships in one day.

 H.V. Rhodes, a retired U.S. Naval officer wrote August 1864 a Civil War Naval Adventure and the amount of extensive research he put into his book is evident. 

Through narrative and realistic dialogue, he carries readers back in time, to naval warfare as it was 152 years ago and brings his characters to life, filled with virtues, flaw and a natural authenticity. It's easy to believe his characters, or people like them, existed.  Rhodes dramatically and honestly captures the emotions of the men, and sometimes women, on these ships as well as persons on land, those who influenced the sailors from afar. 

As with many wars, some battles are fought, won and lost in boardrooms and staterooms, behind closed doors, within the documents of politicians and the voice of public opinion or in the media. Rhodes touches on this but does not overwork the theme.

His use of romance and intrigue make readers yearn to know more about the era when dialogue portrayed the polite civility common to the time when men apologized for using foul language that is gentler than what can be heard on today's school playgrounds. 

His familiarity within the Navy's chain of command and strong research easily bridges the gap between pure history and dramatic fiction.

I recommend August 1864 to everyone who enjoys reading about romance, political intrigue or historical events or life at sea.