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Civil War Battle Books In Order

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Publication Order of Civil War Battle Books

The Civil War Battle series is a collection of historical novels written by James Reasoner which follow the exploits of a fictional family struggling to survive the American Civil War.

+The Story

There are ten novels in the Civil War Battle series. The books began publication in 1999 with ‘Manassas’. James Reasoner finally brought the story to an end with ‘Appomattox’ in 2003.

The title of each book is designed to highlight the significant Civil War Battle or campaign around which the story within its pages will revolve.
While this James Reasoner series is classified as historical fiction, the stories the books tell follow the exploits of a fictional family that has to maneuver the hardships of the civil war.

The Brannon Family lives in Culpeper County, Virginia. They are first introduced to readers in ‘Manassas’, the first book. By this point in time (1861) John Brannon, the patriarch of the family, is dead.

Readers learn that John was a lover of arts, a dreamer who frequently immersed himself in a fantasy world at the expense of his family and the responsibilities he had toward them.

John was especially enamored by Shakespeare and, to that end, named his children after the literary figure and his characters (William, Macbeth, Titus, Cory, Henry, Cordelia).

With John dead, it falls on the shoulders of the Matriarch, Abigail Brannon to care for the family. Abigail is a self-righteous, hypocritical Christian that does not make the best decisions in her efforts raise her children the right way.

As such, she encounters various forms of rebellion from her sons and daughter.

Abigail is especially critical of William who becomes Culpeper Sheriff. Things between the two eventually reach a boiling point and William decides to join the Confederate army.

And he isn’t the only one. As America heaves and groans under the weight of conflict, the Brannon family is drawn into the Civil War. With William, the oldest, leading the charge, it isn’t long before his brother Macbeth also follows suit, serving under the likes of Fitzhugh Lee.

Titus’ hard-drinking habits get him in quite a bit of trouble as he finds and struggles to keep his place in the Union Army. His little brother Henry follows him into the fray, with the pair feuding repeatedly.

Cordelia’s encounter with the Civil War begins when her love interest finds a place in the Union Army.

Through the trials and struggles of each of the Brannon children, James Reasoner provides as wide and comprehensive an exploration of the American Civil War as he possibly can.

Each one of the Brannon children has a particular demon driving them to fight in the American Civil War. For a time, the conflict allows the family to avoid the problems that drove them apart.

They are empowered to essentially flee from their troubles. Eventually, though, the Civil War inevitably brings the Brannon children back together as the fighting and the bloodshed invades Culpeper.

It should be noted that the Civil War Battle series explores the Civil War from the perspective of the South. James Reasoner does not set out to provide a sympathetic view of the cause of the South.

Rather, the author attempts to show that a conflict as expansive as the Civil War tends to bring with it a variety of opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds. Every single soldier has a reason that drives them to take up arms and kill, and that reason is no less valid than the reasons driving his enemy to fight them.

Reasoner has been criticized for representing every Union soldier as objectively evil. Reasoner’s defenders will say that his books are not an accurate historical representation.

And Reasoner has never been one to stick strictly to the facts of history in the telling of his stories. The author’s goal is to engage and entertain, not to educate. For that reason, the Civil War Battle books tend to emphasize the complex lives of the fictional Brannon family while only briefly touching upon the historical events of the civil war.

For that reason, Reasoner’s fans believe that he should have the room to present his story as he wishes.

However, the author’s detractors believe that his approach eliminates all nuances from his series. In the Civil War Battle books, characters are either wholly evil or completely good. There is no moral gray area to speak of. And it doesn’t help that the author fails to represent the enemies of the South in a fair and unbiased manner.

Most of the quibbles that Reasoner attracts tend to emanate from history enthusiasts with a particular interest in the Civil War. The average reader, on the other hand, typically approaches this series objectively, making no comparisons of note with historical events.

+The Author

James Reasoner is an American author. Born in 1953 in Fort Worth,Texas James’ bibliography constitutes over three hundred short stories and novels written under numerous pseudonyms.

James’ works tend to revolve around American History. The author started as a journalist doing freelance work for newspapers. He eventually went into the book retail business with his wife. 1980 saw James publish ‘Texas Wind’, his first mystery and published novel.


The Brannon Family lives in Culpeper County, Virginia. With their father, John Brannon, dead, William and his siblings must look to their mother, Abigail Brannon for guidance.

America is on a knife’s edge. Rumors of war are rife and many an able-bodied man is flocking to the army to fight for the Southern Cause.

The first book in the Civil War Battle series finds William struggling to make peace with his mother. Abigail wasn’t particularly happy when William became Culpeper Sheriff. When William’s actions instigate a feud with another family and a man ends up dead, Abigail disowns her son, driving William to enlist in the army. +Shiloh

The first book in the Civil War Battle Series found William Brannon playing his part in the first major battle of the war.

Its sequel finds Cory Brannon, another brother, going west and finding work on a Mississippi River Boat. Events conspire to thrust Cory into the Battle of Shiloh and the Vicksburg Campaign.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Civil War Battle

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