Want a good Civil War read? A Thirst for War is an historical novel centered on the planning and destruction of the Cumberland River Railroad Bridge in Clarksville, TN. Interwoven into the plot is a haunting love story involving a bright young woman (Lydia Martin) who is involved with two men: the protagonist (John Ulysses Martin) and a Yankee Lieutenant (Lawrence Wallace). Lydia is far ahead of her time in regard to the role women should play in society, and this fact not only widens the scope and appeal of the book, but ultimately allows the protagonist to complete his mission when failure seems imminent.
From the back cover: At the start of the American Civil War, Professor John Ulysses Martin of Clarksville, Tennessee, and his students march off to face the harsh reality of battlefield combat. As his students die one by one, John questions his lofty convictions and, after losing a leg at Antietam, realizes he has made a fool of himself. He concludes that war is nothing more than the butchery of innocents. During his convalescence at Armory Square Hospital, John makes notes in a pocket Bible of Yankee troops and artillery heading south for an attack on Richmond. Caught spying, he is taken to the Old Capitol Prison to be hanged, but manages a harrowing escape. When he reaches Richmond and turns in his notes, General Hood realizes Johnís value to the war effort and rewards him with a perilous assignment: destroy the railroad bridge over the Cumberland River at Clarksville, Tennessee.
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