July 6, 2014

The Sentinels of Andersonville

The Sentinels of Andersonville

by Tracy Groot

I'm actually embarrassed to admit that I knew next to nothing about Andersonville prison before reading this book. I'd read tons of books from the WWII era but not much from the Civil War. I cannot say I enjoyed reading this book as it was actually quite horrific to learn about the awful conditions at this prison but I did find the book to be quite the page turner and look forward to reading more by Tracy Groot.

I really enjoy historical fiction when it is both educational and also recreational. I had no idea that around 13,000 men died while in Andersonville in just one year! I also had no idea that the South was keeping Union soldiers in a prison with no barracks, latrines, or clean water. The nearby town in this book took it upon themselves to try to help these Union soldiers when they learned of the harsh conditions but I have no idea if anyone did anything like that in read life. But it did make for a very good story line in the book.

I especially like how part of the story involved a friendship evolving between a Union soldier and the Confederate soldier that captured him. This very friendship was so sacrificing that later the Confederate soldier could have been killed for how he helped the Union soldier but you'll have to read the book to find out what he did.

Of course there was also an element of romance too which made for a breath of fresh air among all the sadness in the book.

There was also a point in the book when the Confederate soldiers that were trying to help better the prison conditions did something quite drastic to show a local pastor how bad the prison was and that was actually a little humorous.

If you like historical fiction I think you'll really love this book. It isn't an easy read since it is actually quite sad but it is well worth your time.

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