Read Never Call Retreat - Civil War 03 Online

Authors: Newt Gingrich,William R Forstchen

Tags: #Military, #Historical Novel

Never Call Retreat - Civil War 03

BOOK: Never Call Retreat - Civil War 03
Never Call Retreat - Civil War 03
Book Jacket
Civil War [3]
Military, Historical Novel

After his great victories at Gettysburg and Union Mills, General Robert E. Lee's attempt to bring the war to a final conclusion by attacking Washington, D.C., fails. However, in securing Washington, the remnants of the valiant Union Army of the Potomac, under the command of the impetuous General Dan Sickles, is trapped and destroyed. For Lincoln there is only one hope left: that General Ulysses S. Grant can save the Union cause. It is now August 22, 1863. Lincoln and Grant are facing a collapse of political will to continue the fight to preserve the Union. Lee, desperately short of manpower, must conserve his remaining strength while maneuvering for the killing blow that will take Gran''s army out of the fight and, at last, bring a final and complete victory for the South. Pursuing the remnants of the defeated Army of the Potomac up to the banks of the Susquehanna, Lee is caught off balance when news arrives that General Ulysses S. Grant, in command of more than seventy thousand men, has crossed that same river, a hundred miles to the northwest at Harrisburg. As General Grant brings his Army of the Susquehanna into Maryland, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia maneuvers for position. Grant first sends General George Armstrong Custer on a mad dash to block Lee's path toward Frederick and with it control of the crucial B&O railroad, which moves troops and supplies. The two armies finally collide in Central Maryland, and a bloody week-long battle ensues along the banks of Monocacy Creek. This must be the "final" battle for both sides. -Dust jacket.

'Well-executed alternati
ve history. The authors show-tho
rough knowledge of the people, weapons, tactics
and ambian
ce of the Civil War. A veritable feast."

—Publishers Weekly

"As historical fiction, this stands beside
The Killer Angels.
As an alternative history of Gettysburg, it stands alone. The mastery of operational history enables the authors to expand the story's scope. The narrative is so clear that the action can be followed without maps. And the characters are sometimes heartbreakingly true to their historical originals."

—Dennis Showalter, Former President of the Society of Military Historians

is a creative, clever, and fascinating 'what if?' novel that promises to excite and entertain America's legions of Civil War buffs."

—James Carville

"The novel
puts forth a highly plausible and exciting scenario of a Confederate victory in the Pennsylvania campaign of 1863. The authors exhibit an in-depth knowledge of not only technical details, but also the various personalities of the leaders and how they could have reacted had things gone quite differently from history as we know it."

—Don Troiani, noted Civil War artist

St Martin's Paperbacks Titles by NEWT GINGRICH and WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN

Never Call Retreat

Grant Comes East Gettysburg


Lee and Grant: The Final Victory

newt Gingrich

william r. forstchen


albert s. hanser,

contributing editor


St. Martin's Paperbacks

NOTE: If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as "unsold and destroyed" to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this "stripped book."

This is a work of Fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.


Copyright © 2005 by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. Photographs © Library of Congress Maps © Carolyn Chu

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2005041366

ISBN: 0-312-94931-6 EAN: 978-0-312-94931-0

Printed in the United States of America

St. Martin's Press hardcover edition / June 2005 St. Martin's Paperbacks edition / April 2007

St. Martin's Paperbacks are published by St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.


For Our Fathers


John J. Forstchen—a genuine cavalry trooper in our pre-World War II army who passed away while this volume was being written. "Gary Owen," Dad.


Newt McPherson and Lt. Colonel Robert Gingrich—it was Robert, my stepfather, who took me on a tour of World War I battlefields when I was fourteen. The memory of that tour, the tragic waste I saw at Verdun, inspired me to try to make a difference in this world by entering politics and studying history.


My father, Joseph A. Hanser,
was a simple man of great wis-
dom and greater character. Our family has missed him every day since he passed away.


How to say thank you to so many as this trilogy is finished up is a daunting task. Seven years ago, the idea started with a few phone calls back and forth, e-mails and dinner together. It was just the three of us then, but in the years since, dozens have come into our lives to help.

To say the initial response to our idea was lukewarm is an understatement. Some publishers just "didn't get it," others said it would never work, and then Tom Dunne of Thomas Dunne Books came along and said he'd give it a try. So our first thanks must go to the incredible team at Thomas Dunne Books, and we're not just saying that because they're the publishers! Pete Wolverton, our editor, has been an incredible gentleman to work with. Patient, understanding, and from Bill's perspective especially, compassionate when his father fell ill and passed away while we were facing our deadline for delivery. Pete's ideas for inserts, changes, and editing have always been on the mark. The team working with Pete: his assistant, Kathleen Gilligan; Carolyn Chu, our patient map maker; and the copyeditor, Donald J. Davidson, have all been wonderful.

About a year into our project we met General Robert Scales, former commandant of the Army War College at Carlisle, and Dr. Len Fullenkamp, the senio
r historian at the
War College. Both were enthralled with the idea for the series and volunteered their own time to advise, take us on staff rides, pick apart theories, and review our work.

One of the truly great discoveries was the wonderful team of folks at the Carroll County, Maryland, Historical Society and, through them, a truly gifted historian, Tom LeGore and his wonderful
wife, Mary. Tom has an encyclo
pedic knowledge of the details of that region, historically and geographically, and his information was crucial in the framing of our story.

George Lomas, owner of the Regimental Quartermaster in Gettysburg, proved to be a great friend in the marketing of our first two books and offering advice as well along the way. As has Michael Greene, who has helped to educate us about the marketing side of this business. Our friends with the Civil War educational firm, Hardtack & Wool, gave advice especially related to marketing and the review of drafts.


s been an honor for us to have the famous artist Don Troiani as our cover artist. Besides his incredible talent with the paintbrush he is a noted historian in his own right and offered detailed information we surely would have missed. Two advisers behind the scene have been the
New York Times
bestselling author W. E. B. G
riffin and his son, William But
terworth. William has been an editor and friend of Bill Forstchen's for over twenty years with
magazine, and provided great moral support and friendship throughout the creation of this series.

For Bill Forstchen, a special thanks as well to the administration at Montreat College: Academic Deans Beth Doriani and Abby Fapetu, and president Dan Struble for the offering of a year-long sabbatical, their enthusiasm for this project (which some colleges might not have embraced), and their understanding during difficult times.

There have been a number of people on Newt's Team who contributed time and wonderful advice: Randy Evans and Stefan Passantino for all the intricacies involved in coordinating the development of this series, Bill Sanders for a fine job of fact checking, and Amy Pearman and Rick Tyler for their tireless efforts with keeping our schedules together. Needless to say Kathy Lubbers, head of Gingrich Communications and our agent for
Never Call Retreat,
has been as tough as Grant in helping to keep this project on track and as understanding as Lee in helping to keep things coordinated.

And, of course, the "ever-suffering" companions in our lives, Callista, Sharon, and Krys. Some people seem to think that the life of an author has a certain romantic appeal to it. Just ask our wives and they will set you straight as to the reality!

There are so many fans, as well, who we wish we could acknowledge. People we've met while going through airports, doing book signings, those who have offered reviews and letters of encouragement. We especially appreciate those who "got" the idea behind the story and what we have tried to create with what we call "Active History," the examining of a crucial decision-making process in the past, and how if another path were followed, just how profoundly different our lives would be today. We see Active History as an exciting way to teach real history, to get students, "buffs," and anyone with an interest in our past to look back, to understand the courage, sacrifice, and strength of those who have shaped our nation. We can't resist mentioning with a smile, one critic who "dished" us with the comment, "These guys have PhDs? Don't they know Lee lost Gettysburg?" We hope that reader finally did "catch on," and we thank all of you who did "get it" and found pleasure in the reading of our story.

And in closing, a very serious acknowledgment as well
to those who lived the story for real. Approximately 660,000 young men lost their lives in our Civil War. Whether you are from the North or South, a citizen who just took his oath of citizenship today, or a descendant from the
their story is our story. North or South, they gave the last full measure of devotion for what they believed in and have forever set for us an example of self-sacrifice and nobility.

Though of opposing sides, Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln stand as two men of courage who shared as well a deep sense of Christian compassion, and at the end of the war set the example for a tragically divided nation that did indeed bind up its wounds and made us one again.

We are humbled by their example and we hope that in some small way our work pays tribute to them and pays tribute as well to all our veterans, right up to today and those who tonight stand the long watch for freedom on distant fronts. We believe firmly in that declaration by Abraham Lincoln that America is, indeed, "the last best hope of mankind."


Carlisle, Pennsylvania

August 22, 1863 5:15 A.M.

apt. Phil Duvall of the Third Virginia Cavalry, Fitz Lee's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, raced up the steps of the Carlisle Barracks, taking them two at a time. Reaching the top floor, he scrambled up a ladder to the small cupola that domed the building.

One of his men was already there, Sergeant Lucas, half squatting, eye to the telescope. As Duvall reached the top step of the ladder, Lucas stepped back from the telescope and looked down at him. "It ain't good, sir."

Lucas offered him a hand, pulling his captain up. Phil looked around. Morning mist carpeted the valley around them. At any other time he would have just stood there for a long moment to soak in the view. It was a stunningly beautiful morning. The heat of the previous days had broken during the night as a line of thunderstorms marched down from the northwest. The air was fresh, the valley bathed in the indigo glow and deep shadows of approaching dawn. The sounds of an early summer morning floated about him, birds singing, someone nearby chopping wood, but mingled in was another sound.

He squatted down, putting his eye to the telescope, squinting, adjusting the focus. He saw nothing but mist, then, after several seconds, a flash of light. It was hard to distinguish, but long seconds later a distant pop echoed, then another.

He stood back up, taking out his field glasses, focusing them on the same spot. With their broader sweep he could now see them, antlike, deployed in open line, mounted, crossing a pasture at a trot, their uniforms almost black in the early morning light
Yankee cavalry, a skirmish line
behind them, a half mile back, what looked to be a mounted regiment in column on the Cumberland Valley Pike.

He lowered his glasses and looked down at the parade ground in front of the barracks. His troopers were already falling in, saddling mounts, scrambling about.

"Lucas, get down there and tell the boys they got ten minutes to pack up."

"We gonna fight 'em?"

Phil looked at him.

"Are you insane? That's at least a regiment out there. Now tell 'em they got ten minutes to pack it up."

Lucas slid down the ladder, his boots echoing as he ran down the stairs.

Phil looked back to the east. He didn't need field glasses now. He could see them. The Yankee skirmishers were across the pasture, disappearing into a narrow stretch of woods bordering a winding stream. A few more pops, and from the west side of the creek, half a dozen troopers emerged
his boys. They were riding at full gallop, jumping a fence, coming out on the main pike.

Only six of them? There should be twenty or more. These were the boys at the forward picket just outside of Marysville. So the first rumor was true: They had been caught by surprise.

The Yankee skirmishers did not come out of the wood line in pursuit, reining in after emerging from the woods. There were a few flashes. One of his men slumped over in the saddle but managed to stay mounted. The mounted Yankee regiment on the road started to come forward, beginning to shake out from column into line, obviously preparing to rush the town.

He lowered his glasses and looked around one last time. It had been a lovely month here, duty easy, the locals not exactly friendly, but not hostile either. The land was rich, the food good, his mounts fattening on the rich grass, the bushels of oats, his men fattening as well.

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