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The Bloody Ground (Starbuck Chronicles #4)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,762 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Battle of Antietam, 1862

In this fourth, final, and rousing installment of Nathaniel Starbuck's Civil War adventures, Nate is given command of a punishment battalion: a motley collection of cowards, thieves, deserters, and murderers. Setting off to Join General Robert E. Lee's army, Starbuck's men reach Harper's Ferry in time to take part in Stonewall Jackson's capture of

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Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 18th 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1996)
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The Killer Angels by Michael ShaaraGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellBattle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPhersonThe Civil War by Shelby FooteCold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Best Civil War Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,817)
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Dave
The Civil War ends with Sharpsburg???????????? This awesome account had a harrowing description of the West Woods/Miller's Cornfield fight. I'm still waiting (& hoping) that Mr. Cornwell will take the time to come back across the pond and do the necessary research to finish this series. Sharpe has all but run its course and this series deserves another shot. When I attended the 140th Anniversary Sharpsburg reenactment in 2002 I regaled my fellow 1st Texans with memories of this book.
Eric_W
There are just so many good mysteries out there. The Starbuck books view the Civil War through the eyes of a transplanted New Englander fighting for the Confederacy. This is the 4th in the series. Not being a fan of the Southern point of view, I was reluctant to pick these up, but Cornwell tells such a good tale that they are very difficult to put down. Nothing deep here, just lots of fun. Starbuck in this one has been yanked from his company — he’s a major — and assigned to the Yellowlegs, a re...more
Christopher
The final volume of Cornwell's Civil War series is a bit stronger than the middle two but still feels like less-than-solid Sharpe stories. Taking the better known battle of Antietam is a good start as it enables Cornwell to tell a broader story of the battle with more identifiable set-pieces.

Getting there was a challenge as there's no real antagonist here. Starbuck's battles with his inept commander Washington Faulconer aren't that satisfying as Faulconer gets removed to Richmond and isn't real...more
Graham
THE BLOODY GROUND is the last in the Starbuck series so far, although the author insists there will be another at some point. I hope there will be: there are too many loose ends left in this one.

As with the previous entry, I've lost my original review, but I remember liking this - a lot more than the previous books. It feels like Cornwell's finally found his groove with this series, and THE BLOODY GROUND is up there with the best Sharpe books. There are vivid battle scenes, overriding realism, p...more
Iceman
Neste 4º volume das Crónicas de Starbuck, Bernard Cornwell continua na senda de Nathaniel Starbuck, jovem nortista que combate na guerra civil americana pelo lado dos rebeldes.

E, quanto a mim, é o livro mais brutal dos quatro.

As peripécias de Nate levam-no ao comando de um batalhão denominado “pernas amarelas”, nome pejorativo que simboliza a cobardia demonstrada por esse batalhão numa batalha anterior. Para além do enorme trabalho que vai ter em educar e motivar esses homens, vai-se deparar com...more
Lynn Pribus
This is one in a Civil War series about Nathaniel Starbuck following action from just after 2nd Mannassas through the great Confederate victory at Harper's Ferry battles and culminating at Antietam.
It stands alone as a novel.

In a historical note at the end of the book, the author says,
"The battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg, for southerners) is the famous for being the bloodiest day in all of American's history. Close to 23,000 men died in that one day."

The book is about Lee's invasion of the nort...more
Luckngrace
This 4th and last in the Starbuck Chronicles ends with the Battle of Antietam/Sharpsberg. Nobody describes war as well as Cornwell, capturing the intensity, emotions and smells of the living and the dead. He's faithful to historical accuracy while leaving the reader hanging on every word.

Our heroes Adam and Starbuck seem, to me, to be the personification of the war, giving everything for the cause, suffering wounds again and again, growing weaker with each engagement, watching and sharing the de...more
Joyce Lagow
Nearly half of this, the 4th installment of Cornwell's Nathaniel Starbuck series, is taken up by the Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg), and Cornwell's expert handling in great detail of that battle is the only thing that saves this book from a much lower rating--and that's because I am a Civil War buff. Otherwise, the writing is mediocre and the character of Starbuck just sorts of stutters and does nothing.

Antietam was and remains the bloodiest single day in US military history, with something...more
adam-p-reviews
The Bloody Ground is the forth and at the moment last book in Bernard Cornwell’s Starbuck Chronicles. There are rumours that Cornwell will be adding to this series after a sixteen year break! I wish he would get back to Nate’s story because I love this series.

This novel picks up after Battle Flag as the Confederate army fights off the last Northern attack and finally goes on the offence and invades the North itself. The mastermind behind this plan is Robert Lee and for his plan to work he will n...more
Ed
Jun 01, 2011 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Civil War, Bernard Cornwell fans
This is the last book in the Starbuck Civil War series, even though Cornwell hints that more will be coming. This covers the events leading up to and the battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in U.S. military history.

Starbuck takes over a punishment battalion made up of alleged cowards, deserters and other motley individuals. This after proving that the previous commander was a crook. Before they are really trained the battalion is marched off to join Lee's army. They take part in Stonewall Jack...more
Stephen
In the fall of 1862, Robert E. Lee took the initiative after a string of triumphs over the bungling Union army and launched an attack into the north, aiming to bloody the Federal army's nose in its own territory and provoke the people of the United States into pressing for peace-- for how many people would support a distant war against the south when the shells were falling in their own fields, with their own homes used as quarters for wounded soldiers? Despite a record of impressive incompetenc...more
Alex Telander
In the final book of Nathaniel Starbuck’s Civil War adventures, he is given command of a collection of cowards, thieves, deserters and murderers, known as a punishment battalion. Starbuck and his men team up with General Robert E. Lee’s army and join Stonewall Jackson at Harper’s Ferry, where the Union garrison is defeated. Then they move onto Sharpsburg, beside Antietam Creek, infamously remembered as the bloodiest single day of the war.

The Battle of Antietam will be the final showdown for this...more
Mike
This is the 4th of 4. The year is 1862. As it stands the series should be sub-titled "The Road to Antietam" or the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with a combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing at 22,717. The author's, not surprisingly, depiction of the battle is excellent and makes the reader marvel at the incredible bravery of the soldiers. Starbuck, while brave and competent, is not a particularly sympathetic fellow. As he notes, he is soldier of the South by chance and...more
Mike
**** 1/2
Great four-book fictional series about a Northerner who fights for the Confederacy. This stuff is classic Bernard Cornwell; interesting characters, meticulous research and pulse-pounding battle scenes that take you directly to the mayhem. While I already knew quite a bit about the American Civil War, reading this series makes me want to learn more. Cornwell gives readers a great sense for the brutality and futility of war thatat the same time, is fascinating. Ultimately, whether you were...more
Michael
I have this weird assortment of memories of visiting the national park at Antietam that kept filtering my reading of this book. I'm a Cornwell fan, so I enjoyed this as I enjoy his other work.
Lynn Diane
Hats off to Mr Cornwell. He managed to make Antietam, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, incredibly dull. I recommend the Shaara books instead.
Doug
What can you say? This is another great effort by Bernard Cornwell. As soon as you figured out that the book was about the Battle of Antietam, you pretty much knew how it is going to turn out - but it remained a page turner none-the-less. I don't know how you do justice to describing the butchery that accounted for the deaths of 23,000 men in a single day, but I suspect that Mr. Cornwell has done it about as well as it can be done. The door was left wide open for a fifth book in the series and I...more
Jane Gonzales
So sad there isn't another one in this series!
Nat Bond
Another Cornwell winner!
Doug McCoy
Good fictional rendering of the bloodiest battle of the civil war. Makes the battle come alive, though the bloodiest and despair remind me of great Vietnam novels like 13th Valley and Matterhorn. Covers both sides with mainly a Southern slant.
Rob
Excellent!
Mark Kloha
I hated this series - the Starbuck Chronicles. Just skip this entire series and you'll be doing yourself a favor. Even Richard Sharpe's descendant, who makes an appearance throughout this series, is a poorly written character. Not one of Bernards Cornwell's better series. Go back and re-read the Richard Sharpe series or get started on Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series. Go read Facebook updates just don't read this series.
Dawn
Cornwell writes vivid battle scenes and Antietam was the most bloody of the war. I hope he continues Starbucks journey.
Gwen Bartlett
We are reading this for our book club at Bookends. This month's read is anything about the Civil War. This book was about the Battle of Antietam, or the Battle of Sharpsburg as it is called in the south. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. It brought back memories of when we visited the battleground at Vicksburg. So many crosses, so many young lives lost.
Fred Ross
The "Starbuck" series is my favorite Bernard Cornwell series after the Sharpe books. I really don't understand the few reviewers who liked Sharpe but didn't like this. The action and adventure are pretty much the same, i.e.., exciting, well-written, and suspenseful. If you liked the Sharpe books, you'll enjoy the Starbuck chronicles as well. Highly recommended.
Carolyn
Written to give a feel of the horrific terror of the battle while keeping you interested in the whole family and real life cast of characters. In this 150th anniversary year, would be nice to see a new book from this author on the civil war and the further adventures of Starbuck and friends.
Ben Trump
The last edition of Cornwell's Civil War Starbuck Chronicles, this book particularly hits on the realism and horror of war. Antietam remains one of the most horrific battles in American history, and Cornwell describes it well.
Benjamin Thomas
Too bad this is the last one of the series. Mr Cornwell has stated that he would like to return to the Starbuck Chronicles but unfortunately, that's just not his marketplace these days. I'm afraid it won't ever happen.
Nicholas Hansen
I have never been disappointed by one of Bernard Cornwell's books, and this installment of the Starbuck Chronicles is no exception. My only complaint is this is the last book written as of yet and I want more.
Frank Kelly
Wonderful historical fiction -- cannot get enough of Cornwell's works. tremendously entertaining. Going to miss the Starbuck Chronicles (as this is the last... for now).
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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his mother's maiden name, Cornwe...more
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