Valerie's Reviews > Rifles for Watie

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
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's review
Nov 19, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, male-protagonist, favorites
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
Read from November 14 to December 14, 2010

There are few reasons why I wanted to read this book. One, it was highly recommended to me by my sister. Two, is historical fiction (about the civil war). And three, it is based in the mid-west which is mostly ignored during the civil war, except when they mention "Bloody Kansas" for one paragraph in the textbooks. It was a bit long and it took me a while to read but it was well worth it.

Hoping to prove himself and defend his home Jeff leaves to enlist as a soldier in the Union Army. He has this idea that going into battle is an adventure. Basically the plot is Jeff finding out what war is really about but still perseveres. Throughout the book Jeff becomes part of the infantry, cavalry, he's a scout and I'd say more but that might gave something away. It's surprising how long and short the book felt at times.

I can feel how much work was put into this book. The amount of research must of been tremendous; like details from the terrible confederate coffee to the military jargon. The weather is described, the uniforms, even the terrain. However, I didn't feel it was an overload of detail as some authors do.

What really makes the book though is Jeff. Is there a guy like that out there anymore? I kind of doubt it-unless we include the Amish...maybe. He grows up so much during the war, but unlike some other books I've read with war he still tries. Yes, he learns that war is not an adventure and it isn't all it's cracked up to be but he still keeps true to what he knows is right. Jeff does become more somber but not altogether hopeless. As easy as it may be, he isn't extremely bitter though he knows not everyone is fighting for the things he is. Jeff is just so so so...good. I know that a lot of people like the bad boy type but I think good guys are more appealing.
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Reading Progress

11/19/2010 page 15
12/13/2010 page 265
75.0% "Now I get it."
12/13/2010 page 352
100.0% "Jeff can do no wrong. If only he were real."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Piper I loved when he first went to spy on the other soldiers from the South and found out they were just like regular people. It was a touching moment for me...

Valerie I know there are so many moments that make you stop and think. It's been a while since I read this but I remember the time when he was debating with (view spoiler) about the war and The Declaration of Independence.

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