A forgotten but splendid novel about the American Civil War, specifically, about the Second Battle of Bull Run. It's as true-to-history as Michael Shaara's celebrated "The Killer Angels," but in this novel the characters tend to be more lower-ranking, including civilians caught up in the violence. No great depiction of command decision but the kind of confused, chaotic, narrow-vision focus that the lower commanders, common soldiers, and bystanders would experience. Wicker manages to work the fears, romantic feelings, even a gay subplot into a vast tapestry. It was a terrible and somewhat pointless battle but this story does convey the chaos and seismic confusion of it all. A classic.