Reviews - What do customers think about A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War?
Hurrah for Michigan Sep 9, 2008
Chuck full of facts, images, stories and most all of Michigan men who answered the call to arms at that critical point in our nations history when western states began furnishing troops for the Union. Lincoln's call "Thank God for Michigan" upon their arrival in Washington, could also apply to the major battles in which Michigan men participated. Michigan's presence in the Union Army is well chronicled by Richard Bak in this book and the book itself is a quality production only surpassed by the quality content within it. Robert Allen: Author: A "Guest" of the Confederacy The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Alonzo M. Keeler, Captain, Company B, Twenty-second Michigan Infantry
Well Worth The Money Jul 21, 2004
Richard Bak has done it again. The man has quite a "can't put this down" writing style that is as informative as any text available on the subject on which he is writing. To find a book dedicated strictly to Michigan's role in the Civil War - and it was quite a role - has been a dream of mine for many years. Unfortunately, Civil War historians in general tend to overlook states like Michigan and play up Maine (Chamberlain), New York, and Massachusetts. The fact is Michigan played a very important part in the War Between the States, so much so that, in 1861, when 798 men from the 1st Michigan Infantry arrived in Washington D.C. as reinforcements for the nation's capitol, President Lincoln exclaimed, "Thank God for Michigan!" Michigan's regiments were involved in nearly every major battle of the war, and there was even a song written about some of them called "Michigan My Michigan." In the 10 stanza tune, the lyrics proclaim 'Thou gav'st thy sons without a sigh, and sent thy bravest forth to die...,' and goes on to give accounts of the many battles including Shiloh, Yorktown, and Richmond. The complete lyrics are right here on pages 32 and 33 with the story of how and why it was written. Another very interesting fact that I had never heard until I read this book was that Henry Ford, the man who put the world on wheels, was still in his mother's womb when two of his mother's brothers were fighting in the Battle of Fredericksburg. One was killed and one was wounded in that battle, and Henry, who was born at the beginning of Gettysburg, always believed he was the reincarnation of a dead Civil War soldier. It goes on to say that both of his uncles' sacrifices and death helped to fuel Mr. Ford's lifelong pacifism. There is more to this particular story that is very interesting and slightly peculiar. You must, however, read the book to find out what it is. Besides the battles, the author covers a wide variety of topics and subjects throughout his 227 pages of text, including the military draft, military life, life on the homefront, facts and figures for Michigan soldiers, and a close up look at a number of individuals - male, female, soldier, civilian, young, and old - who played prominent roles in the war, both on the battlefield and at home. And this book is loaded with photographs! As a fourth generation Michiganian (and am now raising the 5th generation in our family line), 'A Distant Thunder - Michigan In The Civil War' really brings home (and brings to life) this 140 year old plus war, and Richard Bak's lively writing style will seemingly visually take you back to those heartfelt days. An excellent book for high school age on up.