Caleb's War

Caleb's War

by Walter Urbanek


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Caleb's War is a narrative about the tribulations of Sergeant Caleb Johnson, a farmer from the Shenandoah Valley who volunteered to serve in the Stonewall Brigade to stop the Yanks invading eastern Virginia. As Caleb fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, the reader will experience the gamut of emotions as he dealt with military and platoon issues and family concerns on the farm.

The book is a plethora of information on the Civil War. The reader will learn about the filthy living conditions in camp, weapons, food preparation, diseases, generals, medicine, and terror and chaos of battle.

A major theme throughout the book is the overpowering religious convictions of the soldiers, especially those from the South: reading the Bible, praying, and singing hymns such as "Amazing Grace" were common behaviors. Soldiers prayed before and during each battle imploring God to intervene on their behalf. Wounded warriors begged their Lord for forgiveness and end their agony and take them to his kingdom.

The reader will gain a unique perspective of the battles as they first experience horrific happenings through the eyes of Sergeant Caleb Johnson, and then they join Union Private Josef Volzek and see what he perceived and underwent. The reader will be drawn into the story and feel what the soldiers endured: fear, bloodshed, smoke, terror, loss, noise, and chaos.

Caleb's War is also a testimonial to all veterans. In the annals of warfare, there are no braver warriors than the men and several hundred women who served in the ranks of the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War; their courage and bravery is above reproach.

Veterans are the men and women who answered our nation's call during a crisis. They remain a national treasure and merit our profoundest remembrance, respect, and support.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640827431
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: 06/14/2018
Pages: 698
Sales rank: 1,056,793
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.53(d)

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Caleb's War 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 Stars The story is told through the eyes of several characters. Many of them young lads who hadn’t even reached adulthood but either volunteered or were sent to fight by their families. Lack of resources, jobs and poor living conditions forced many to leave home and join the war efforts, so they had clothes on their backs, small amounts of food in their stomachs and a place to sleep at night. Caleb Johnson is one of the main characters. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia with his wife Sarah and two sons, Adam, and Matthew. He and his family lived on a farm west of a small town called Lexington. To keep the family farm running they often would take in men who were travelling the countryside looking for work and a place to lay their heads at night, even if it was in the barn with the animals. He reminds me of a gentle giant. Loving, caring, honest, confident, fiercely loyal to family and close friends and slow to anger, but also stern and commanding with a strong sense of honor and pride. He is a well-respected man in his community and becomes a strong and well-respected leader among the men in his platoon. Being the well-respected man that Caleb is it isn’t hard to believe that he is instantly promoted to sergeant of one of the Confederate armies by his good friend General Jackson on the day he enlists. This promotion doesn’t sit well with a few of the officers who felt a “sodbuster” wouldn’t know the first thing about leading men into battle. Yanks, Rebels, Confederates, Union, Federals, all names the author uses to refer to the soldiers fighting in the war from both sides. If I had to give one negative regarding this story it would be that all these names became confusing as I read through the story. At times I became confused as to who was who. History. Whether a person appreciates it or not, it’s a part of us in one way or another. Growing up, I wasn’t one to appreciate it. I didn’t see the sense in knowing anything about it. But, as I’ve always been told, you’re never too old to learn something new. With Mr. Urbanek’s book, I have been able to read about parts of the Civil War that are seldom talked or written about.
Drew1234 More than 1 year ago
Caleb’s war is a gripping tale filled with romance, suspense, historical fact, and carnage. It offers a very accurate and raw portrayal of how terrible the Civil War was, and what new, untrained soldiers went through as they progressed from civilian to soldier. All of the characters are great, and you’ll fall in love with Caleb and his lovable company of misfits and simple farmers. You’ll cringe every time Sergeant Stevens or the Boehner boys open their mouths, and you’ll cry when someone you care about dies. I also really enjoyed Josef’s point of view chapters. In a conflict like the Civil War, it’s important that you get the angle from the North's side, and Josef’s character really helped flesh out the story and the conflict. I think the most impressive aspect of the book is how accurately the author captured battles and soldier life. Whether you’re getting an immersive view of the Bloody Cornfield in Antietam, or experiencing the monotony of the typical soldier day, Caleb’s War does an excellent job at really immersing you in that environment and conflict. The way the author weaves the historical fiction tale with the actual events and battles is done wonderfully. Not only do you get to enjoy a harrowing fictional story, but you also learn a great deal about the Civil War itself. Because of this nice balance between fiction and fact, this book isn’t just for Civil War buffs, it’s for anyone who enjoys good storytelling, action, and history.