Noah Andre Trudeau
Savas Beatie, 2014, 522 pp. + 16 pp. introduction, $32.95
Image courtesy of Barnes and Noble
In the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, there have been many authors who have expanded and revised their works which have been celebrated in the past. One of those examples was Richmond Redeemed by Richard Sommers while the other entry into this category is The Last Citadel by Noah Andre Trudeau. Many times in these revised and expanded editions, there are great amounts of detail which have been improved upon and this work delivers on that. Trudeau brings the excellence of the narrative which had been brought in Summer Storm into this work and with the expansive amount of information about the Petersburg Campaign in the recent year, is a welcome addition to the study.
Noah Andre Trudea is a history graduate from the State University of New York at Albany. He was the winner of the Civil War Round Table of New York’s Fletcher Pratt Award for his work Bloody Roads South. He also had a cameo appearance on the Netflix original series House of Cards. He is also the winner of the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation’s Jerry Coffey Memorial Book Prize for his work Like Men of War about the combat history of African American Troops in the Civil War. Others may remember his works Summer Storm, about Sherman’s March and Gettysburg: A Test of Courage.
One thing which can be said of this work is that the text deals with the Petersburg Campaign as a whole. If you are looking for a more in depth look into certain sections of the campaign, there are other works which can satisfy that need, but this work deals with the details just as well as other books. Trudeau’s ability to fuse both primary sources of official records with secondary sources to produce a flowing and sweeping narrative is second to none. The work is also accompanied by many maps that ease the understanding of the text. A Civil War book without coherent maps is often difficult to understand, but here, there are plenty to bring and understanding to the battles. What is presented in this text is intense which Trudeau has often brought to his Civil War works. The other part which I enjoyed in this book was the profiles of the commanders which were presented early on in the book. This gives the reader an idea of who and where the commanders of the armies were and what their importance was to their past and current position at Petersburg.
I highly recommend this work to anyone interested in the Petersburg Campaign and anyone who is a fan of the Civil War works of Noah Andre Trudeau. This constantly proved to be a coherent narrative on over nine months of combat towards the end of the war. This Sesquicentennial edition of The Last Citadel proves to be an excellent addition to any Civil War shelf and is a great first serious book about the Petersburg Campaign for the upcoming Civil War student. Just as Coddington’s work on Gettysburg shines as one of the great one volume works on the battle, Trudeau’s work The Last Citadel should be considered the same.