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The Guns of Bull Run

Joseph A. Altsheler

Book Overview: 

The first volume in the Civil War series, following the adventures of Harry Kenton, who leaves his home in Kentucky. He travels through dangerous territory to South Carolina on a secret mission on the eve of the Civil War.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .P> Strong works were going up along the mainland. The South Carolina forces had also seized Sullivan's Island, Morris Island, and James Island and were mounting guns upon them all. Circling batteries would soon threaten Sumter, and, however defiantly the flag there might snap in the breeze, it must come down.

As they were leaving the last of the batteries Harry noticed the broad, strong back and erect figure of a young man who stood with his hands in his pockets. He knew by his rigid attitude that he was looking intently at the battery and he knew, moreover, that it was Shepard. He wished to avoid him, and he wished also that his companion would not see him. He started to draw Colonel Talbot away, but it was too late. Shepard turned at that moment, and the colonel caught sight of his face.

"That man here among our batteries!" he exclaimed in a menacing tone.

"Come away, colonel!" said Harry hastily. "We don't know anything . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I read this entire series of books when I was in Jr.HS and enjoyed them. I happened to find them again in my mid-60's and find them to be still enjoyable although primarily for young readers. They follow history very accurately and if someone wants to get a good background on the Civil War while rea

This was a fun and interesting read. I'd recently read of this man, who was a hugely popular novelist in the post-civil war to world war one era, though I had never done so before. For a man as successful as he was, think the Grisham, or Luldum of his day, maybe a Cussler, I was stunned that his wo

Interesting story on the thoughts and actions of the "Southerns" outlook leading up to the Civil War. Including the rallying of folks in support of or against seceding from the union. The reason for the succession was more nuanced than Slavery alone which contributed to many of the people joining th

This was a very good book. The lead character, Harry, was very well developed in the story. He witnessed many historical events that were described very accurately. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Civil War. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Joseph Alexander Altshe

Excellent! Entertaining. Even the parts of the history I already know, I'm kept on the edge of my seat wondering, "What's going to happen?" It's good for filling in gaps and giving you a taste of the culture and times when the author wrote it. I'm excited to read the rest in the series.


I've never read anything like this before because, frankly I was never interested. I acquired this for homeschooling and decided to read it. I really enjoyed it. The writing is a little dated, yet enjoyable. The reasons for the Confederate support of the war are never mentioned, but in a way

Great story with what seem to be accurate accounts of early Civil War activities and battles. Very engaging with a likeable main character. I enjoyed the mingling of a fictional main character with historically accurate descriptions of Civil War generals.

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