Gone for Soldiers: A Novel of the Mexican War

by Jeff Shaara

Hardcover, 2000

Call number




Ballantine Books (2000), Edition: 1st, 424 pages


Fiction. Literature. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:In Gone for Soldiers, Jeff Shaara carries us back 15 years before the momentous conflict he has so brilliantly chronicled, to a time when the Civil War's most familiar names are fighting for another cause, junior officers marching under the same flag in an unfamiliar land, experiencing combat for the first time in the Mexican-American War. In March 1847, 8,000 soldiers landed on the beaches of Vera Cruz, led by the army's commanding general, Winfield Scott-a heroic veteran of the War of 1812, short tempered, vain, and nostalgic for the glories of his youth. At his right hand is Robert E. Lee, a forty year-old engineer, a dignified, serious man who has never seen combat. In vivid prose that illuminates the dark psychology of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, Jeff Shaara brings to life the familiar characters, the stunning triumphs and soul-crushing defeats of this fascinating, long-forgotten war.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jpsnow
This novel of the Mexican War focuses on Winfield Scott and Robert E. Lee. Shaara also highlights Jackson, Longstreet, Grant, Johnston, and others. It's captivating. I especially enjoyed the insight into Lee's earlier years as a soldier and the dynamics of strategy between the earliest West Point
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officers and Santa Anna's old-style European approach.
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LibraryThing member anitaphillips61
There are very few books out there that teach about the Mexican War in such an interesting and entertaining way as Jeff Shaara. This account sets the stage for the American Civil War by introducing the reader to many of the notable generals of the Civil War who got their start as privates and
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lieutenants in the Mexican War.
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LibraryThing member Karlstar
Like Killer Angels, this is a personal look at the conduct of the War with Mexico, particularly focused on the young leaders that would be critical in the US Civil War. An excellent overview of the war without being too detailed. Like Shaara's other books, this is a personal view of warfare, with
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emphasis on the warfare.
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LibraryThing member ZoharLaor
I have read all of Mr. Shaara's novels, this one is a bit below them since it does not flow as smooth, and I got the feeling that he took too much "liberties" with the characters. There is no way for us to know exactly what was said, and who was thinking what, but I felt he went a little beyond his
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"Gods and Generals", and "The Last Full Measure" being much more free with historical characters.

Mr. Shaara did justice to General Scott, who to this day does not get the credit he deserved, but I think he got a bit confused with the character of R.E. Lee in his youth.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading the book and if you enjoyed this author's previous works, you'll enjoy this one also.
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LibraryThing member hslone1
What a great book about the "Generals to be" in the American Civil War. Shaara discusses the impact of Robert. E. Lee on important battles with Mexico. He also mentions Grant and the possible meeting of the two men. They mention the Irish Brigade who sided with the Mexicans, as a result of their
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feelings toward the British and their taking of North Ireland, and when captured were shot for dissertion. A great read about early Imperialism of the USA.
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LibraryThing member repb
Very interesting account of the US - Mexican war that took place just before our own civil war. I especially enjoyed the author's accounting of what happened to each of the principal characters afterwards. I was a bit surprised there was nothing mentioned of the famous "boy heroes", Mexican cadets,
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that lost their lives when Chapultepec fell.
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