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Thunder in the Harbour by Richard (Rick) W Hatcher, III

The book was written by Richard Hatcher, III who will be known to many members of th RT and has been reviewed by Richard O'Sullivan. Richard O'Sullivan is a former member of the Round Table and has made presentations to the RT in the past and is the author of The 55th Virginia Volunteers, part of the Virginia Regimental history series. He now lives in Bridport.

Rick Hatcher's talk to the CWRT Congress is available via this link:

Thunder in the Harbor tells the story of Fort Sumter, whose presence dominates the entrance to the port of Charleston, S.C.  Every schoolchild knows that the fort is where the great Civil War began, but who of us can say much more than this?  Well, thanks to Richard Hatcher we now have the entire story, and a fascinating one it is ─ stretching from the determined engineering effort to bring the fort into existence, through the Civil War and Spanish American War, to the installation’s present incarnation as a proud icon of the National Park Service.


The greater part of the book is devoted to the desperate, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt by the U.S. Army and Navy to bombard the fort into submission during 1863 and 1864.  The intensity and cost of the operation will come as a surprise to most readers, as will the tenacity and heroism displayed by the defenders.  The narrative is an exciting one and adorned with numerous anecdotes and sketches of the participants from both sides. Even seasoned Civil War buffs are likely to remark “Well, I never knew that.”


As with his previous work, The First Shot, the author has illustrated the book with a mass of excellent photographs and portraits.  It also has a useful index, not a given these days.  Recommended.


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