Not are not too many nonfiction books out there which are successful in humanizing the soldiers of the Union army. Oh, we've seen it done with the Confederates - countless times - but with the so-called "Yankees" it's a different matter. They're the real "forgotten soldiers."
Whereas most authors seem to concentrate on the South's viewpoint of the war, Bruce Catton sympethized more with the Union men - and it shows. He mentions events which are not commonly brought into the limelight - at Petersburg, Rebel riflemen amused themselves by firing at the dead bodies strewn out between the lines.
Oh, I'm not saying Catton is biased. Not hardly. In this magnificent work his respect for all the common soldiers - and all Americans - shines through. And we are left with a powerful and moving reading experience. I highly recommend "A Stillness at Appomattox."