The Guns of the South: a Novel of the Civil War Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Guns of the South: a Novel of the Civil War

Time travelers bring Ak-47's back to the Civil War to try to create a permanent racial division. Time travelers bring Ak-47's back to the Civil War to try to create a permanent racial division. Confederate General Robert E. Lee is approached by a time traveler some time after Gettysburg in the field with an Ak-47 and an offer to help win the otherwise doomed Civil War. With the weapons, the representative of America Will Break (AWB), time travelers from 21st century South Africa, convinces Lee to convince Jefferson Davis to take their help. The AWB also gives Lee pills for his heart letting him know the date of his death without the medicine using this for leverage.
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Lee is careful to not alter events so that he will know the locations of Union troops based on the AWB history books. As time progresses, battles and history changes. The Union starts making immitation Ak-47's that are inferior to the ones from the future. The Confederacy tries to do the same to get away from their need for the AWB.

Lee leads a successful assault on Washington D.C. and brings a defeated United States to the negotiation table. They set elections in Kentucky and Missouri which become hostile with influence from both sides including weapons smuggling from the AWB. Missouri goes to the North and Kentucky elects to join the Confederacy.

Escaped slaves, former slaves from Union military units, and slaves still held continue to fight. Lee begins to think the war has created a situation of perpetual slave rebellion that will destroy the Confederacy from within and runs for President on an abolition platform. The AWB backs former general Forrest. Lee wins.

At the inauguration, the AWB attacks and kills several officials. With Forrest's help, Lee and the Confederate forces overtake the headquarters and town controlled by the AWB. The time machine is destroyed, new technology is found, and a slave kills the AWB leader. The surviving AWB members surrender and agree to help the Confederacy keep a technological advantage.

The Union uses their copied future weapons to invade Canada which sparks war with England. The Confederate Congress passes Lee's abolition bill.
Best part of story, including ending: The novel is encyclopedic in its detail which weighs down a very interesting story line at times.

Best scene in story: Lee having his men open up an Ak-47 to try to understand its guts is a great scene. The differences in the time periods is illustrated with a good character moment.

Opinion about the main character: Lee is portrayed as selfless and it is interesting to imagine based on what is known about him in history, what he might have done with his better angels were he given the opportunity.

The review of this Book prepared by Jay Wilburn a Level 2 American Robin scholar

South African soldiers time travel back to the American Civil War to aid General Lee with AK-47's. Lee wanting to save his beloved Virginia excepts only to learn the true motive is the saving of the Aparthied in South Africa. This sickens Lee, for Lee does not fight for slavery, Lee fights for state rights and the preservation of Virginia .
The review of this Book prepared by coorsman

In Janurary 1864, Confederate General Robert E. Lee faces defeat. The Union is pursuing the Army of Northern Viginia, ragged and ill equipped. Gettysburg has just broken the back of the Confederacy and decimated its manpower.

Andries Rhodie a strange man with a stranage accent walks into Lee's life, with the offer that could save the Confederacy from defeat. Rhodie shows an amazing rifle, rate of fire thought impossible, its lethal efficency unheard of. It is called the AK-47.

The time travellers of America will break up a neo-nazi organistaion from South Africa that has altered the course of history.
The review of this Book prepared by Liam Maddrell

Toward the end of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee knows he needs a miracle if the Confederacy is to survive. A miracle appears, in the person of an oddly dressed stranger with a new, devastating infantry weapon which the stranger calls an 'AK-47'.

Armed with full-auto firepower against blackpowder rifled muskets, the Confederates take Washington and enforce their secession from the Union. However, General Lee suspects that the gift of the AK-47 may come with a sinister price for the new nation he loves so dearly...
The review of this Book prepared by Brian R. Hughes

Robert E. Lee's army of Northern Virginia is given a considerable amount of AK-47's to use agaist the North. Once the war is one the strange men who gave Lee the weapons try to dictate Confederate policy.
The review of this Book prepared by Cody Carlson

Chapter Analysis of The Guns of the South: a Novel of the Civil War

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   alternate history Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   unraveling a conspiracy War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   guns Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   40's-50's


Terrain    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   19th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   descript of touching personal anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   description of breasts How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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