Dana Fuller Ross' panoramic saga of America's great expansion into the western territories is some of the most intelligent, well written historic fiction I have read. "Nevada" is Book 8 in a series of 24 novels which truly bring history to life during one of the United States' most important and fascinating periods. I have become addicted to this series and plan to read all twenty-four books.
The year is 1861. Abraham Lincoln has just been inaugurated as President of the United States. But the Union is breaking apart. States are seceding one by one, and a devastating War is about to begin. The Comstock Lode, the richest lode of silver ever found by prospectors, has been discovered near Virginia City, Nevada. The President has enlisted Major General Lee Blake, to carryout an urgent mission. He must ensure that the overland transport of millions of dollars of silver reaches the Union lines safely.
Lincoln and his generals are worried about financing an expensive war. The British are quietly aiding the Confederacy. Britain has made great strides with the Industrial Revolution. Cotton from the South will assure a continuance of their burgeoning economy. The Nevada silver, and gold from California and Colorado, are desperately needed to pay for munitions, uniforms, weapons and food. Whip Holt, Blake's dear friend and colleague from the days of the Oregon Trail, is called out of retirement, his commission as full Colonel reactivated, to assist Blake in this dangerous assignment.
This is one of my favorite books in the series. It is certainly one of the most exciting. The train bearing the silver bullion is sabotaged by British agents and captured by the Confederates. Both the capture and outcome are absolutely thrilling. Many of the characters from the former novels appear here and they continue to grow and develop, while a new generation, born on the Pacific coast, begins to assume responsibilities as they come of age.
The history, characters, plot and subplots in this novel are some of the best so far. I love history, and while I have read and studied this period in America's development, I have learned so much from reading these eight "Wagons West" books. I plan to continue until I read them all. A wonderful reading experience.