The story goes that writer Michael Shaara (1928-1988) was rejected many times before finding a publisher for his "The Killer Angels," the saga about the battle of Gettysburg.

But after it was published, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975.

His son, Jeff Shaara, has met no such resistance from the commercial publishing world.

The 62-year-old Tallahassee author has written more than a dozen best-selling historical novels about Americans fighting in well-known wars, and he keeps churning them out.

His most recent is, "The Fateful Lightning" (2015).

Your Scribe is currently perusing "A Chain of Thunder," a 2013 account of the North's crucial victory at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863.

(An aside: When I was chattering at a cocktail party when living in Mississippi years ago, I made a random remark about the "battle" of Vicksburg. An older gentleman, who resembled Col. Sanders but with muscle tone, bolted out of his chair, and loudly said, "Suh, that was a siege, not a battle. If the Yankees had been willing to fight us rather than starve us, it would have been a battle").

"A Chain of Thunder" is a listener friendly book.

It introduces well-known legends like Generals Grant and Sherman, and mixes them with fictional characters such as several strong women of Vicksburg who persevered despite seeing their homes and communities destroyed.

Jeff Shaara has an easy way with dialogue, and makes well-known confrontations appear more understandable, to wit, why did the Confederates retreat to Vicksburg and what were the thoughts of Rebel generals while they were considering surrender of one of the largest armies left in the South?

I keep thinking Jeff Shaara must have numerous assistants that help him block out battles, put certain companies in the proper locations and then talk about how the fighting actually commenced.

Jeff Shaara hasn't written much about New Englanders in the half-dozen of his books I have read.

But Michael Shaara made Gen. Joshua Chamberlain of Brunswick, Maine, a famous man in these parts with his book and later the film, "The Killer Angels."

Chamberlain, the hero of Little Roundtop, was portrayed by actor Jeff Daniels.

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