Book Review: Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal By Kenneth Postalwait

I have mad respect for the author Kenneth Postalwait for making his dreams come true. He’s from Texas and travels the country to get his set of Civil War poems published into different newspapers. I appreciate his creativity geared throughout Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal. He took the time to create several poems (sounding authentic like a Civil War soldier) based off of different famous battles during the war:

  • Battle at Bull Run
  • Second Battle at Manassas
  • The Battle of Antietam
  • The Hills of Shenandoah
  • Fall on Rappahannock
  • Battle of Fredericksburg
  • Etc, Etc

I love that this 140 page, 13 part book had everything written as a rhyme. That was the coolest part for me because it gave it a smooth flow while reading it. If you’re a history buff, you should definitely take a look at the book. I also enjoyed the illustrations.

It wasn’t just one long poem. It had several one page poems that revealed certain aspects of the soldiers’ emotions–how they were bored and cold when no battles were going on, how they were scared to die ( a lot of battles had confusion where they were accidentally firing off at their own men), how they missed their loved ones. It was a nice surprise to find a love story in the mix–a General fell in love with Clara (woman wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and help out) but he was too shy to tell her. So sweet.

You can’t go wrong with mentioning John Brown and Harpers Ferry. Those were my favorite moments. I also loved the Battle of Antietam section because it seemed to have the most tension. After each poem, there’s cliff-notes (which I thought was pretty cool) giving details about fun facts. So, readers get a glimpse of events in sequenced order with the same recurring characters. Readers get to see their lives and journey evolve during the war. My favorite aspect was also the fact that Cherokee role in the Civil War was mentioned. I liked looking at a different angle, instead of always the Union and Confederate. Fun fact: Cherokees fought for both sides in this story.

My favorite section of poems in no particular order (to give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about):

Trial at Harper’s Ferry

You stood amid the mess on a tidy form

A man you just had saved, shot in your arms

I grabbed a shovel, not to turn’n till…

Raised ‘gainst my Southern soul pressed now to kill

The Battle at Antietam

Well the Major might a made it but to call, she turned and stopped

Strait thru hell she yelled to save us spared! the instant he dropped

Caught ‘tween cannon, our own colors! canister’d cut ‘n low

Then raked of our own New Yorkers frantic fire on friend and foe!

Fall on Rappahannock

Just a glance at the correspondence the penmanship caught my eye

This is personal I ain’t nosey (strange quality for a spy)

And I closer examined the dispatch and I stare ’til I can’t even blink

Somethin about that staff orderly and the way I was given the wink

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal and/or the author Kenneth Postalwait:

  • (Email)
  • 830-660-6790 (His phone number, so brave wanting to include it)
  • Website

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

One thought on “Book Review: Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal By Kenneth Postalwait

  1. Pingback: Counting Down the Days Until I See Kenneth Postalwait’s Smile Again. Until Then, I’ll Write About His Books | yawattahosby

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