Battle Flag is the third volume of the Starbuck Chronicles, and rises beautiful to the standards set by the first two books, Rebel and Copperhead. In this book, Nate Starbuck must fight enemies not only on the battlefield but within the Faulconer Legion that has become his home. It is a story not only of the Civil War and the horrors and glories of it, but of friendship, the desire for revenge, and the events that challenge both.
In the beginning, Nate is given a simple warning: Washington Faulconer, the General of the Faulconer Brigade, wants him out of the way. He has known that for quite some time, but he now understands how easily it could be done. Battle fields, he realizes, can hide a number of crimes.
Although his friends urge him to leave the Faulconer Legion and so get out of the grip of Faulconer himself, Nate refuses on the grounds that he has nowhere else to go; the Legion has become his home, and the men in it have become his family. Finally, aided by the friendship of a man who was previously one of his bitterest enemies, Nate triumphs over Faulconer's efforts to destroy his military career and even his life.
The recurring theme in this book, as in the rest of the Starbuck Chronicles, is that sometimes the worst threats come from your own side. It is a story of contrasts: fear and courage, love and loathing, death and the simplicity of life; yet it seems, as indeed it is, completely natural for all of those things to exist together and even harmoniously.
The book ends with the second battle of Manassas (known to many as Bull Run) and a tense standoff between Nate and his father, showing again Bernard Cornwell's deft talent for melding action and emotion while preserving plot line clarity.
Title: Battle Flag