This is a superb, work -- in league with the best historical writers of our day in both substance and style. Bissland has done his homework in crafting a spell-binding glimpse of Ohio's significant role in the Civil War.
I found his character descriptions to be most insightful and colorful. The depictions of Grant, Steedman, Rosecrans, and John Brown were especially riveting. His short bios of the main players were rich with detail and fresh anecdotes. They were never dry and plain -- always juicy and enticing. I loved the alliterative description of Brown as " an avenging angel on assignment from God. I didn't wanting to stop reading in the midst of any new character description.
The author is almost poetic in his economical painting of snippets, often catching the reader off guard, e.g., "small conflicts flickered on the horizon like heat lightening" and my favorite: depicting Foote's gunboats as "enormous Hostess Twinkies with quills."
The work is well-researched and appropriately documented, using an array of fascinating primary sources, including many diaries and early newpaper accounts. While the book subtitle suggests a narrow geographic view, I highly recommend this book to those beyond the midwest.