I would like to thank William David Barry for writing a positive review of my historical novel, “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War: At Every Hazard.”

In the latter part of the review, Barry speaks of “breathless battle scenes” and the depth to which the tumultuous relationship of Chamberlain and his wife are explored, going on to say, “Cost knows his historical figures in their complex lives and facets.” His summary of the novel is that it is “enjoyable, sustained and informative.”

Unfortunately, it took my reading the column four or five times before realizing that it was a glowingly positive review. Much of the first half of the review is a diatribe about two sentences from the novel.

The largest criticism was that St. Luke’s Church was not built until 1868. The fact is that the first St. Luke’s was on Congress Street in 1855 before the new cathedral was built on State Street.

Mr. Barry goes on to say that there were few, if any, six- to eight-story structures on Congress in 1862, but in truth, there were many, such as City Hall, the Portland Observatory and the First Parish Church, which was the largest of a half-dozen churches that the historian Edward H. Elwell called a sort of “Zion’s Hill.”

There were also many other impressive buildings, such as Mechanics Hall, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and the first City Hall.

I do refer to Congress as an “avenue” instead of a “street,” an irksome mistake that I thank Mr. Barry for pointing out.

In turn, I’d like to correct misinformation in the review about the cost of “Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War: At Every Hazard.” It is actually priced at $16, not $19.95, and is available at local bookstores and on Amazon.

Matthew Langdon Cost

Brunswick