The Last Full Measure (and Gods and Generals) was written by Jeffrey Shaara after his father, Michael Shaara, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels died in 1988. Employing the same style as the previous two books in the series, The Last Full Measure takes the reader inside the minds of several of the most important officers of the Union and Confederate Armies as they regroup after Gettysburg and march on into the final two years of the war. Returning from the previous novels are General Robert E. Lee and the newly promoted Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain. The new addition to this volume is Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, who is given control of all Northern troops after a series of poor commanders have failed to ensure victory.
The novel's title comes from a line in the Gettysburg Address: "It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion."
In following suit of the novels The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure was also planned to be made into a feature film by media mogul Ted Turner. However, Gods and Generals did so poorly at the box office that the project was soon abandoned due to lack of interest and funding.