Sergeant George Van Norman, a Yankee, was wounded at Nashville in one of the last battles of the American Civil War.
Left behind to recuperate as the Union Army moved on, he was assigned to guard a Southern plantation from January to August, 1865, where he fell in love with the owner’s daughter.
That much is fact.
The fiction begins with his wounding at the battle, and follows him to the plantation where he meets the woman, her family, and the people living there, former slaves who have been freed but have no place to go.
He befriends a former Confederate soldier and, together, they overcome deserters from both sides, Carpetbaggers, and bushwhackers marauding throughout Middle Tennessee, including precursors of the Ku Klux Klan.
Meticulously researched using letters, diaries, and official records, the novel offers compelling insights into the last days of the Civil War and early efforts at Reconstruction. It is a story of passion and betrayal amid the anarchy of post-war Tennessee.
George Van Norman returned to Wisconsin where he became prominent in commerce and politics. Among his legacy are a spur and a sash, along with the story of how he came to have them.
This is that story.
US Review of Books – Focus Review Book review by
Big River Magazine Wisconsin Underground” and “Minnesota Underground” by Doris
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