Hard Road to Gettysburg

Ted Jones, Author
Ted Jones, Author Lyford Books $21.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-89141-445-2
Paperback - 978-0-89141-534-3
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Civil War buffs and fans of Jones's first novel ( Grant's War ) will enjoy his expert weaving of historical characters and events into a suspenseful story of brothers separated at birth who end up fighting on opposite sides in the war. Samuel and Simon are twins, but there is a birthmark on Samuel's forehead. That disfigurement is the rather unconvincing reason his mother in Alabama gives the child to her twin, Caroline, in Gettysburg. At the war's outset, Samuel and Simon are in their early twenties, graduates of West Point and VMI, respectively. Between the two of them, they manage to see action in nearly every major battle in the east from Bull Run to Gettysburg. The story, though, focuses primarily on the Union kin: Samuel, impersonating his brother, engineers the fatal shooting of Stonewall Jackson, while Caroline, a shoe manufacturer, has her own dealings with the rebel army since her warehouse is stocked with desperately needed shoes. The premise and the numerous subplots may sound somewhat preposterous, but in fact Hard Road has some powerful writing (particularly the pages of Caroline's diary) and manages to animate the human aspect in the history. ( June)
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