The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War PDF/EPUB ´


The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War ➼ [Download] ➹ The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War By Howard Bahr ➹ – Liversite.co.uk The Black Flower is the gripping Story of a young Confederate rifleman named Bushrod Carter When Bushrod is wounded, he is taken to a makeshift hospital where he comes under the care of Anna, who has The Black Flower is the gripping Flower: A MOBI ó Story of a young Confederate rifleman named Bushrod Carter When Bushrod is wounded, he is taken to a makeshift hospital where he comes under the care of Anna, who has The Black Kindle - already lost two potential romances to battle Bushrod and Anna s attempt to forge a bond n the midst of pathos and horror is a powerful reminder that the war that divided America will not vanish quietly Black Flower: A Kindle Ñ into pages of history.

  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War
  • Howard Bahr
  • English
  • 15 May 2019
  • 0312265077

About the Author: Howard Bahr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to Flower: A MOBI ó navigation, searchHoward Bahr is an American novelist, born in Meridian, Mississippi Bahr, who served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War and then worked for several years on The Black Kindle - the railroads, enrolled at the University of Mississippi in the early s when he was in his late s He received his BA and MA from Ole Miss and served as the curator of the William Faulkner Black Flower: A Kindle Ñ house, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, Mississippi for nearly twenty years He also taught American literature during much of this time at the University of Mississippi In , he became an instructor of English at Motlow State College in Tullahoma, Tennessee, where he worked until Bahr is the author of three critically acclaimed novels centering around the American Civil War He currently resides in Jackson, Mississippi, and teaches courses in creative writing at Belhaven CollegeBahr began his writing career in the s, writing both fiction and non fiction articles that appeared in publications such as Southern Living, Civil War Times Illustrated, as well as the short lived regional publication, Lagniappe which he and Franklin Walker co edited His first published book, a children s story entitled Home for Christmas, came out in and was re published in in a different edition with new illustrations following the release of his first novel, The Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War This latter book, set during the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee in , was nominated for a number of national awards, including from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Gettysburg College, and the Book of the Month Club, and was a New York Times Notable Book, but its release was somewhat overshadowed by the release at the same time of the bestseller, Cold MountainIn , Bahr s second novel, The Year of Jubilo, was released This novel, set in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War in the fictional Mississippi town of Cumberland, deals with the dehumanizing effects of war and its aftermath on Southern society The Year of Jubilo, like The Black Flower, was a New York Times Notable BookBahr s third novel, The Judas Field, was released in In The Judas Field, Bahr again returns to the Battle of Franklin theme, but this time it is through the eyes of one of its participants, again from Cumberland, who travels back to the battlefield in the s to recover the body of one of the fallen, and, in doing so, relives the horror of that fateful day in Howard Bahr is a Freemason, having served as Master of the Lodge while he was in Oxford He is also a member of the Episcopal Church.



10 thoughts on “The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War

  1. Candi Candi says:

    Update on 8 13 19 The ebook is on sale attoday for 1.99 I highly recommend it In addition to those books noted in my review, I can also now say that fans of All Quiet on the Western Front will likely find this to be equally stunningWe are all in hell, all of us While reading this truly exceptional book about the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, I had in my mind s eye visions of some of the most nightmarish depictions of hell Yet, despite these ghastly images, The Black Flower is a Update on 8 13 19 The ebook is on sale attoday for 1.99 I highly recommend it In addition to those books noted in my review, I can also now say that fans of All Quiet on the Western Front will likely find this to be equally stunningWe are all in hell, all of us While reading this truly exceptional book about the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, I had in my mind s eye visions of some of the most nightmarish depictions of hell Yet, despite these ghastly images, The Black Flower is a beautiful book, laced with camaraderie, humor and love It is one of the most powerful and emotive books I have read so far this year, and I cannot get Bushrod Carter and Anna Hereford out of my head I laughed and cried and then did the same all over again while writing this review and revisiting some of my favorite passagesBushrod Carter was barely twenty six, but his greasy hair and mustache were already shot with gray The grime of the long campaign from Atlanta was etched in the lines of his face and in the cracked knuckles of his hands crammed under his fingernails was a paste of black powder, bacon grease, and the soil of three Confederate states As Bushrod and the Confederate army prepare to go into battle, the tranquility of the McGavock s plantation is about to be shattered as their home has been requisitioned to serve as a makeshift hospital for the Confederate soldiers Anna Hereford is a guest and cousin to John and Caroline McGavock and their two young children Her life will be forever altered by this event and by the victims that arrive on the doorstep following one of the bloodiest and most devastating campaigns of the Civil War This novel is extremely well researched and focuses on the day just preceding the battle as well as the one immediately following The intricacies of the actual battle are small change compared to the intimate view we have of the deepest thoughts of a handful of characters their worst fears, greatest hopes, and most poignant memories of the time before war disrupted their very personal lives We meet well seasoned soldiers and generals, Bushrod s pards Jack Bishop and Virgil C Johnson, the bandsmen, the Chaplain, untrained conscripts, an evil creature that defies the term human and made my blood run cold , the beautiful yet reticent Anna, the McGavocks, and even Old Hundred,a terrier cur he was hateful and ill tempered and had no use for anyone What sets this particular book apart and will leave an indelible mark on my heart and likely yours too , is the stunning imagery, the achingly real emotions of the characters, and the haunting landscape of the Departed If someone had told me that the brilliant Howard Bahr had somehow walked straight from this battlefield to his desk to pen this novel, I dare say I would believe it He somehow managed to get right into Bushrod s head and I immediately followed The futility and horrors of war could not have beenstrikingly depicted Bushrod had an aversion to looking the enemy in the eye It would be like looking directly at your own brother or father or uncle just prior to firing your musket Or, evendisconcerting, would be the reflection of your own soul in the image of the Stranger , who it turns out is really not so different from yourself at all There are so many vivid and poignant passages in this compact novel, but one that really stands out is a description of the army, its men, and the only logical reason that Bushrod can fathom for man willing to engage in warfare in the first place He struggles to make sense of this madness just as they are about to advance and face their enemyBushrod could not remember when his army had last been arrayed like this, where he could see nearly all of it at once It seemed an enormous living thing, breathing and moving, possessed of instinct and intelligence and malevolence all its own Bushrod knew it was the sum of many parts, that those parts were individual men, each one the result of a complex personal history and each one convinced that he stood at the very center of the universe But to look at it like this, to see the long lines flung out in diminishing perspective over the folds and wrinkles of the land to see it thus, a vast patchwork quilt of color, all the faces and hands blurred by distance then the individual was completely absorbed, lives were poured and blended into the one great Life, and Bushrod felt as he did when he contemplated the enormity of the stars How else could we ever do this thing I really could just go on and on trying to convince you to read this book Instead, the extra time will be better spent if you start right away trying to beg, borrow or steal your own copy of this very affecting novel You don t have to be a Civil War buff by any means to reap the rewards of this one You do need to be a fan of reading about humanity and the human spirit Oftentimes, there is a very surreal quality to this book and I found it to be quite fitting in these circumstances when one is contemplating the meaning of life and senseless death The ground is littered with the dead, the maimed and the wounded It is a gruesome sight, but it is handled with tremendous care and sensitivity by Howard Bahr I am actually perplexed as to why this book is notwidely read or this authorcelebrated Anyone that ranks books such as Cold Mountain Charles Frazier or The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane or March Geraldine Brooks at the top of their lists, or fans of Douglas C Jones should find The Black Flower equally or in my case,remarkableSome times I do not think I shall live to be very old but should it be God s will for me and any come to me and ask how it was in the old War times, I will say that there was really no victory, and no defeat There were only brave menfrom Bushrod Carter s Commonplace Book, Florence Alabama, November 16, 1864

  2. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    I don t generally think of myself as someone who reads civil war literature and yet perusing my bookshelves I realize I have accumulatedbooks about that period of history than I would have thought I have severalStephen W Sears books I have a run of the Owen Parry series involving a character I really grew to appreciate Abel Jones I still think about a line from Faded Coat of BlueI often contemplate the loneliness of JesusI m not per say a religious man, but that line resonated wi I don t generally think of myself as someone who reads civil war literature and yet perusing my bookshelves I realize I have accumulatedbooks about that period of history than I would have thought I have severalStephen W Sears books I have a run of the Owen Parry series involving a character I really grew to appreciate Abel Jones I still think about a line from Faded Coat of BlueI often contemplate the loneliness of JesusI m not per say a religious man, but that line resonated with me and the stark truth of it keeps it lingering in my thoughts I have Landsman A Novel, Booth A Novel, and Sweetsmoke I recently picked up a copy of Coal Black Horse per the recommendation of my friend Mike Sullivan Little did I know that I am a reader of Civil War literature and Black Flower joins this illustrious list of books that will always find a home in my library Like many American families I have a history with the Civil War and I want to thank both my great great grandfathers for having the fortitude and the luck to survive so that I am here today I am directly descended from both sides of the conflict My great great grandfather, Thomas Newton Keeten, was conscripted into the Confederate army at age 17 He served with the 26th Virginia Battalion, Finigan s Brigade, Brecken Ridge 3rd Division of Earley s Army Corps My great great grandfather, Robert Campbell Ives, served with Company K, Iowa 19th Infantry He enlisted at age 21 He marched all the way from Iowa to Arkansas only to promptly get shot in the jaw in a cornfield A Confederate doctor poured gunpowder in the wound, as legend has it, that stopped the bleeding and saved his life For the rest of his life he wore a full beard to hide the damage to the structure of his jaw A few years ago we hired an intern from Arkansas that was telling us about how her family homestead served as a Union hospital during a battle fought on their land I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle Turns out, sure enough, my GG Grandfather wasthan likely treated at her family homestead The Intern s ancestor was paid in Union script and because she thought there was no way the Union was going to win the war she used the script as kindling to light the fire in her kitchen stove General John Bell HoodBlack Flower is set around the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee The Union troops were on the high ground settled in behind earthworks so when General John Bell Hood decided to attack little did he know he was dealing a death blow to his own cause The losses suffered at Franklin were devastating to the Confederate Army They suffered 6,252 casualties, but as importantly they lost 14 generals and 55 regimental commanders It shattered the leadership of the Army of Tennessee and destroyed its ability to be an effective fighting force for the rest of the war Because the Union army retreated to Nashville some on the Confederate side considered it to be a victory One of the many times the South won a battle only to slide closer to losing the war Our hero of the novel is Bushrod Carter He is 26 years old and from Cumberland Mississippi After the battle in which he lost a finger and was knocked silly He is looking at the carnage and saysI was about to say how funny it isI mean, I am so use to losin, I thought winnin might be different but it ain t, not so s I can see Ain t that funnyTo me that sums up the whole Civil War experience for most soldiers There is no difference between winning and losing there is just losing and losing Carnton PlantationThe Carnton Plantation served as a medical hospital for the Confederate side and the children s rooms were used as a makeshift operating room The blood that soaked into the woodwork of the floor is still visible today Carrie McGavockCarrie McGavock, the lovely Southern belle who worked tirelessly to help the wounded, found herself the next morning cooking breakfast for an army in a blood stained dress Nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers are buried on the McGavock land and for the rest of her life Carrie tended those graves Confederate graves in a field at Carnton Plantation from the Battle of FranklinIn this story, her cousin Anna Hereford, in one of those moments that defies logic and yet, that is the definition of love itself, falls in head over heels for Bushrod Carter Bahr wrote a lyrical, ethereal dreaming novel The characters are frequently floating away from themselves remembering another time, trying to forget the horrors of the present, wondering if life will ever be worth living again One such memory Bushrod has while holding Anna s handSo he put out his right hand, palm up, and Anna settled her own in it like a bird alighting Bushrod thought of when he was a boy and sometimes a chimney swift would come in through the hearth when that happened, he would always be the one to catch it, he loved to wrap his hand around it and feel the softness and the little hammer of the swift beating heart Outside he would open his hand for an instant the bird would lie blinking in his palm, then flicker away so fast he could never find it in the sky He half expected Anna s hand to do the same, but it lay still, and he closed his own around itI have heard of people experiencing trauma that for the rest of their lives changed the way food tasted or the way scents would linger, that only they could smell, for decades after an unpleasant event Lieutenant Tom Jenkins describes such an affliction that haunted him the rest of his lifeTom Jenkins could smell them their sour breath, their farts, the stink of their wool and sweat, the smell of death That was one of the things he would carry away from the war how it stank like death a rich, sweet smell that festered in the nose and clung to everything but most of all to men Years later he would smell it on men that had been there He would smell it on himself in the nights when he would slip from his bed, dress quietly and leave the house smell it while he walked the streets and alleys of Cumberland until daybreak Nothing smelled like that, nothing else in the world And nothing could wash it awayThis book is only 267 pages It is a book that every sentence carries weight I couldn t read this book with anything going on in the room around me I found the best time to read this book was during the midnight hours when the house is quiet and I could let myself sink into this slice of Civil War Tennessee Howard Bahr has written other Civil War novels and I will certainly be adding them to my growing shelf of Civil War literature For the bonafide Southern perspective of this novel read my friend Mike Sullivan s review Mike Sullivan s Review

  3. Lawyer Lawyer says:

    The Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War Howard Bahr and Franklin, Tennessee The Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War is the first of three novels by Howard Bahr set during the American Civil War The other volumes are The Judas Field A Novel of the Civil War and The Year of Jubilo A Novel of the Civil War A number of members of On the Southern Trail are currently reading all three volumes of this compelling set of related tales set during and after the Civil War This review is repostedThe Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War Howard Bahr and Franklin, Tennessee The Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War is the first of three novels by Howard Bahr set during the American Civil War The other volumes are The Judas Field A Novel of the Civil War and The Year of Jubilo A Novel of the Civil War A number of members of On the Southern Trail are currently reading all three volumes of this compelling set of related tales set during and after the Civil War This review is reposted for those Trail Members engaged in this read It is my sincere hope that perhaps this review will lead other readers to discover what I consider to be outstanding historical fiction based on thewar that tore our nation apart Howard Bahr is an exceptional writer Consider joining The Trail, and join in the ongoing read by other members. Some times I do not think I shall live to be very old but should it be God s will for me and any come to me and ask how it was in the old War times, I will say that there was really no victory, and no defeat There were only brave men Bushrod Carter s Commonplace BookFlorence, AlabamaNovember 16, 1864Howard Bahr, 1946Howard Bahr was born Howard Hereford in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1946 Bahr is his stepfather s name Both his father and stepfather are deceased However, his mother lives in Jackson, Mississippi, where Bahr teaches creative writing at Bellhaven College.Tall, distinguished in appearance, Professor Bahr has been on the quiet side when I ve met him at book signings However, he s led an interesting life, and is quite the story himself.After four years in the Navy, a portion of it in combat in Vietnam, Bahr returned to the States, working as a brakeman on a railroad on the Gulf Coast He enrolled in the University of Mississippi in 1973 He became the curator of Faulkner s home, Rowan Oak, in 1976, holding that position until 1993 It is not surprising that Faulkner is among his favorite authors.During his Ole Miss years, Bahr obtained his BA and Master s degrees in English, teaching literature at the University Although he began a doctoral program, he did not submit a dissertation Thinking his career at Ole Miss had reached a dead end, he took a position at Motlow State in Tennessee, teaching literature and creative writing.While at his new teaching position Bahr wrote The Black Flower A Novel of the Civil War Getting it published was another story.The Historical Context General John Bell Hood, Commander, Army of TennesseeJohn Bell Hood, who had fought at Gettysburg with Lee, witnessed Pickett s Charge, but learned nothing from it Wounded by an exploding shell he lost the use of his left arm for the remainder of his life At Chickamauga he lost a leg, amputated just below the hip.He had pursued courtship of a Richmond belle, Sally Buchanan Preston, known to her friends as Buck She repeatedly turned Hood s efforts at courtship aside Before his transfer to the Western theater of the war, she reluctantly agreed to marry him The wedding never occurred.Hood had taken the command of the Army of Tennessee from Joe Johnson who had defended Atlanta using trenches and breastworks His troops had loved him for his value of their lives.Hood was a different animal He was aggressive to the extreme He despised fighting on the defensive His objective was to cut off Union troops under the command of General Schofield from uniting with General George H Thomas, known as the Rock of Chickamauga for his stand at that battle on September 19, 1864.On the night of November 29th, Schofield s troops quietly crossed the exhausted Confederate lines without being discovered, moving on to take the heights of Franklin, Tennessee.Upon learning that Schofield had eluded him, Hood became enraged the following morning He would launch a frontal assault at Franklin, Tennessee He had eighteen divisions of troops, almost 20,000 menWhen he explained what he meant by make the fight an all out frontal assault, within the hour consternation folllowed hard upon doubt by his lieutenants that they had hear aright They too had looked out over the proposed arena, and could scarely believe their ears Attack here headlong and practicallly gunless, against a foe not only superior in numbers but also intrenched on chosen ground and backed by the frown ofthan sixty pieces of artillery , Shelby Foote, The Civil War A Narrative, vol III, p 666, Random House, New York, 1976. Bushrod Carter s WarHe was born in Cumberland, Mississippi, in 1838, and baptized at the age of eleven months in the Church of the Holy Cross He attended the University of Mississippi at Oxford and was educated He had a love of books and poetry, having been taught by his cousin Remy that without poetry the heart was empty When the war came he immediately enlisted in the Cumberland Rifles with his pards Jack Bishop and Virgil C Johnson He had fought in every engagement entered by the Army of Tennessee Yet, though he was but twenty six, his beard and mustache were streaked with grayHis own side that is, the Confederate States of America, which existed for Bushrod only as a vague and distand, and rarely generous entity had provided him a first rate Enfield rifle with blued barrel and a rich, oily stock into which he had carved his initials H e was not a sharpshooter Bushrod preferred to leave his targets to chanceThrough all the fights, Bushrod was uncomfortable, preferring to call his enemies as The Strangers In the assaults, he did not look up, nor did he think about what was happening, nor did he know what he did during battle It was only later that he would remember what he had done He would rather not remember it.Now, it is November 30, an Indian Summer day that hunters back home would dream about having Unlike earlier times he is wishing it is this time tomorrow He is waiting for something to happen.Often in battle he thought there was another Bushrod Carter who took his place who did those things he did not want to remember At times the other would speak to him He heard it nowAll a tremble over things that ain t happened yet, that might not happen atall I won t have this, won t have it Now, listen Listen Bushrod shut his eyes tight, and in the dark behind his eyes arose a vision the battlefield, the tangled breastworks of the enemy floating closer and closer, what had been life s endless prospect shrunken to a few yards of brittle grass And the Departed The Departed rising from the earth like blackbirds, by the hundreds, by the thousands, groaning and chattering, disappearing forever into the smoke That was Hawthorne said the voice Remember what he said The black flower Let the black flower blossom as it mayHis pards are as they always are Jack, the cynical one Virgil C the clownThis is all folly, Bishop went on, and I for one am inclined to forego the whole thing See those trees yonder He swept his arm toward the river They will make this whole end of the line bunch up toward the center, and it ll be a fine day for hog killin, won t it Bushrod, old pard If you are killed, said Virgil C., can I have your watch No said Bishop I have told you a hundred times, that watch was give to me by my mother, and I intend to carry it even unto the grave The army formed up at the McGavock family place, Carnton Plantation The breastworks are visible a mile and a half away over clear plain It is a killing field Carnton PlantationIt is over around two a.m Jack was right It was a good day for hog killin Bushrod is buried beneath the dead seven and eight deep at the Strangers breastworks He is rescued, and carried back to Carnton He has been struck in the head with the butt of a musket The tip of a finger has been shot off But he is alive.At Carnton Bushrod will be cared for by Caroline McGavock s cousin Anna Each have known love and lost it Perhaps they have onechance.The Long Road to PublicationHoward Bahr submitted The Black Flower to several publishing companies All rejected it Ultimately, The Nautical and Aviation Pulishing Company of America, Balti, Maryland, published the novel as part of a project to launch a series of historical fiction The novel was largely overlooked and rarely reviewed.In 1998, Henry Holt and Company, New York, published The Black Flower as a new work in a trade paperback edition Robert Wilson, reviewing the novel for the NYTimes wrote Howard Bahr s first novel was published in hardcover last year by a small press in Balti, but despite being nominated for several awards it escaped the attention of most reviewers and readers Now appearing in paperback, it s being republished as if it were new The success of Cold Mountain certainly has something to do with this, since The Black Flower, like that surprising best seller, is, as its subtitle reminds us, A Novel of the Civil War Let me promise right now not to compare Bahr s bold effort with The Red Badge of Courage, The Killer Angels, the film Glory or a certain public television documentary Forget Margaret Mitchell, Shelby Foote and even Charles Frazier Bahr s novel is too eccentric and too uneven to support such comparisons And at moments it s almost too good to support themWilson particularly found Bahr to write with a post Vietnam ferocity, establishing the malignity of war and its pointlessness, calling The Black Flower a deeply moral novel Indeed it is.The Reviewer Wraps UpJust how good is The Black Flower It was nominated for The Stephen Crane Award, and won The Lincoln Prize from Gettysburg College and The LSU Michael Shaara Award for Civil War First Fiction It was also nominated for the the Sue Kaufman First Fiction Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters In addition, the novel was chosen as both a Book of the Month Club and a Quality Paperback Book alternate It was also considered a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998.I have walked the terrain of Franklin I ve been to Carnton, the Carter House Gin It is small wonder that among Civil War historians the Battle of Franklin is frequently called the Pickett s Charge of the West Surveying the ground, Hood s lieutenants were correct So was Bushrod s cynical friend, Jack Bishop The very lay of the land would funnel the army into a trap where they were subjected to enfilading fire The Killing Field at FranklinBahr wrote a significant novel regarding the futility of war In stark and at other times, dream like, prose, he reminds us that there is no glory in war As Bushrod tells us it is hard to tell the difference between winning and losing The McGavock Family CemeteryJust walk through the McGavock Family cemetery at Carnton You ll agree

  4. Sara Sara says:

    5 Stars I do wish there were a rating Stupendous Perhaps if I had been born in Oxford, Mississippi, I could have been a great writer Seems everyone who puts pen to paper in that town writes something extraordinary Howard Bahr is my new favorite writer He puts emotion into his work without saccharin he brings reality with all its starkness and tempers it with a bit of humor and he finds what it is that essentially makes us human, the parts we most try to hide and keep to ourselves, and h 5 Stars I do wish there were a rating Stupendous Perhaps if I had been born in Oxford, Mississippi, I could have been a great writer Seems everyone who puts pen to paper in that town writes something extraordinary Howard Bahr is my new favorite writer He puts emotion into his work without saccharin he brings reality with all its starkness and tempers it with a bit of humor and he finds what it is that essentially makes us human, the parts we most try to hide and keep to ourselves, and he lays them bare for the world to see He collapses you into tears that purge your soul, and you cry not only for his characters who have touched you so, but for yourself and for all the potential that was lost and buried in your world before you came I have always loved the Civil War I was born into a South that still remembered its loss and mourned them as if they were fresh I grew up in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain and I went there and felt the blood still rushing beneath its calm surface I felt the pride and the shame and the waste of that war as if I had known it in some regard closer than a history book My grandfather, whose older brothers had fought in it, carried a bit of it in his soul and remembered its aftermath and the impact that it had on their lives And they would look out over the stones and the grass and the tranquil bloodless fields and find, each in his turn, the only truth that was left them that the stones possessed a logic of their own, that it all seemed to make sense once but didn t now, and whatever meaning there once was could no longer be got at by old men drowsing in the sunlight with full bellies and no one to shoot at them With this, all distinctions blurred between enemies, between the living and the dead until the old men arose and knocked out their pipes and walked away, wanting to forgive everyone, starting with themselves But this is not largely the tale of those old men who survived and felt the moments after the war This is, rather, Bushrod Carter s very personal story of the war he fought, of the losses he endured, and of his own attempt to make sense of it all At its beginning, we find Bushrod, his friends, Jack Bishop and Virgil C Johnson, and the army of the Confederacy about to engage in one of the bloodiest and most useless battles of the entire war, the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee They are about to cross the land of the McGavock s, intersect with the lives there, and change a sweet and peaceful home beside a meandering river into a witness to battle, an onsite hospital, and a river of blood Bushrod must grapple with every inch of moral territory a man can encounter a love for his fellow man, the memory of a life before, the madness of continuing to pursue a cause no one can even remember, and a belief in a God who seems absent most of the time but he had never figured out how God could look down on such madness and not take a hand The best he could do was to remind himself that men made their own troubles mostly, and that God spent a lot of time grieving Himself. Amen War now is so different, so impersonal in some ways we kill men that we do not have to look into the eyes of while we do it But, in this war, we are fighting ourselves, our own, and we must look into the face of the man we kill and try not to see that what we slay is a piece of ourselves Perhaps that is what has always made this war seem different to me That and the feeling that of all the avoidable wars in the history of mankind, this one was the most avoidable.Needless to say, I will read the rest of Bahr s works His two other Civil War books are on order I am grateful to Diane at the Southern Literary Trail for introducing me to this marvelous writer Not since Cold Mountain have I read a Civil War novel that brought me so close to the hearts of the men who fought and the women who witnessed and paid the price in loss and remembrance

  5. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    This is a book of historical fiction about the Battle of Franklin of the Civil War, a disastrous battle for the Confederate side, fought on November 30, 1864, in Franklin, Tennessee It looks at the soldiers state of mind before, during and after the battle It is a book of character portrayal focusing on three Southerners, three boyhood friends born in Cumberland, Mississippi Privates Bushrod Carter, Jack Bishop and Virgil C Johnson, the first two twenty six years of age and Johnson twenty f This is a book of historical fiction about the Battle of Franklin of the Civil War, a disastrous battle for the Confederate side, fought on November 30, 1864, in Franklin, Tennessee It looks at the soldiers state of mind before, during and after the battle It is a book of character portrayal focusing on three Southerners, three boyhood friends born in Cumberland, Mississippi Privates Bushrod Carter, Jack Bishop and Virgil C Johnson, the first two twenty six years of age and Johnson twenty four They are three years into the war, and they know now what battle is about Fear, filth, vermin, unimaginable suffering and death Other characters join the story Nebo Gloster, Anna Hereford and Simon Rope are the most important After the battle the setting is a Confederate field hospital owned by Caroline McGavock, Anna s cousin By looking at this one battle and these individuals we come to grasp emotionally the horrors of this war We are not given a pretty picture, and this is by no means an easy read No other book I have read on the Civil War so movingly and so devastatingly brings this war alive What is delivered is an accurate and true to life picture of the war Please remember that a three star book is one I think is good and can recommend to others, but why have I not given itstars The horrors described are relentless Sitting with this book for a lengthy period of time becomes tortuous While only a talented writer can bring such unimaginable horrors alive, the unending flow became too much for me A diversion, here and there in the book, would have helped That is complaint number one Number two the characters are realistically drawn as complicated individuals with both good and bad qualities, EXCEPT for one Simon Rope He is the book s devil incarnate, and he is a big mistake in this book He plays an important role in the unfolding of the plot, so the entire story needs to be revised if he were to be removed Number three there is not one word about why the Civil War was fought Nothing A few words about slavery and why Southerners were dependent on it would not have been out of place.The audiobook I listened to is read by Brian Emerson It is OK thus, I gave the audio performance two stars It Is not hard to follow, he speaks clearly, and he captures well how Southerners speak, but he has a peculiar manner of drawing out the last syllable of the last word in each sentence interminably This becomes enervating This book is definitely worth reading It accurately portrays the horrors of the battles of the Civil War I would like to thank those who recommended the book to me

  6. Jay Schutt Jay Schutt says:

    A simple story beautifully written with descriptive prose of the hopes of life and the horrors of war Mostly, the horrors of war Well done.

  7. Sue Sue says:

    There is a recurring image in this novel of a river flowing inexorably onward, a river sometimes of water, sometimes of men It adds to the feeling of inevitabilityall of this must happen No reason of course, only the orders of insane generals This was one of my comments late in the reading of this extremely well written, effective novel of the pyrrhic victory enjoyed by the Confederate Army at Franklin, Tennessee in late November of 1864 I would only amend it to say that the same river There is a recurring image in this novel of a river flowing inexorably onward, a river sometimes of water, sometimes of men It adds to the feeling of inevitabilityall of this must happen No reason of course, only the orders of insane generals This was one of my comments late in the reading of this extremely well written, effective novel of the pyrrhic victory enjoyed by the Confederate Army at Franklin, Tennessee in late November of 1864 I would only amend it to say that the same river also occasionally flows back into memory, toward Mississippi and childhood, moments of past peace and surety Thinking of the river had comforted him once, but itpressed heavily on him now, for there would be nogathering there he remembered the vision he had made was it only yesterday and how it had sustainedhim, but it was gone now, like all those who might have gathered with him All the old boys, camping this night along a far shore where Bushrod Carter could notfollow.He was tired, and there was too much death So he lay down beside his comrade, pillowed his head on the legsof the Departed, and slept for a time.And dreamed of rivers and calm waters, of all the boys passing down through sunlight and patterns of shade ona slow current that bore them home p 197 8 There is so much to recommend in this book, well conceived and developed characters who are consistent throughout and appear consistent to their time an unflinching portrait of war and the physical and emotional cost to all involved in the era of hand to hand combat and brutal, largely ineffective medical care a portrait of some of the Southern mind that this Yankee has found very interesting and instructive That war did not touch the land I live on The Revolutionary War is The War of my area, but a very different event in our nation s history and certainly emotions.Thank you to Southern Literary Trails for leading me to this book I plan to read Bahr s follow up novels

  8. Diane Barnes Diane Barnes says:

    This book took me a while to read, but was worth every second spent with it I read slowly to digest the beauty of the language and the imagery, and considering that most of the novel is about death and dying and the futility of war, that speaks volumes about the talent of the author The battle of Franklin, Tennessee and it s aftermath is depicted in such detail, and so poignantly, that it must be read slowly simply to digest it emotionally This is the best Civil War novel I have ever read.

  9. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    Growing up in the northwest, the Civil War War Between the States War of Northern Aggression gets a brief mention, but classtime tended to focus on local history Fur trade, Oregon trail, Native Americans Since moving to the south, it has becomeclear how very recent events like this war were, and everything seems related to it in some way Most of the time, I get mistaken for a Southerner, but I always feel like I should knowabout the history.This book was selected for the Decemb Growing up in the northwest, the Civil War War Between the States War of Northern Aggression gets a brief mention, but classtime tended to focus on local history Fur trade, Oregon trail, Native Americans Since moving to the south, it has becomeclear how very recent events like this war were, and everything seems related to it in some way Most of the time, I get mistaken for a Southerner, but I always feel like I should knowabout the history.This book was selected for the December read for the On the Southern Literary Trail Group, one I joined intentionally to have greater exposure to southern lit This piece of historical fiction serves two purposes onesouthern novel, but one that takes a very intimate and specific look at a small group of Confederate soldiers surrounding the events of the battle in Franklin, TN, in November 1864.Most of the story circles around a rifleman named Bushrod Carter, although sometimes it goes off on tangents following other characters backstories My favorite bits of the book were between Bushrod and Anna, a girl helping out at a home the soldiers end up at for rest and recovery You might be rolling your eyes and saying, Oh, typical girl, but I m not a war novel person most of the time This would have never been something I would have picked up on my own to read, but I m glad I did It humanizes the events and the soldiers, it brings the situation to a very realistic place through descriptive and emotional writing, and makes some connections to the future the present that I was nodding along with, things I recognized in the southerners I know The most memorable moment for me is the author talking about the impact the war had on the women, after burying their dead, but also after welcoming home the men who hadn t died in battle This the women could not forgive Much was taken, too little returned distinctions blurred, and the hearts that might have lain like picked roses in the women s hands were buried forever under the stones of the dead So the women would not forgive Their passion remained intact, carefully guarded and nurtured by the bitter knowledge of all they had lost, of all that had been stolen from them For generations they vilified the Yankee race so the thief would have a face, a name, a mysterious country into which he had withdrawn and from which he might venture again One Yankee slur in passing I m including here so I can go research it Never fear, said the Major He smiled his broad smile, the corners of his mouth crinkling The day ain t dawned I can t outrun a tribe of cheese eaters Cheese eaters Ha Music is so frequently mentioned that I hunted down the songs explicitly mentioned and created a Spotify playlist Annie Laurie is used throughout, a Scottish origin ballad that seemed to comfort the soldiers, in fact they seemed to prefer it even as heading into battle, over a rousing march much to one band leader s chagrin

  10. Teresa Teresa says:

    Written when I first added the book Not normally the type of book I d read, but my brother sent it home with my daughter for me to read when she was visiting him in September It s set in the city where my brother now lives.Now that I ve finished it, I find that it certainly is the kind of book I d read beautiful, insightful prose scenes and characters that stay with you details that break your heart There s a scene detailing the journey of a wasp that is amazing The subtitle A Nove Written when I first added the book Not normally the type of book I d read, but my brother sent it home with my daughter for me to read when she was visiting him in September It s set in the city where my brother now lives.Now that I ve finished it, I find that it certainly is the kind of book I d read beautiful, insightful prose scenes and characters that stay with you details that break your heart There s a scene detailing the journey of a wasp that is amazing The subtitle A Novel of the Civil War is limiting Though the futile, wasteful aftereffects of the battle are shown in horrific detail it s a wonder all of the soldiers didn t go insane , it s much, muchthan a novel of the Civil War It s a story of true friendships, of persevering and of loving and remaining human despite unimaginable pain and fear

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