Sunday, October 30, 2011

Photos of Newtown Battle Field

Elmira, New York was not only the site of some important Civil War history, but also hosted a key battle in the American Revolution.

Continental Army General Sullivan's campaign against the Iroquois came to a pinnacle in upstate New York, right outside Elmira, on an eastern bluff overlooking the Chemung River Valley.

A plaque on the site reads: "One of the most violent battles of the Revolutionary War occurred at Oriskany on August 6, 1777. It was the first time that Oneida warriors, who openly sided with the rebellious Americans, fought against other Haudenoshaunee warriors who allied themselves with the British."
Oneidas at the Battle of Oriskany
painting by Don Troiani 2005.

The Iroquois people came from all over New York state, and were historically comprised of five nations, The Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida and Cayuga, with a sixth joining them, the Huron.

Another plaque reads: The soldiers in Sullivan's army were surprised to find cultivated fields and beautiful orchards. Following the war many returned to settle here. Some historians contend that opening the Indian lands for settlement was General George Washington's ultimate purpose for Sullivan's expeditions.

The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planitng more.
General George Washington

Monday, October 17, 2011

A great time for Civil War fiction

April marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. Fort Sumter's guns echoed in publications such as Smithsonian Magazine, accompanying a spate of new Christian fiction. What I had feared dead, interest in Civil War has actually revived in several new releases.

Golden Keyes Parsons has one coming out in November called His Steadfast Love.
The Civil War—a defining time of great sacrifice, change, and betrayal which will determine the fate of the Nation. It isn’t until it comes into her very home that Amanda Belle must face impossible choices of love, loss, and loyalty.

I just read and reviewed another, called Love's Raid by Darlene Franklin.
Clara Farley thinks she'll never marry so she draws up plans to run a school for girls in Maple Notch, Vermont during the Civil War. Daniel Tuttle has returned from war without one of his arms, and believes no woman would have him. He serves as town constable during a rash of bank robberies on the heals of a Confederate raid in a nearby town. As the robberies threaten his family's banking business as well as her plans for the school, Daniel must prove himself competent to the town, to Clara and to himself by solving the crime and catching the criminals. But as he gets closer to the culprit, will he drive away the woman who finally might consider him a suitor?

Yet another is Vickie McDonough's Long Trail Home.
A weary soldier returns from the War Between the States to discover his parents dead, his family farm in shambles, and his fiancée married. Riley Morgan takes a job at the Wilcox School for Blind Children and tries to make peace with God and himself. When a pretty, blind woman who cares for the children reaches through his scarred walls and touches his heart, he begins to find renewed faith and hope for the future. But when he discovers Annie feigned her blindness just to have a home, will his anger and hurt drive him away and ruin all chances for a future filled with love, faith, and family?

Ramona Cecil has Civil War ties throughout Freedom's Crossroad, which is a bundle of three novellas about Indiana history. The Underground Railroad makes an prominent feature in one of those novellas.

So, it turns out that this is a good time to write--and read--Civil War after all.