History of JOB'S COFFIN
On April 12, 1864—a blustery, wet Tuesday—as the American Civil War was entering its final, bloodiest stage, Confederate forces under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked to capture a backwater outpost on the banks of the Mississippi River in Tennessee called Fort Pillow. What followed was less battle than slaughter as Forrest’s men massacred the Union soldiers defending the fort—many of them black recruits newly emancipated, newly free, new to the idea they belonged to no one but themselves—as they tried to surrender. The “battle” caused a public uproar that was quickly overshadowed by the apocalyptic events of the opening of Grant’s campaign in the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, Hood and Sherman struggling for Atlanta, and the long, weary siege of Petersburg.
This is the history that my new novel, JOB’S COFFIN (Le Cercueil de Job) grapples with.
For those interested in digging deeper into the history, I urge caution as many published studies are partisan in one way or another (usually in their glorifications of General Forrest’s career), but one invaluable resource is Andrew Ward’s, RIVER RUN RED: FORT PILLOW in the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR.
History of WILDERNESS
The American Civil War Battle of the Wilderness was fought on May 5 and 6, 1864 in the Wilderness of Spotsylvania Country, Virginia. The battle marked the opening of what would become known as the Overland Campaign and was the first clash between the pre-eminent generals of either side: Robert E. Lee for the Confederates and Ulysses S. Grant for the Union.
The Civil War remembrances of Abel Truman in WILDERNESS treat, in part, with the opening clash of this opening campaign in a little place of cleared land known as Saunders’ Field.
For additional information about the Battle of the Wilderness please utilize the following links
Click on the image to the right for a larger map and more information
History of AMERICAN MARCHLANDS
In the 1840s, America was still in the process of finding its way westward. As settlers pushed restlessly toward California, the idea of the Manifest Destiny of the United States to rule the continent at the forefront of their thoughts, they came into constant contact and conflict with not only the Native tribes already there, but also with the Mexican Government. The history of the era AMERICAN MARCHLANDS is set in is as vast and confusing and as it is varied and deep. A few good books to get you started are: