Deep in the Heart
'Remember your names, boys, remember your names!'
IN THE SPRING of 1862, young Wiley Nesmith kissed his bride goodbye and marched off to join General Robert E. Lee's Army on the killing fields of Virginia. A knapsack of unmailed letters left behind in an old farmhouse discovered 160 years later trace the bloody odyssey of the young Georgia private in battle after battle, from Seven Pines and Gettysburg to Cold Harbor and Appomattox, while revealing the agony and the glory of Nesmith's devotion to the Cause.
"Spell-binding...better than Cold Mountain"
"Captures the spirit of the South...In these pages the reader comes to understand the strong southern support for the war, the great sacrifices that had to be made, and the heroism of so many southern men and women...A memorable book about the most important war in American Historty...Its readers will gain a new appreciation for this special time in our history"
Southern Methodist University
Martyr or monster?
THE WAR BETWEEN the States produced many heroes, along with its share of martyrs and monsters. No officer of that tragic era, however, left behind a more misunderstood and debated past than Captain Henry Wirz, the brooding, enigmatic commandant who ran one of the bloodiest POW camps in American history--the notorious compound in deep south Georgia known as Andersonville. Ever since the end of the Civil War, historians, journalists and criminologists have sought to unravel the truth behind the horrific events at Andersonville, along with Wirz himself, a Swiss-born medical doctor who had joined the Confederate army to help support his wife and family back home in Alabama.
Thousands of Union prisoners suffered horrifically under his watch at the Andersonville camp, described by survivors and witnesses as a "festering hell-hole," before finally succumbing to diseases, malnutrition and brutal treatment at the hands of guards overseen by Wirz. But was the quiet-spoken commandant with the thick German accent a true-life monster responsible for the atrocities--or merely the scapegoat for the sins of the South? Defenders now claim he was framed--and hanged for crimes not of his making.
High Moon on Marsh
The Saga of Neptune Small
and the Battle of Fredericksburg
HENRY LORD PAGE KING lived the life of a fairy-tale prince. Growing up in an aristocratic family along the Georgia coast, young King enjoyed long days hunting and fishing the marshes with his best friend, Neptune Small, a slave who shared King's birthday. When Georgia seceded from the Union in 1861, King joined the Confederate cause and marched off to serve under the command of fellow Georgian General LaFayette McLaws. Though he could have stayed at home, Neptune Small chose to accompany his friend and "master" to the killing fields of Virginia.
At night, while the sound of cannon fire echoed around them, the pair would huddle around the campfire and reminisce about the old days of fishing under a high moon on the marsh. On December 13, 1862, Captain King fell at the Battle of Fredericksburg--riddled with multiple musket balls while delivering an important dispatch to General T.R.R. Cobb's Georgia Legion hunkered down behind the famed Stone Wall. Braving enemy fire, Small retrieved his fallen master's body, built a coffin and transported it back to his home on St. Simons Island in Georgia. For his efforts, Neptune was given a tract of land--today known as Neptune Park, one of the most valuable pieces of property on the island.
There's much more to this story than a simple slave's duty to his master and the senseless slaughter on the front lines in Virginia. The book seeks to capture the tumultuous drama and grand glory of plantation life in the Old South--of an island (St. Simons) uder siege from Yankee invaders and the ill-fated effort by islanders, mostly women and loyal slaves, to survive and fight back. Most of the story is meticulously chronicled by Captain King's mother, Anna Page Matilda King, who, in the "noblest" Southern tradition, fights off Yankees, rioting Negroes and renegade deserters while protecting her home and family.
High Moon on the Marsh is a sweeping portrait of antebellum life in the Old South, a gallant attempt to expose the dark secrets and myths, real and imaginary, as a proud people struggle to survive the despair and tragic misfortunes cruelly cast upon them by the Civil War.