I received a couple of Civil War novels in the mail recently. Both were written by descendants of Civil War soldiers, and both relied on their ancestors’ writings to varying extents in producing their works of historical fiction.
The Spur and the Sash is a story of author Robert Grede’s great-great-grandfather George Van Norman, a Union soldier who, while recuperating from a wound received at Nashville, falls in love with the daughter of a plantation owner. As he courts her, he also has to deal with the changing structure of Southern society in the wake of the ending of the war: carpetbaggers, former slaves, deserters, and low-lifes.
Husband and wife team David Stinebeck and Scannell Gill have written a fictionalized account of George Thomas in A Civil General. It’s told through the eyes of a colonel who became a close friend of the General, and draws on the writings of Stinebeck’s own great-grandfather, who served under Thomas.