For All These Reasons—

Sometimes it's with tears that
we are brought to remembrance
of what our forebears endured in
the fight for Southern Independence.
I've read a lot of history about the
four years that spanned the War
and about Reconstruction and the
miserable years that followed.
And if I had not been blessed
with access to letters from my
great-great grandfather, T.G. Clark,
to his wife—my great-great grandmother,
Marjory Brown Rodgers Clark
(Rachel in my stories)
and their two sons,
Jonathan and Albert Henry,
written during the winter of
1861-62 and the first half of 63,
I might have been sceptical.
But they had no reason to glaze
over the facts while they sat on
some camp stool beside a blazing fire
in the mountains of Kentucky, feet
propped upon partially burned logs
for a measure of warmth on a night
so cold it was impossible to stay warm
any other way.

From that training camp near Paducah,
they started their long trek through
the snow and freezing rain towards
the Potomac River and death.
Death on the scorching hot hills of
Gettysburg on July 1 and 3, 1863.
They laid down their pens on
June 16, 1863, at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 
just two short weeks before Gettysburg,
never to write again.

Their cry was "States Rights"! and there was not one mention of slavery in those letters. These men were fighting to save their homes, their land, their crops, their livestock, and most of all—their wives and children. I started writing THE MISSISSIPPI BOYS before I read those letters. In fact, before I knew the letters existed. Now I have my own copy, all hard-bound, each letter typed so they are easy to read, and I have been to the Archives at the Library at Ole Miss where the originals are safely laid away in folders and kept behind locked doors.

As I wrote JOAB, the last of The Faithful Sons Trilogy, I thought of how it might have been, not only for my family, but for others who bore the same burden of loss. Chapter 16 is called "The Letter" and was written by my fictional character, Trey Alexander Raines, who fought and was killed with Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. If you read my story, you may want to take up the box of tissues as this young soldier's father reads his last letter, as he tells of his love for General Stonewall Jackson, surely typical of how it was for those who fought alongside that old warrior who, at certain times would raise his hand, halt his fighting men, and fall to his knees on the ground, crying out to our Creator God.

Yes, it brings tears to the eyes.
I hope you love the book for all the reasons I wrote it.
Click here and you can get it at Barnes& at a discounted price for a limited time.    JOAB

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FL


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