James Merriweather, like his family of Virginia physicians, ministers, and professors, disavows the practice of slavery. A loyal son of the South, he cannot escape his obligation to enlist in the Army of Northern Virginia.
A remarkable physician and surgeon in civilian life, Merriweather is unprepared for a war that will nullify his abilities as a healer. Working and living amidst so much suffering and death brings him to the brink of insanity.
At home on the family’s small farm on Horlbeck Creek, South Carolina, his wife, Mary Assumpta, and young son, Colin, must wage their war of loneliness and futility. Letters are infrequent, and when they arrive, they are weeks removed from the events that gave birth to them. Not hearing bad news becomes the hope that must sustain them in the long periods without letters.
Once the first cannon’s shells fell on Fort Sumter, the war was the new existence for southern families.
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