Archive for April, 2013

David Wood, U.S. Cavalry

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

David Wood was 10 years old when the war broke out. His father, Samuel, had moved the family from Ohio to Kansas in 1854 to help “Free Staters” keep slavery out of the territory. The elder Wood forged a reputation as the “Fighting Quaker.” Growing up surrounded by hostility, it was natural for David to feel ready to march off with the troops when his father became lieutenant colonel of the 6th Missouri Cavalry in 1861. Wood’s battalion was stationed at Rolla, from where it operated against Confederates in southern Missouri and Arkansas. At Rolla, David repeatedly begged his father to let him go along, but always was denied permission. One day while Colonel Wood was leading his men on a long march, miles from headquarters, he noticed a commotion at the column’s rear. Turning his white stallion, he road through the ranks, all the while ignoring distractions his men contrived to divert his attention elsewhere. At last he made his way to the rear where David was found riding on a pony, surrounded by a group of admiring soldiers who were using their mounts to conceal the lad. David continued the story:

“He didn’t say much to me. I guess he realized he might as well yield to the inevitable. From then on he kept me with him, and on January 1, 1862, at Rolla, I was regularly enlisted. My duties were principally that of an orderly, carrying dispatches here and there and sometimes going where grown men could not go.”

In June 1862, he displayed budding business acumen: “I secured a cask of fresh water and some lemon extract and started making lemonade and selling it to the soldiers. The venture was so profitable that I made enough to buy some real lemons for a second batch. From this beginning I developed a sutler’s outfit that made me in the neighborhood of $2,000 while I was in the army. Finding there was a great demand for small delicacies, I loaded up with everything I could think of that the men would buy. One of the generals from the main army loaned me an ambulance for the outfit, and soon I was handling quite a business. Among other things, I changed bills for the men, who allowed me 25 cents for changing a 5- or 10-dollar bill. This was robbery, of course, but was allowed throughout the army until Lincoln printed small bills called ‘shin plasters’ for change.”

Too Young to Die by Dennis M. Keesee, pp. 33-34

next week: Charlie Coulson’s story in the words of Max Louis Rossvally

Retired Philadelphia Teacher and Lancaster County resident’s 4-Book Novel to be Published in its Entirety

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

After 42 years of teaching, the last 17 at Penn Treaty Middle School, Joel Moore retired recently to focus on his efforts as an author. Having written a four-part novel about a young boy’s experience in the Civil War, Journey Into Darkness, as well as two other novels and some short stories, he became published when Up From Corinth, book two of Journey Into Darkness, was released in July of 2011. A copy of that book and of the entire set of four manuscripts were donated to the library in Fox Chase, where Moore lived during his teaching career in Philadelphia. He has now moved to the farmlands of Lancaster County where he works to help market the book and pursue publication of the entire series. The final three books are now published and can be ordered through Xlibris, Amazon, the books’ website – upfromcorinth.com, and Ingram Distribution. Meanwhile, Up From Corinth has been accepted in Civil War battlefield parks and is available through several libraries and book sales outlets. All will be in local libraries and bookstores by the end of April.

Lisa Barnett, Eastern National bookstore manager at Stones River National Military Battlefield, recently notified J. Arthur Moore, author of Up From Corinth, that his book has been approved for sale at the battlefield. It becomes available this spring. The battle at Stones River is the closing event in the story about Duane Kinkade’s experiences in the Civil War. It took place on New Years Eve of 1862-1863 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in freezing weather conditions. This year was the 150th anniversary of the battle, and likewise experienced freezing conditions as reenactors gathered to commemorate and honor those who fought there during the Civil War.

Moore was also informed by Joni House, bookstore manager at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Park, that Up From Corinth has been approved there as well. The battle at Perryville is also part of young Kinkade’s experiences as he journeys with friends in Sheridan’s Division of the Army of the Ohio. This battlefield likewise celebrated its 150th anniversary the first weekend of this past October. The website, www.upfromcorinth.com, carries two excerpts from the book featuring Perryville. The first is found on the excerpt page and tells of Duane’s experience as the battle opens along a creek crossing the Springfield Pike. The second is on the book trailer page and is an MP3 file reading from the fighting and the hospital barn after the fighting, and includes the voices of former students from Penn Treaty Middle School assisting with the reading. . [These students are also featured in a 45-second book trailer found on the book trailer page of the website and are frequent visitors to Lancaster County.] The author attended this event and has posted pictures and video links on the website’s Facebook link.

Up From Corinth begins at the Battle of Shiloh, where Duane falls wounded and is taken from the battlefield by a Union doctor and his teenage ward who tend his wounds and conceal his identity. The bookstore at Shiloh does not carry fiction unless it is a classic. However, the manager there has agreed to take a second look at Up From Corinth, considering its historic connection. The book is also in review at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The book’s website, www.upfromcorinth.com, carries articles and reviews of the book, but also has a blog page that posts the stories of many of the boys who participated in the war. A new story is added each week. The Facebook link from the home page carries photo/art albums identifying two dozen boys with more added each month. It also carries photo albums of places and events related to the war, where the author has visited; as well as information about the 4-part novel, Journey Into Darkness, of which Up From Corinth is book 2.

The final three books in the series are now in production. On the Eve of Conflict: the beginning of the story, book 1 of Journey Into Darkness, tells of life on the farm before the war, Duane’s pa’s departure to the war, and the boy’s eventual decision to leave in search of him. Across the Valley to Darkness: book 3 of Journey Into Darkness, begins with Duane’s return to the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee, follows events through Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and Duane’s reunion with his friends in the Union Army following the battle at Gettysburg. Toward the End of the Search: the conclusion of the story, book 4 of Journey Into Darkness, follows Duane’s experience through the horrible slaughter from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania Court House to Cold Harbor, where events and a letter about his pa send him from the war to return homeward.

The manuscripts for Journey Into Darkness have been read and reviewed by several people. Paul Sanborn, historian, Freedoms Foundation, wrote, “I highly recommend this series of four historical novels…these are an important way of preserving our national heritage and bringing it to life…researched so that they reflect accurately on the historic period they represent.”

Author Lloyd Alexander wrote, “I think you’ve done a magnificent work. Now that I see the books all together, I appreciate it even more. I’m enormously impressed. It’s a moving, large scale and splendid story, and those remarkable photos really add a special dimension.”

One reader, Katherine Lewis, wrote, “Dear Mr. Moore, Journey Into Darkness is beautifully written and extremely moving. I rate this alongside Trinity and A Tale of Two Cities. Thank you for the sheer enjoyment of your story.”

Finally, Charmaine Ball, Reading Specialist, retired, wrote, “How you managed to intermingle the horrors of the Civil War with such touching and often lovely descriptions of nature, I’ll never know. … Journey Into Darkness could become a fascinating movie if put into the right hands.”

Moore has attended several events this past year including anniversaries at New Market, Virginia, Antietam, Maryland, and Perryville, Kentucky. He has also presented the stories of Boys of the Civil War at Pequea Valley Intermediate School, Aston Historic Society, West Chester University’s 150th event, and Kennett Square Civil War Club. He is currently setting up his calendar for 2013 which already includes the 50th anniversary of the Honey Brook Public Library, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site Civil War on the home front event weekend, and Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum Civil War Living History event weekend, with more in the planning stages.

Up From Corinth can be found in local libraries in Lancaster, Chester, Berks, and Philadelphia Counties. It is also available in book stores at Aaron’s in Lititz, Legacy in New Holland, Chester County Historical Society and West Chester University in West Chester, as well as Treasure Hill Antiques in Morgantown, and Civil War Sutler Heirloom Emporium — www.heirloomemporium.com; and online at www.upfromcorinth.com and www.amazon.com.

Much more can be learned about the book on www.upfromcorinth.com, including a preservation announcement on the blog page. J. Arthur Moore can be reached through the contact page.

It is hoped, as one reviewer writes, that it will also find its way into schools. “…excellent resource for middle-school American history classes, giving a boy’s-eye view of the Civil War and reminding students that kids their own age were caught up in active duty during the war.” -Blue Ink review

Up From Corinth received the Mom’s Choice Award for excellence in young adult historic fiction

musicians at the 150th anniversary of the battle at Antietam