April 9, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the American Civil War. What not many people realize is that it was not in fact the complete end of the war, and several skirmishes and battles followed because Lee surrendered only the Army of Northern Virginia, not all Confederate forces. General Joseph Johnson, with whom Lee’s forces had been trying to link up, presided over a very large force in North Carolina. For a while, Johnson agonized over whether to surrender or fight on. Many of his starving troops were eating the bark off trees and picking through horse manure for bits of oats and corn but still wanted to continue the fight. With no hope of reaching supplies, and with soaring desertion rates, a couple of weeks after Appomattox, Johnson too surrendered.
The passions that drove the Civil War were epic—as was the cost in lives.
If you add up the number of American men killed in the Revolutionary War, along with The War of 1812, The Mexican War, World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan, more American men died in the Civil War than in all the other wars in which America fought combined.
The passions of that tragic war, the determination, rage, treachery, and deceit, are captured in Point Blank: A Novel of the Civil War by Carmine Sarracino, which will be released in the future by The Wild Rose Press. Follow Louisa March, modeled after Louisa May Alcott, as she serves as a volunteer nurse in a hospital in Washington just after the horrific battle of Fredericksburg. Idealistic and naïve, she struggles to overcome challenges of espionage, drug trafficking, war profiteering, and murder that tempt her to run away from it all and return to her comfortable home in Massachusetts.
Her love for a war-weary, badly wounded Union soldier, however, keeps her in the hospital—and in the midst of the high drama of this most deadly conflict. Her limits are tested every day: first by the gruesome wounds she must tend but then by the collapsed social barriers that put her into situations of sexual temptation she could never have imagined back home in Boston. Fiercely determined to be strong and succeed, she is challenged at every step of the way. Only her love for Cole Morgan, a Union soldier who was nearly dead when she began caring for him, inspires her to find strength deep within herself that she did not know she possessed. The enemies the two confront are as darkly powerful as their love for each other, especially Dr. Stephen Valentine, a drunkard, spy, and war profiteer, and Eustace Light, an albino Confederate sniper with preternatural vision, almost superhuman marksmanship, and an unquenchable hatred for Yankees.
The Wild Rose Press