Reading Corner | Creative sidelights of the Civil War capture reader interest

Legacy of the Angels
Legacy of the Angels

Legacy of the Angels by Anonymous Jones refreshes people’s memory of General Ulysses S. Grant at Vicksburg, Miss., and the Siege of Vicksburg, but Jones diverts the reader’s attention from the battlefield.

He creates a fictional scenario where Grant needs a respite and takes a contingent of soldiers with him for a get-away weekend to a plantation, which they learn is named Magnolia’s Grace. The journey there holds intrigue and mystery. The soldiers encounter what they believe is an ambush, and Grant’s best friend and West Point classmate, Richard Patterson, gets shot. The reader learns that a trapper, who is familiar with the area, is the shooter, but they wonder who the trapper is and question the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Once the Union soldiers reach Magnolia’s Grace, the focus of the story changes to the people at the plantation. Camellia, a 16-year old slave, is a favorite of plantation owner, “Master” Andy Holloway, so she lives in the manor house. Growing up, her playmate and best friend was Jonathan, Holloway’s son, but the son has gone away and nobody knows where he is. Holloway himself has been away for the past year, leaving the plantation management to an employee.

Camellia whiles away time and dreams of being a belle of the ball. Granny Zela, known as GraZel, is the cook and is mother to her. Ole Moses is the patriarch of the slaves, who listen to him and follow his lead. Nathaniel is a young slave, frightened by the events going on since the Union soldiers arrived. A host of soldiers include Major “Blackjack” Fortmann, the bully Jennings, Lieutenant Cochran, Oscar Buntley and others, all with a specific role to play.

A prominent element of the story is compassion: for the slaves, people and animals experiencing the horrors of war and the devastating divide between the North and South. Compassion is seen when Grant, overcome by Patterson’s demise, places the picture of their graduating class at West Point at his friend’s head. When Fortmann finds the pack horse, Sadie, bleeding, “he was sick to see the shape the poor animal was in,” and freed the horse from restraints.

GraZel was told to minister to Patterson and muses, “What was it about war that took away all common sense, replacing it, instead, with something called….honor?” Grant meets Moses and thinks, “[Moses’] whole life had probably been lived going from one owner to the next, suffering one humiliating defeat after another…”

Jones weaves into the story intricate details of the landscape, including the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. He describes the plantation, the barn, the cemetery, the manor house and some of its furnishings so the reader can visualize everything. Mystery, murder, espionage, intrigue, abuse, religion, superstition, and unforeseen disclosures are part of the story, all encompassed by the Civil War.

Those who want to read a story with Civil War as its background, have an interest in lots of details and are fascinated by mystery and intrigue will enjoy this book.

Jo Ann Mathews.

Local co-authors to host Myrtle Beach Moms’ Night Out

Trina Epp and Leah Speer (a Myrtle Beach mom), co-authors of Pour Me Some Whine/Wine!: A Toast to the Mama Sisterhood,are hosting Myrtle Beach moms’ night out at 7 p.m. April 8 at Barnes and Noble, The Market Common, 3346 Reed St.

There will be a moms’ meet up at Divine Prime Wine Bar in The Market Common, 1160 Farrow Parkway, Myrtle Beach.

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At a glance

Title | Legacy of the Angels

Author | Anonymous Jones

Publisher | Amazon’s CreateSpace

Length | 323 pages

Cost | $9.99; Kindle, $2.99