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Shelly's Book Journal

The 3 Rs: Reading, Reviews & Recs.

Let's chat about books!


Currently reading

The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Shelby Foote
Progress: 380/976 pages

"Widow of the South" - Everyone should know the true story behind this book.

The Widow of the South - Robert Hicks

I am quite fascinated by history, but puzzled as to why we are losing the truth of our history here in America.  Every time I read a history account - even much of the historical fiction, I find a piece of something that I feel like everyone should know.  This is one of those books.  Even though the character interactions are fictious along with some of the characters, the basic framework of the book - centering around the Battle of Franklin during the American Civil War, is truth.


The McGavock's house was used as a field hospital after the battle - where more than 9000 casualties were amassed in 5 hours.  After the war, most of the dead were buried where they fell in unmarked graves in a field not far from the McGavock's.  Later when the owner of the fielded wanted to plow it under, the McGavock's offer their land as an alternate site for reburying these soldiers.  And so, they moved them, carefully keeping track of who was buried where (despite the graves being unmarked, the bodies had mostly been left with some identification which was discovered when they were moved), providing information for families and lovingly attending to the graveyard for the remainder of their lives. 


The McGavock home and cemetery still stands today....


While the book was centered around these events, there were some additional plots and characters that fed into the story that were fictitious.  It had some interesting parts and some that seemed like they didn't fit.  The story about the cemetery, however, is so special, that it breathes this book the life it needs to make it to the end.


It's a shame that more people aren't familiar with the story of this cemetery.  It's a story of sacrafice and honor, one that we don't see too often on the pages of our papers, but we need to.