As a Licensed Town Guide, all the people you meet in James Faber’s Book are the Gettysburg Citizens we talk about on our Guided Historic Walking Tours. As Guides we, of course, “know” the facts, but now we can get to “know” these historical figures as real people. I can envision the personalities Mr. Faber has given them in the book, particularly, those of John Burns and Sallie Broadhead. I think Mr. Faber has made it possible for everyone to become familiar with 1863 Gettysburg as well as “Small Town”, USA, and to understand how difficult it was for the towns and families to deal with the “Brother against Brother War”, and in particular, this battle, which was so costly to both sides fighting it, and to the town who “hosted” it.Linda Seamon, Licensed Tour Guide for Guided Historic Walking Tours in Gettysburg, PA
I don’t normally, as a general rule, read or review fiction as, with my limited free time, I focus on historical non-fiction. However, I occasionally make an exception for Gettysburg-related Civil War topics such as James Faber’s new work. He develops an interesting mix of actual and fictional characters, whose stories are interwoven into the theme of the townspeople’s and soldiers’ reactions to the unfolding events of the Gettysburg Campaign. The author takes us into the lives of ordinary Gettysburg citizens, such as the Skellys and Culps, Tillie Pierce, Ginnie Wade, old John Burns, and several others, as well as a variety Union and Confederate soldiers and officers.
Among the key fictional characters is a Southern actor turned spy named Jones, who prowls the town in the days before the battle in scenes drawn from newspaper accounts of supposed spies visiting the Globe Tavern. The Confederates arrive on June 26, terrorizing the townspeople at first, but eventually getting to know some of them. Just a few days later, after the town returns to a sense of normalcy, the long columns of soldiers come back, this time to fight one of the greatest battles of all time. Faber’s imaginative dialogue gives a flavor of what the soldiers might have been thinking and discussing as the fighting unfolds, placing a human element on the tragic events.
Mr. Mingus has authored numerous books on the Civil War, and his impressive literary list is as follows:
Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River June 1863 The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign Civil War Voices from York County, Pa. (with James McClure) More Civil War Voices from York County, Pa. (with James McClure, 2013) Confederate Gen. William “Extra Billy” Smith: From Virginia’s Statehouse to Gettysburg Scapegoat Gettysburg Glimpses: True Stories from the Battlefield Gettysburg Glimpses 2: More True Stories from the Battlefield Human Interest Stories from the Gettysburg Campaign Human Interest Stories from the Gettysburg Campaign, Volume 2 Human Interest Stories from Antietam Scott L. Mingus, Sr.www.scottmingus.com