I’ve said many times that one of my objectives as a novelist is to bring history to life with rich stories and compelling characters. While writing ON GROUNDS OF HONOR I spent extensive hours researching the details and facts of the Civil War and of life in the 1860s. My intention was for the historical authenticity to add depth to the fictional story.
In the chapters surrounding the battle of Gettysburg, I took the liberty of inserting several actual persons into the story. The first such individual to come on the scene was the nurse, Cornelia Hancock, who was the tended Jeremiah’s wounds at the church functioning as a makeshift hospital. The next is the nun, Sister Camilla, who provided care for him and the other wounded soldiers at Camp Letterman. Also to make an appearance in the Gettysburg scene was Catherine Slyder and her daughter, Hannah, who lived near the Bushman farm which served as a field hospital.
There are many movies and novels which attempt to romanticize the Civil War, but the truth is that all wars are brutal and gruesome. The account of the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath was difficult for me to research and bring to life, and it may prove difficult for you to read. But this too is part of the past that cannot be forgotten. Whenever war can be avoided, it should be. Whenever peace can be chosen, let us choose it.
Compromise and selfless love never leave carnage in their wake.