Maryland was a border state, and a slave state which might have seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy had twenty-seven state legislators not been imprisoned at Fort McHenry to prevent such a vote. Some stood on the side of State's Rights, while others adhered to the belief in Union At All Costs.
The first book, ON GROUNDS OF HONOR, is the story of the older brother, Jeremiah, and his wife, Clara, as they evaluate the elements at play in the political struggle after the fall of Fort Sumter, when the war began in earnest.
Despite the elements of fiction woven into this story, I have strived to keep it as historically accurate as possible. For example, when Jeremiah enlisted in the Union Army, he would have been assigned to the Eastern Shore Regiment, which served as Home Guard on the southern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula until they were called to reinforce the troops already engaged in the battle of Gettysburg.
Charlie, the younger of the two brothers, would have joined the First Maryland Infantry of the CSA, which later mustered out and reformed as the Second Maryland Infantry. He would have participated in many major engagements, and fought under “Stonewall” Jackson at the First Battle of Bull Run, where the infamous general earned this nickname.
These two Eastern Shore units did face one another on Culp’s Hill at the Battle of Gettysburg, as portrayed in this story, and monuments have been erected there to commemorate them both. It is highly probable that the Turner brothers would have faced one another at this tragic and memorable location. Woven into the fictional story are several actual historical figures, including Jennie Wade, Sister Camilla O’Keefe, Nurse Cornelia Hancock, and the Slyder family.
Additionally, the courthouse at Centreville, Maryland was occupied by Union troops to maintain Federal control as there continued to be strong southern sympathy throughout the area. The account of Mrs. Newman hiding her rebel brother from the Provost Marshall at the Chesterfield Plantation is recorded as having occurred, and is another example of a family with members enlisted on both sides of the war.
The location, “Laurel Hill” is a fictionalized version of “Locust Hill,” which was purchased by the Turpins in 1812 and remains in the family to this day. It is pictured on the front cover with the gracious permission of the current owners.