Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Eye for Glory: The Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen Soldier-Karl Bacon

An Eye for Glory: The Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen Soldier
Karl Bacon
Zondervan, Mar 1 2011, $16.99
ISBN: 9780310322023

Although he loathed leaving his beloved wife Jesse Ann and their children back in Connecticut, Michael Palmer heeds the call of President Lincoln and enlists in 1862. However, he quickly finds himself detesting the deaths of friends and the incompetent leadership of the political hacks in charge of the soldiers who sit in the rear sending people to their death without a thought. Still he vows to do his duty even as his anger at the killings of his comrades has him thirsty for the slaying of Confederate soldiers.

At Gettysburg, Michael keeps score of those he shoots until a dying enemy holds aloft his family bible. Michael is stunned as realizes he had demonized the foe, but like him they have families praying for their return. After he helps the soldier with his final dying breaths by reading scripture to him, Michael takes the bible with him. When the war ends, he tells his Jesse Ann what he did to Mr. Augustus Wyatt of North Carolina. She persuades him to find the soldier’s widow in order to return to her the bible and pray she forgives his shattered soul.

This is an excellent historical tale with an insightful look at the 14th Connecticut Infantry through the eyes of Michael, who became immune to the death of the enemy as he no longer saw them as God’s flock. He also loses his faith in the Lord with the deaths of his comrades. Bloody as the battlefields were and still are, the aftermath of combat in the survivors grips readers. Perhaps those who use the war card as a first option should peruse An Eye for Glory to comprehend first hand the true cost to God’s children.

Harriet Klausner

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