So excited to have my fifth novel (Beyond Wounded Hearts) off to my publisher. This second book in my Wounded Heart series takes place during the final week of the Civil War and its aftermath. Set to release in March of 2023, the book follows Luke Gallagher and his encounter with a feisty Southern girl named Adelaide Hanover.
I love the research involved in writing a historical novel and thought it would be fun to share some tidbits of history I unearthed while writing the story. Beyond Wounded Hearts opens with the fall of Richmond (April 3, 1865)..Here are a few bits of interesting history I uncovered in my research.
“Crazy Bet” ~ Elizabeth Van Lew
Working with prisoners and guards within Libby Prison, she gained valuable information to pass on to General Grant and helped many a Union prisoner gain freedom. Despite the townspeople’s suspicions and numerous attempts to incriminate her, she alluded them all, playing the part of a deranged woman and earning the nickname “Crazy Bet”..
Her valuable efforts were rewarded when the Union overtook Richmond on April 3, 1865. The first to raise an American flag, she boldly confronted the Confederate crowd and declared her allegiance to the Union.
Mary Custis Lee ~ Unbending
Mary Custis Lee was the wife of General Robert E. Lee and great-granddaughter to Martha Washington. While her husband was off fighting the war, she stayed at their home in Richmond with her daughters. Confined to a wheelchair due to illness, she bided her time mending uniforms for Confederate soldiers.
When Jefferson Davis and his army of Confederates caught wind Union troops were about to overtake them, they promptly set important documents and buildings ablaze and left. Not Mary. She stayed put, drinking tea with her daughters. While fire claimed a nearby church and houses along her street, the Lee house was spared.
When the war ended a few days later, General Lee returned home to his family in Richmond and soon he and Mary relocated to Lexington, Virginia.
Abraham Lincoln ~ A Surprise Visit
One interesting piece of history you may not know about Abraham Lincoln is that he toured the streets of Richmond less than 48 hours after Jefferson Davis and the Confederate army fled. The city was still smoldering when he quietly and unobtrusively arrived by row boat with his son Tad to visit the conquered Confederate capital.
Instantly recognized by the elated throng of emancipated slaves, he ventured onto the dock to shouts of jubilation. Despite attempts by the sailors who’d escorted him to protect and dissuade him from venturing into the onslaught of people, Lincoln boldly walked through their midst shaking hands and declaring them free.
Making his way along the streets of the ruined city, he came to the Capitol building as went inside and made himself at home. Days later, the beloved President would be assassinated, not in the Confederate capital, but in his own Capital Washington D.C.
I’ve incorporated bits and pieces of these interesting bits of history within the pages of Beyond Wounded Hearts. The novel rewinds just a tad from where Book One, Beyond These War-Torn Lands leaves off. If you haven’t yet read Luke’s older brother, Drew’s story, now’s the perfect time to check it out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these lesser known glimpses at history. For more info on my upcoming writing projects I invite you to sign up for my monthly Author Newsletter.
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