When Richmond landowner Washington Faulconer snatches young Nate Starbuck from the grip of a Yankee-hating mob, Nate is both grateful and awed by his idealistic rescuer. To repay his generosity, he enlists in the Faulconer legion to fight against his home, the North, and against his abolitionist father. When the regiment joins up, ready to march into the ferocious battle at Buff Run, the men are prepared to start a war... but they aren't ready for how they--and the nation--will be forever changed by the oaths they have sworn for their beloved South.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
August 31, 2001
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Rebel by Bernard Cornwell
The young man was trapped at the top end of Shockoe Slip where a crowd had gathered in Cary Street. The young man had smelt the trouble in the air and had tried to avoid it by ducking into an alleyway behind Kerr's Tobacco Warehouse, but a chained guard dog had lunged at him and so driven him back to the steep cobbled slip where the crowd had engulfed him.
"You going somewhere, mister?" a man accosted him.
The young man nodded, but said nothing. He was young, tall and lean, with long black hair and a cleanshaven face of flat planes and harsh angles, though at present his handsome looks were soured by sleeplessness. His skin was sallow, accentuating his eyes, which were the same gray as the fog-wrapped sea around Nantucket, where his ancestors had lived. In one hand he was carrying a stack of books tied with hemp rope, while in his other was a carpetbag with a broken handle. His clothes were of good quality, but frayed and dirty like those of a man well down on his luck. He betrayed no apprehension of the crowd, but instead seemed resigned to their hostility as just another cross he had to bear.
"You heard the news, mister?" The crowd's spokesman was a bald man in a filthy apron that stank of a tannery.
Again the young man nodded. He had no need to ask what news, for there was only one event that could have sparked this excitement in Richmond's streets. Fort Sumter had fallen, and the news, hopes, and fears of civil war were whipping across the American states.
"So where are you from?" the bald man demanded, seizing the young man's sleeve as though to force an answer.
"Take your hands off me!" The tall young man had a temper.
"I asked you civil," the bald man said, but nevertheless let go of the younger man's sleeve.
The young man tried to turn away, but the crowd pressed around him too thickly and he was forced back across the street toward the Columbian Hotel where an older man dressed in respectable though disheveled clothes had been tied to the cast-iron palings that protected the hotel's lower windows. The young man was still not the crowd's prisoner, but neither was he free unless he could somehow satisfy their curiosity.
"You got papers?" another man shouted in his ear.
"Lost your voice, son?" The breath of his questioners was fetid with whiskey and tobacco. 'Me young man made another effort to push against his persecutors, but there were too many of them and he was unable to prevent them from trapping him against a hitching post on the hotel's sidewalk. It was midmorning on a warm spring day. The sky was cloudless, though the
dark smoke from the Tredegar Iron Works and the Gallegoe Mills and the Asa Snyder Stove Factory and the tobacco factories and Talbott's Foundry and the City Gas Works all combined to make a rank veil that haloed the sun. A Negro teamster, driving an empty wagon up from the wharves of Samson and Pae's Foundry, watched expressionless from atop his wagon's box. The crowd had stopped the carter from turning his horses out of Shockoe Slip, but the man was too wise to make any protest.
"Where are you from, boy?" The bald tamer thrust his face close to the young man's. "What's your name?"
"None of your business." The tone was defiant.
"So we'll find out!" The bald man seized the bundle of books and tried to pull them away. For a moment there was a fruitless tug of war, then the frayed rope holding the books parted and the volumes spilt across the cobbles. The bald man laughed at the accident and the young man hit him. It was a good hard blow and it caught the bald man off his balance so that he rocked backward and almost fell.