I didn't exactly know what to expect from this book and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. This is the tale of the little recognized Civil War Battle of Franklin in Tennessee and how it affected the people in the town near the battlefield. It also brings to light the efforts that were made by the townspeople to preserve the cemetery and Carnton home where so many soldiers were taken after the battle.
This book appears to be a tribute to Carrie McGavock and her slave/friend Mariah. These two women of the south worked diligently to care for the wounded and to provide solace to the families of the soldiers who died in the battle.
Carrie McGavock is the normal southern woman, wife and mother. Before the battle, her life is filled with depression and grief related to the death of 3 of her young children. It seems that Carrie doesn't come alive until literally everyone around her is dying. The Confederate Army turns her home into a hospital and together, Carrie and Mariah work to ease the suffering of the survivors. Carrie becomes involved emotionally involved with Zachariah Cashwell, a Confederate sergeant who Carrie sends to the surgeon for a leg amputation. Their time together is cut short when Cashwell is sent to a Union prison. Carrie's spirit turns to protection of the cemetery where the Confederate soldiers are buried and she and her husband John work to have the soldiers reburied on the land when the original cemetery is threatened.
The historical facts are cleverly woven throughout the fictional story, enlightening the reader while enhancing the story.