It must never be said that the field of battle falls silent once the fighting stops, for when the guns cease firing and the last echoes die, the wailing cries of the thousands of wounded arise in a pitiable chorus of woe. Karl Bacon, An Eye For Glory, page 124
I just experienced the most memorable Memorial weekend of my 53 years walking the face of this earth.
When I drove through several southern states on my way to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference, recently, I wondered if any Civil War troops had passed over that ground. Little did I know I would return home with a gift, now a treasure, from a fellow writer about that war.
Growing up every boy wonders if he has what it takes to become a soldier, or a warrior. I balked at my opportunity to serve my country after I graduated high school. The failure of the Vietnam War was too fresh in everybody’s consciousness. I didn’t trust our leaders to be able to avoid getting us into another such debacle. So I went to college instead.
Men who were young during the battle between the states didn’t have such a luxury. The call came from the government and the pulpits. Each side knew their’s was the right to die for. Too many of them did exactly that.
Karl Bacon spent ten years researching and crafting his Christy Award finalist book, An Eye for Glory. Fortunately the smells weren’t as vivid as the scenes of an army private–promoted to corporal, then sergeant–of that day. I’m now amazingly closer to experiencing the brutality of war, both the actual and the inner.
I haven’t had much time to read an entire book in too many years. Either the urgency of my job, or the importance of my own writing have kept me from that endeavor. I’m grateful my van is in the shop so I had no excuse to go anywhere, except into this book.
I have an uncle, just nine years older than me, who enlisted in the National Guard out of high school. He was still in when his unit was deployed to Afghanistan. He was stationed on a side of a valley some of our troops were traveling through when gunfire erupted on the other side of the valley.
Two shots are all a well-trained soldier needed to end the conflict in a matter of seconds. The taking of a human life is not taken lightly by a God-fearing man. The dreams probably still haunt my uncle.
Michael Palmer’s story is no different. The echoes of his battles didn’t end when he was sent home after the bloody war. I’m grateful Karl carried that thread to the end of this book. The poignancy of his redemption is well-crafted and worth the read.
A box of tissues had to kept nearby as I read. I moistened more than a few of them. I needed to set the book down occasionally to let the emotion settle around me, as much from the letters shared between Michael and his wife, Jesse Ann, as anything else.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to fight in the Civil War read An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon. You’ll gain a new appreciation for all soldiers. No matter what war they’re fighting.
I’ll see you later. Wade