Monday, March 17, 2014


In 1861 the debates and philosophical differences over the question of slavery and states rights eventually moved out of the parlors and convention halls of our towns and became stark, bloody reality on the fields and in the woods of our country. The country went to war, and our nation was so divided that brother fought against brother, cousin against cousin, and even in some instances father against son as the Civil War raged.

The division even invaded the White House. Mary Todd Lincoln's three sisters were married to Confederate officers, and it was rumored that her sympathies lay with the South instead of with the Union. Formal charges were about to be made until President Lincoln himself intervened.

In my Civil War novel, His Steadfast Love, the heroine, a Texas young woman, falls in love with a Union
officer before the war. When the conflict begins her brother joins the Confederacy, and she is torn between two men she loves. They actually meet at the Battle of Shiloh. This scenario was repeated many times in real life.

A West Point artillery instructor had a brilliant student that, against tradition, he kept as an assistant because he had so much admiration for him. As it turned out, the student commanded the Union forces which fired on Fort Sumter, and the instructor was the commander of the Fort.

Thousands of men switched sides during the war, most of them by desertion, but some formally resigned and went to the other side. Captain Frank C. Armstrong of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry fought first at Bull Run for the North, resigned the next month and went south to become a brigadier general for the Confederacy.

When Confederate forces regained Galveston, the general who took Confederate soldiers aboard the Union ship in the harbor to claim it found a young Federal lieutenant on the deck dying. It was his own son.

On a farm in Pennsylvania not far from Gettysburg, the father defended the homestead, while one son fought in the surrounding woods for the North and the other for the South. *

*From The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, Burke Davis, Fairfax Publishing, 1982)

Until I did the research for my novel, I really did not have a good understanding of what devastation our nation experienced during this awful war. May nothing like this ever happen again in the United States of America.

Golden Keyes Parsons writes historical fiction, and is also a popular retreat/conference speaker. Her highly acclaimed Darkness to Light Series (Thomas Nelson Publishing) chronicled the journey of her French Huguenot ancestors in 17th century France. Her fourth novel, His Steadfast Love, is a Civil War novel set in Texas. Her latest releases are ebooks (WhiteFire Publishing) – a biblical fiction series entitled Hidden Faces, Portraits of Nameless Women in the Gospels. Golden lives in Waco, TX, with her husband, Blaine, where they enjoy their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and are avid sports fan of their alma mater, Baylor University. You can contact her at


  1. wow I had hear at times it was brother against brother etc. But didn't know some changed sides. I went to Gettysburg and I have to say its an amazing experience. its was such a sad war in so many ways.

  2. Yes, and studying about it helped me understand why it took the South so long to recover. The South was basically destroyed. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Those stories about family fighting family are heart rending. I can't imagine what those people must have endured. And I agree with you, may it never happen here again.

  4. May nothing like this ever happen again in the United States of America.


  5. The Civil War has become the topic of many historical fiction books today, and I'm relearning history by my reading many of these books. Love to read your book. sharon, wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Golden, your story sounds wonderful. Divided loyalties certainly did split families apart. It was a sad time. I hope future generations continue to learn about that terrible war so that nothing like it ever happens again.

  7. Well, I'll try again. My first post didn't show up. :) I found many interesting stories when I researched family history and the Civil War. One story that touched my heart came from a journal of a young reb. He talked about both sides in the evening around campfires across a river sang hymns together. One side would begin singing and the other would join. He said the sounds carried a great distance in the quiet of the evening. I too pray there will never be a conflict like that again in our country.

  8. What an interesting post. Thank you.

  9. Such a devastating time in our history! "May nothing like this ever happen again in the United States of America." That is my hope and prayer as well! I am adding His Steadfast Love to my TBR list; it sounds wonderful!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  10. Yes, Martha, I read several instances of soldiers on opposite sides singing together, then going into battle the next day against each other. Terrible time for our country. Thanks everyone for taking time to comment!