On the Eve of Conflict opens in the spring just as the war begins and the boy’s father departs to disappear into the fabric of the distant conflict. During the summer, with his father away, Duane, his mother, his dog Pounder, and his friend Jamie share a season of uneasy calm into a summer of unexpected violence toward a winter of loneliness. Finally, in the spring of 1862, Duane sets out in search of his father whose last letter came from somewhere in western Tennessee.
Up from Corinth continues the story as Duane’s search for his father carries him into the conflict and battle at a place called Shiloh. The circumstances of battle land him with the Union Army in the care of an army surgeon and his teenage ward who treat his wounds and conceal his identity. The story of that battle and the months that follow continues through the summer and fall of 1862 as the Army of the Ohio moves into Tennessee and Kentucky. Skirmishes with elements of Confederate cavalry, illness, and the hardships of life in an army on the move, culminate in full battle at Perryville. Finally, in the winter of 1862-1863, in the aftermath of a bitterly cold and bloody battle at Murfreesboro, Duane is able to begin his trek back to the Confederate Army.
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