ISBN 978-1-60264-461-8, $19.95, 210 pages.
Letters to Raintree County has three sets of 19th century letters from Virginians or ex-Virginians, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Indiana Volunteers in the Civil War. The letters often dramatic and compelling deal with life and death, earning a living, religion, politics and the great tragedy of the American Civil War. There are exceptional letters in each group: one from a doughty Virginia pioneer befallen by a stroke; another by a spunky 18 year old girl whose turn it is to get married; another by an early business venturer who went West at precisely the wrong time; or the sergeant who carefully analyzes the tactics and strategies of his generals. In a way the letters section culminates in the death and devastation of the Civil War.
But life went on. There is a fourth section, a quiet ending, telling. The book contains some short essays and many notes so the modern reader can understand and relate to the people and their times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chicago-born author grew up in gritty industrial city. Worked in steel mills and oil refineries during and after college. Graduated in liberal arts from DePauw University in Indiana; study included one year at St. Andrews University in Scotland; Main career in contracting for U.S. Government: Air Force, NASA, National Science Foundation, Office Economic Opportunity, and National Institutes of Health; had many fascinating and often dramatic experiences; Left for private sector where cofounded a successful small business; left executive position to become writer; wrote Ohio historical bestseller called Unsung Heroes and a satirical history of golf; for Raintree Letters project Indiana Historical Society has published two short articles and a database. Currently completing a literary game expected to formally debut in spring 2010.