Civil War Novels

by Michael J. Deeb

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Michael J. Deeb

is the author of five novels which take place during the American Civil War.

The Drieborg Chronicles

Duty and Honor is the first novel of The Drieborg Chronicles.
Duty Accomplished is the second novel.
In Honor Restored the character Michael returns to the life of a farmer.
In the fourth novel, The Lincoln Assassination Michael Drieborg works with a team of marshals.
Lastly, 1860 America Moves Toward War explores the issues at stake in the 1860 elections.

  • A Great Read!
    I couldn’t put this book down once I got started. The detail was great and I really like the main character, Michael. Knowing that so much research went into this book made it exciting to read!


The Secession Winter: Part Three


The Crittenden Compromise was the earliest of the efforts to find a way to bring the seceding states back into the Union and calm the fears of the Border States. Those who met in Washington City, under the leadership of Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden, suggested that several constitutional amendments be adopted:


  1. To declare slavery inviolate except by state law.
  2. To compensate owners of fugitive slaves not returned.
  3. To extend the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific.


The president elect, Abraham Lincoln, agreed to support the first two suggested amendments, but not the third.


The second effort at compromise was made by the Peace Convention. The creation of this body was suggested by the Virginia legislature. One hundred thirty-three delegates from twenty-one states met and suggested several constitutional amendments. Some were similar to the Crittenden proposals. Significantly different was one proposal calling for an amendment that would prevent Congress by law and the people by amendment from ever interfering with slavery in any state.


The House of Representatives passed this recommendation on February 27, 1861 as the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It was immediately sent to the states for ratification.


Lincoln supported the adoption of this amendment and throughout the winter of 1861, continued to insist that his administration would not interfere with slavery where it already existed.


Neither the prospect of adopting this amendment to the Constitution of the United States nor Lincoln’s assurances had any effect. None of the secession states returned to the Union.


More on the Secession Winter of 1861 later.

Secession Winter: Part Two


Representatives from seven cotton growing states (the Deep South) met in Montgomery, Alabama on February 7, 1861. There, they wrote a constitution and formed a new government, the Confederate States of America. The Congress of this new government selected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as their president and Alexander Stephens of Georgia as their vice president.


It is interesting to note that both of these men had been Unionists following the election of Lincoln. They argued that the best course for their respective states and the entire slave South was to give Lincoln a chance before deciding whether or not to leave the Union.
The Border States of the Upper South, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky, along with Arkansas and Missouri were slave states, too. But leaders in each of those states chose not to join the Confederate States of America. They would remain in the Union and see how Lincoln’s government would handle the situation.


In Washington City government leaders seemed to take a wait and see stance. Between December 20, 1860 when the South Carolina Secession Convention voted to leave the Union and the Lincoln inauguration of March 6, 1861, President Buchanan chose not to confront the seceding states. He feared angering leaders in the loyal Border States and thus pushing them into secession.


Once in office, President Lincoln chose the same course for basically the same reason. Meanwhile, during the Secession Winter, two serious efforts were made in Washington City to lure the states of the Deep South back into the Union and to calm the fears of people living in the Border States.


More on the Secession Winter of 1861 later.

Secession Winter (1860 – 1861)


Dividing-the-National-Map-1860The November 1860 presidential election was an unusual contest.


On Election Day, the Democratic Party was the only truly national party; and therefore on the ballot in all the thirty two states of the Union. The Republican Party was a sectional party and was not on the ballot in most of the slave states. But the Democratic Party split over the slavery issue and offered two different candidates, each of whom presented two different platforms to the people. A third party, the Constitutional Party, also emerged, further splitting the Democratic vote. On the other hand the Republican Party was united. They had one candidate and one platform. The result was predictable. The Republican Party nominee, Abraham Lincoln, was elected to the office of President. He was the first candidate elected to that office without receiving even one electoral vote from slave holding areas of the United States.


It is not my intention to examine all the reasons for panic and secession in the Slave South. It is my desire here to chronicle the events of the Secession Winter.


Within one month of the election, the South Carolina Secession Convention voted to invoke their perceived right as a sovereign state to leave the Union. A crisis was thus initiated that would occupy the attention of the people of the entire nation until Fort Sumter was fired upon the following April of 1861.


January 1861 saw several more states join South Carolina; Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Alabama. Texas followed in February and then joined representatives from these other six states in Montgomery, Alabama to form a new government, the Confederate States of America.


It is interesting that several other slave states did not immediately join this newly formed confederacy. The citizens of Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas saw their secession convention representatives vote to remain in the Union; for the time being.


Civil War Valentines

Several years before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Esther Howland of Worchester, Massachusetts began selling Valentine greeting cards in her father’s book and stationery store. Already an annual event in England, by 1849 it was reported in Graham’s American Monthly that:

Saint Valentines’ Day is becoming, nay, it has become a national holiday.

During the Civil War era, Valentine’s Day cards were very popular greetings exchanged between soldiers and their worried wives and sweethearts. By that time there were many companies manufacturing cards designed just for lonely sweethearts parted by the war. Locks of hair were commonly included with the card; a keepsake to be treasured by the separated couples.

CivilWarValenine1             Civil War Valentine Tent Flap

Civil War Mississippi Cruise – May 2013

Memphis to New Orleans on the Queen of the Mississippi

Memphis: Day One –

One hundred forty five passengers and I left Memphis at noon on Saturday headed south on the Mississippi River. The first lecture I gave was on the Sultana disaster of April 27th 1865 which occurred on the river just six miles north of Memphis. This ship was authorized to carry less than 400 passengers. But, on this night it carried over 2,300 hundred, mostly Union soldiers returning home after  extended periods as prisoners of war in Confederate prisons. The e4xplosion killed over 1,700 passengers and is considered the worst maritime disaster in American history.

Civil War Mississippi Cruise

On a cruise from Memphis to New Orleans I gave seven lectures to passengers on the Queen of the Mississippi cruise ship. We started with a talk on the sultana tradegy of april 1865 just north of Memphis. Then we covered topics like ‘How the War Started; War in the West; Why the South Lost; and The Conspiracy Theories Surrounding the Murder of Abraham Lincoln; and The Battle for Vicksburg.

Of the 145 passengers 50 to 90 were usually in attendance. I accompanied them on land tours as well. It was great fun for me and the passengers seemed to enjoy my talks.

The Battles of New Hope Church


Russell W. Blount, Jr.

Reviewed by Dr. Michael J. Deeb

TITLE: The Battles of New Hope Church
AUTHOR: Russell W. Blount, Jr.
ORDERING: Pelican Press


Under the command of General Joe Johnston, the Army of Tennessee blocked Union General Sherman’s invasion of Georgia and his move toward Atlanta. Russell Blount’s nonfiction work describes the series of encounters between May 25 and May 31, 1864, called the battles of New Hope Church.


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Wish Is My Master: The Honor of Love


Robert Brookover

Reviewed by Dr. Michael J. Deeb

TITLE: Wish Is My Master: The Honor of Love
AUTHOR: Robert Brookover


The first of a four-novel series, this opening story is set in pre-Civil War rural Georgia. Teenager George Yardley learns the life of a small farmer and leather worker from his father. Orphaned when his parents die in an epidemic, he moves to his aunt’s home in nearby Atlanta.


There he meets Amy Frey of Atlanta. She is the beautiful daughter of a very rich commodity broker, Alexander Frey. He is a confidant of Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs.


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The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War


Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by Dr. Michael J. Deeb

TITLE: The Fort: A Novel of the Revolutionary War
AUTHOR: Bernard Cornwell


In the historical novel, The Fort, Bernard Cornwall brings the reader another tale of the American Revolution. Like the first historical novel, Rebel, it is set in the New England colonies, this time in eastern Massachusetts. The British needed a site to which Loyalists could seek sanctuary and where their navy could have a safe harbor. They chose Majabigtwaduce, a small settlement in the eastern part of Massachusetts.


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