Our Lesser Angels: A Novel of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp (Paperback)
Fifteen years after the end of the American Civil War, a North Carolina widow travels to Elmira, New York, the site of an infamous Confederate prisoner of war camp, to confront the woman who may know the meaning of an engraved ring found in the pocket of her deceased husband's Rebel uniform. The answer emerges through fictionalized first person accounts from a Rebel prisoner, a Union guard, a crusading Elmira Female College student, and John W. Jones, the actual fugitive slave and Underground Railroad conductor ironically tasked with overseeing the burials of the nearly 3000 Confederate soldiers who died at the camp. Their diverse voices provide an intimate look into the build-up and conduct of the war from the passionate perspectives of those who fought for either side, those left to wait at home, and those whose very freedom depended on the war's outcome. Their deeply held beliefs and loyalties are challenged when their fates converge in the harsh shadow of the Elmira prison camp, a place where suffering blurs the line between enemy and friend, and where empathy can turn to love.