Face to the Sun: A Civil War Novel
a novel by Steven L. Acker
Historical Fiction - Military
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Clay Miller joins a Mississippi regiment to escape the brutality of his father only to find himself in the even more brutal world of a western Confederate soldier. Through the trials of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and every footfall in between, through mud, heat, cold, poor living conditions and often worse leadership, aided by the teachings of Transcendentalism and the guidance of mentors, he finds peace in war. He finds himself.
Meticulously researched and gritty in every detail, this is not a romantic tale of chivalry and honor. Face to the Sun is the journey of a foot-sore, hungry confederate soldier fighting to find the good in man and in himself.
"The human truth of history can often best be found in fiction, and that is certainly the case for Steven L. Acker's Face to the Sun: A Civil War Novel. The story follows a young Confederate soldier from his baptism of combat on the bloody field at Shiloh to grimmer days late in the war. Acker's insightful pen catches the horrors of the battlefield, dusty marches, camps both wet and dry, and, perhaps the most important of all, the sometimes troubling emotions of a soldier caught up in a lost cause. A good story, well told, and simply first-rate."
- Lance J. Herdegen: The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory; The Blackhats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter
"Gritty and absorbing. Finally, a novel that takes you into the ranks of a Civil War combat outfit, propelling you through months of training, campaigning, privation and danger, without the golden glow of post-war remembrance. Steve Acker is an important new voice in the growing chorus of evidence-based novels and narratives, presenting the reality of soldiering in the 1860's, while challenging our perceptions of the Civil War volunteer's experience. Through the charged senses of a Mississippi recruit, Acker takes you by the back of the neck and rubs you into the dirt, sweat, mud, rain, cold, and white heat of combat, dispelling sentiment, replacing warm emotion with the harsh demands of 19th Century military service. Firm loyalties are forged and then lost, motivations change, the tough, hardened veteran soldier emerges an enlightened man."
- Brad Graham: Antietam Effect, Civil War documentarian and historian