GHOSTS OF VICKSBURG
White Mane Kids
"Readers come to understand what it must have been like to face friends and family across a battlefield, to believe in your cause and yet fear for the safety of loved ones on the other side."
— School Library Journal
"Ghosts Of Vicksburg is an especially recommended addition to school and community libraries."
— Midwest Book Review
Children’s Literature Award Winner
— Council for Wisconsin Writers
The award winning Ghosts of Vicksburg is the seventh of Kathleen's twenty-five published books. It is written for readers ages 10 to adult who enjoy American Civil War historical fiction without any sex, gore, or explicit violence. This book is available as a 215-page trade paperback.
Jamie Carswell’s happiest childhood memories are of summers spent in Mississippi with his favorite cousin, Althea Winston. When he joins the 14th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, he is horrified to find himself campaigning in Mississippi—and to see firsthand the impact of war on local women and children. Althea, meanwhile, is struggling to keep her family intact and safe. She is also haunted by a past mistake that took a terrible toll on her family.
When the Union army settles in to besiege Vicksburg in 1863, Jamie is in the entrenchment and Althea is trapped inside the city. As the endless days and nights of bombardment unfold, the two cousins struggle to make peace with the past and to cope with the present. Ghosts of Vicksburg is the compelling story of two young people struggling to find their way during one of the most dramatic campaigns of the Civil War.
This book contains a period map, photos and illustrations, author's note, glossary of historical terms, and list of additional resources.
What Others Are Saying
"Kathleen Ernst's Ghosts of Vicksburg is the heartfelt story of a family split by Civil War and caught up in the epic and horrible siege of Vicksburg. A first-rate book."
— Lance J. Herdegen, Author of The Men Stood Like Iron: How the Iron Brigade Won Its Name
"Teachers will find the book extremely useful for further studies about the events, as well as a heartwarming, intense look at how youngsters and widows might have dealt with losing their fathers and husbands in the Civil War."
— Civil War Book Review
"Ernst realistically shows us the sorrow, hatred, agony, and confusion that the War Between the States caused not only to the soldiers in battle, but to those who remained behind."
"Jamie Carswell and his friend Elisha Stockwell, both 15, are in the Union Army. Their regiment, the 14th Wisconsin, has made its way to Mississippi, the state in which Jamie has spent several fun-filled summers with his favorite cousin, Althea, and her sisters. The boys discover that soldiering is not the exciting, glamorous adventure they thought it would be. Instead, there is drudgery, terror, homesickness, and, at least for Jamie, the doubt that the army is doing the right thing.
When his cousins are burned out of their home, they flee to friends in Vicksburg, but there is no safety there. The story ends with the surrender of Vicksburg. The Union soldiers take possession of the city, but discover that although they may have defeated the Confederate Army they have not defeated the Southern people.
Ernst has used many primary sources to write a story that transports readers into a heartbreaking part of this country's history. The characters are well drawn and realistic in their emotions, hopes, doubts, courage, and anxieties. Readers come to understand what it must have been like to face friends and family across a battlefield, to believe in your cause and yet fear for the safety of loved ones on the other side.
The author has done a commendable job of remaining neutral and showing the good and bad of both causes. The primarily period photographs and drawings illustrate military and civilian fortifications and the geography of the area."
— School Library Journal
"...an interesting and surprising story."
— Wisconsin State Journal
Best selling author Kathleen Ernst writes mysteries and historical fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations, and an Emmy for children's educational programming. To date, Kathleen's 25 published books have sold well over over 750,000 copies. more>>
One of the most sad and compelling things about the American Civil War is that it ripped not only the nation apart, but families as well.
I grew up in the border state of Maryland. Perhaps that’s why the notion of divided loyalties has always fascinated me. For Ghosts I created two main characters. Jamie is a Wisconsin boy who joins the Union army. His cousin Althea, who lives in Mississippi, is a staunch Confederate supporter.
This book is about more than different viewpoints, though. The war presents terrible challenges to Jamie and Althea, and they respond in different ways. I hope the story gives you some new perspectives on what life was like for young people during those terrible times.
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