The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry
A memorable tale of loyalty and adventure, based on a true story.
In the weeks preceding the Battle of Antietam Creek, 1862, Solomon Hargreave, along with the rest of the newly-formed 8th New York Cavalry Regiment, had to adjust to life in the army. The appointment of a Southern-born colonel to their unit, and rumors of a Confederate army advance did not ease their adjustment.
While riding in Maryland, Solomon rescues a lockkeeper's daughter, Mahalia, from drowning in the Potomac River. As Solomon comes to know Mahalia and her family, he quickly learns how tangled politics and family relationships can be in that troubled border state. Mahalia's brother is the notorious leader of a band of Rebel partisans, and Solomon's colonel wants him to learn more about the family.
While Solomon pursues that mission, with results that threaten his friendship with Mahalia, the Confederate noose tightens around Harpers Ferry. Only a daring plan can save the regiment. Can Solomon trust his colonel? Can he trust his own military ability? And can he trust Mahalia with his heart?
This book contains a period map, photos, and illustrations, and an author's note about the actual events that the story is based on. It is available as a 130-page trade paperback.
Praise For Lies Of Omission“This well-researched and compellingly told tale is a must-read for any fan of nineteenth-century American historical fiction and historical mystery devotees of any era.” Edith Maxwell Agatha Award Winning author Quaker Midwife Mysteries "Lies are the only thing omitted in Lies of Omission, the first book of Kathleen Ernst’s new mystery series featuring Hanneke Bauer. Set in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1855, the rich descriptive details give a glimpse into the Pomeranian immigrants’ home life and farming practices, as well as social issues of the time. As usual for Ernst’s books, the well developed characters make the reader feel like you would recognize them if you met them on the street. Don’t begin the book unless you have time to continue, because it will be hard to put down." Terry Schoessow Co-President Trinity Freistadt Historical Society "Lies of Omission was a wonderful read – the story is riveting and from a personal perspective, it was a wonderful trip back in time in Watertown. From Ms. Ernst’s vivid descriptions of early settlements in Watertown, to her focus on the Rock River, to the incorporation of historical businesses that once existed in this city, the pages of this book came alive to me." Melissa Lampe President Watertown Historical Society
PeopleIn the 19th century, German-speakers were the largest ethnic group to immigrate to the United States and to the state of Wisconsin. The first large wave of settlers arrived between 1846 and 1854. Upon arriving in Wisconsin in 1855, Hanneke finds a well-established and thriving German community in Watertown. Only recently married, she is relieved to have left behind the company of relatives who criticized her for “thinking too much.” Joining her forward-thinking new husband at his farm will, she believes, improve life immeasurably. In the 19th century, it was not unusual for even newly-wed couples like Hanneke and Fridolin to separate for months or even years to accomplish the daunting task of immigrating to far off America. As a capable and intelligent woman willing to confront obstacles, Hanneke is a reflection of determination of countless women to build a new life in a new land.
PlacesMany scenes in Lies of Omission are set in real places, like Watertown, Wisconsin. This is is a 1867 birds eye view map of it.
The PastLies of Omission takes place during the height of the Nativist movement in Wisconsin. Its members were mostly well-established native-born Protestants who did not welcome the growing population of German Catholic immigrants. Originally organized in secret as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, adherents often denied their involvement with the group by claiming to “know nothing” of it. The patriotic period print below is entitled Uncle Sam's Youngest Son and depicts a prosperous Know Nothing Citizen. The Know Nothings were populists—well known for giving fiery speeches and holding torchlit parades that sometimes whipped their supporters into violence. The movement's political wing was founded in 1844 and briefly became a national political force as the American Party in the mid-1850s. Electoral failures and divisions over slavery caused the party to dissolve in 1860. Many Know Nothings in the northern states then switched over to the new Republican Party.
And MoreThe Wisconsin State Journal published an interview about Lies Of Omission with me in its Author Q&A column. You can read it by clicking here. And thanks to the magic of digital media, you can eavesdrop on me discussing Lies Of Omission (and other books) with Larry Meiller and his listeners on his popular midday Wisconsin Public Radio show. A recording of the program has been posted online for you to listen to over the internet or download a copy as a podcast.
Discussion GuideThis is the discussion guide for Lies of Omission. Click Here
Sneak Peek: Chapter 1This is a sneak peek at the book: Lies of Omission Read Chapter 1
Related Blog Posts
The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry: The Story Behind The Story
When I was a kid, I attended a summer camp perched on a cliff above the Potomac River and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, and a short hike away from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
Long Green Tunnel
I believe that in almost every case, employees of historic sites best serve the public when they strive to create an environment that is as historically authentic as possible. Here’s an exception: The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park.