OVERRIDE

The Judas Field

A Novel of the Civil War

Howard Bahr

Henry Holt and Co.

In this epic novel of violence and redemption by the author of The Black Flower, a Civil War veteran travels back over old battlefields toward a reckoning with the past

It's been twenty years since Cass Wakefield returned from the Civil War to his hometown in Mississippi, but he is still haunted by battlefield memories. Now, one afternoon in 1885, he is presented with a chance to literally retrace his steps from the past and face the truth behind the events that led to the loss of so many friends and comrades.

The opportunity arrives in the form of Cass's childhood friend Alison, a dying woman who urges Cass to accompany her on a trip to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother. As they make their way north over the battlefields, they are joined by two of Cass's former brothers-in-arms, and his memories reemerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present--the legacy of the war and the narrow hope of redemption--will draw each of them toward a painful confrontation.

Moving between harrowing scenes of battle and the novel's present-day quest, Howard Bahr re-creates this era with devastating authority, proving himself once again to be the preeminent contemporary novelist of the Civil War.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
Cass Wakefield was born in a double-pen log cabin just at break of day, and before he was twenty minutes old, he was almost thrown out with the bedclothes. The midwife, Queenolia Divine, heard him squalling, however, and so it was that Cass, blue-faced and complaining, was untangled from the wad of bloody sheets and saved for further adventures.
 
The first light he saw fell on the northeast corner of Yalobusha County, Mississippi, in a cleared place among ancient oaks and hickories and sweetgums called Lost Camp. By the time Cass was born, the frontier had passed the
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Judas Field

"Heartbreakingly realistic picture of the madness born of violence and war, and the redemption to be found when the past is finally put to rest."--BookPage
 
"Re-creates this seminal moment in American history with prose that is vivid, unflinching, and often incantatory. . . . Howard Bahr's accomplishment is magnificent."--Jeffrey Lent, The Washington Post Book World
 
"Bahr knows how to turn a phrase and tug on the emotions, visceral feelings that we try to keep buried. His descriptions of the carnage of battlefields, of what bullets and bayonets can do to human flesh, will chill you to the bone. . . . His is a rare talent."--The Denver Post
 
"A beautifully wrought novel that deserves a wide audience."--Los Angeles Times

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Howard Bahr

  • Howard Bahr teaches English at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. His first novel, The Black Flower, was a New York Times Notable Book and received the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, The Year of Jubilo, was also a New York Times Notable Book. He lives in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Judas Field

A Novel of the Civil War

Howard Bahr

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Henry Holt and Co.

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