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The Judas Field

A Novel of the Civil War

Howard Bahr

Picador

After returning from the Civil War, Cass Wakefield means to live out the rest of his days in his hometown in Mississippi. But when a childhood friend asks him to accompany her to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother from the battlefield where they died, Cass cannot refuse. As they make their way north in the company of two of Cass's brothers-in-arms, memories of the war emerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present--the legacy of war and the narrow hope of redemption--will draw each of them to a painful reckoning.

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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
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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

  • Both of Howard Bahr's previous books were New York Times Notable Books. He lives in Fayetteville, Tennessee.
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    The Judas Field

    A Novel of the Civil War

    Howard Bahr

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    Picador

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