When I first read a review of Atlanta author Amanda C. Gable’s 2009 novel The Confederate General Rides North, I immediately knew that I would have to go to Amazon and order a copy. I’m glad that I did. Ms. Gable has written an outstanding work of literature.
The “Confederate General” referenced by the title is eleven year old Katherine McConnell, an only child from Marietta, Georgia who spends most of her free time studying Civil War history and fantasizing about putting herself into her history books as a Confederate General. The novel is set in the late 1960s. Ms. Gable has done a masterful job of evoking the time and place of the South in the late sixties.
Georgia Author Amanda C. Gable
I cannot say enough good things about this novel. It is a fun read, but it is also serious literature. As other reviewers with similar experiences have said, the young Civil War buff from Marietta, Georgia also resonates with my personal experience. I’m about ten years younger than Katherine McConnell, but my experience growing up in Norcross, Georgia, also a suburb of Atlanta, is very similar to that of young Katherine. Growing up, I visited the Kennesaw Mountain battlefield and the Atlanta Cyclorama. I saw Gone With the Wind for the first time at the Fox Theater in down town Atlanta. Like Katherine, I grew up hearing stories about my Civil War ancestors. Like the 1960's Atlanta described by Ms. Gable, the Atlanta of the 1970s that I grew up in was saturated with Civil War history. I grew up feeling like Sherman had burned Atlanta just the year before. I had a copy of the American Heritage History of the Civil War by Bruce Catton and poured over the pictures and practically memorized it. And I remember souvenir Rebel and Yankee hats at every gift shop at a tourist destination (I had one of each.)
Amazon right now and get a copy. You’ll be glad you did.
PAX ET BONUM.