And There I Will Be A Soldier

Written by Johnny D. Boggs
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1862, the American states are organizing local militias to fight during the Civil War. Ryan McCalla joins the 2nd Texas Infantry in the Confederate Army, and Caleb Cole joins the 18th Missouri of the Union Army. Cole’s unit initially was organized to destroy slaveholders’ property in Missouri, while killing innocent families. Eventually, his unit is reorganized; the leaders replaced, it becomes part of the Union army with new orders to fight only the Confederacy. Both militias will meet in April at Pittsburg Landing, which will become known as the battle of Shiloh. Living in nearby Corinth, Mississippi is a young teenage girl named Grace Dehner. She is forced into the war by nursing wounded soldiers of both armies. Eventually she encounters both Ryan and Caleb.

Known for his Western novels, Johnny Boggs has managed to present a fascinating story of fictional characters who fought in and around the town of Corinth and on the battlefield of Shiloh. The author does an exceptional job telling his story from the viewpoint of each major character. An epilogue in which the characters meet 23 years after the war at a reunion of the battle is a nice touch. I enjoyed the story and the battle’s historical accuracy and recommend this novel for those who enjoy reading about the American Civil War.