Confederado: A Novel of the Americas

Written by Casey Clabough
Review by Wisteria Leigh

After the American Civil War, thousands of Southerners migrated to South America seeking a new life. In fact, the Immigration Law of 1860 was passed to encourage the colonization of Brazil by citizens of North America. Known as Confederados, their descendants live today as part of the population that created a significant historical link between these two continents. Basing his work on a true story, Casey Clabough has written an adventurous and contemplative historical novel about Alvis Benjamin Stevens. The year is 1865, and Stevens returns home, having fought in the Wilderness Campaign with the infamous Mosby’s Rangers. A short time later, as fate takes a sudden turn, he is forced to flee to Brazil. Clabough’s narrative generates pause and reflection for the reader as Alvis relives the bloody battles of the recent war. Shortly, he is overjoyed to learn his former sweetheart, Lavinia, lives on a nearby ranch. Alvis is not the only one who desires Lavinia, and his future hangs in the balance. His struggle to endure each challenge makes him stronger, and through his voice we can understand his credo: “The wars men fight, one comes to understand, are a struggle between the best and worst aspects of humanity.”

Confederado, and its subject, is a superb rendering of this decade and setting which is seldom written about. Some may recognize the author’s homage to Poe and Ovid within his novel. This descriptive excerpt offers a glimpse of the author’s gifted craft: “…burnt chimneys standing alone or in pairs like tired, darkened sentinels over barren fields, blackened groves and weedy gardens.” Casey Clabough’s writes imaginative prose with a fluid natural cadence reminiscent of a Chopin melody. Highly recommended.