The Good Journey

Written by Micaela Gilchrist
Review by Pat Maynard

“Sixteen years ago, when I followed the General away, I had known him for only three days. I reconciled myself then to sleeping with a gentlemanly stranger. How could I have known that years later a stranger would die in my arms? Perhaps in death I shall know thee.”

So begins the story of Mary Bullitt, an outspoken, independent Southern belle, and her husband, General Henry Atkinson, guardian of the frontier stretching from the Canadian border to the Red River, as Mary reflects back on their life together.

After their marriage, Mary and the General return to his post at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where it’s only a matter of time until she becomes embroiled in the bitter and personal feud between her husband and the leader of the Sauk Indian tribe. With the passage of time and despite his reticent nature, Mary falls deeply in love with her strong, silent husband as he slowly but surely becomes the lodestar of her life.

From research of a collection of private letters between Mary Bullitt and General Henry Atkinson, as well as research into the General’s military records, Gilchrist brings to life these pages from history in a way that is both spellbinding and ultimately heartbreaking.