The Judas Field

The Judas Field

A Novel of the Civil War

Book - 2006
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In this epic novel of violence and redemption by the author of "The Black Flower," a Civil War veteran travels back over old battlefields toward a reckoning with the past
It's been twenty years since Cass Wakefield returned from the Civil War to his hometown in Mississippi, but he is still haunted by battlefield memories. Now, one afternoon in 1885, he is presented with a chance to literally retrace his steps from the past and face the truth behind the events that led to the loss of so many friends and comrades.
The opportunity arrives in the form of Cass's childhood friend Alison, a dying woman who urges Cass to accompany her on a trip to Franklin, Tennessee, to recover the bodies of her father and brother. As they make their way north over the battlefields, they are joined by two of Cass's former brothers-in-arms, and his memories reemerge with overwhelming vividness. Before long the group has assembled on the haunted ground of Franklin, where past and present--the legacy of the war and the narrow hope of redemption--will draw each of them toward a painful confrontation.
Moving between harrowing scenes of battle and the novel's present-day quest, Howard Bahr re-creates this era with devastating authority, proving himself once again to be the preeminent contemporary novelist of the Civil War.
Publisher: New York : H. Holt., 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805067392
0805067396
Characteristics: 292 p.; 25 cm.

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GLNovak
Feb 27, 2014

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, but found it to be a very evocative read. Bahr is very graphic with his description of the American Civil War battles so that in your mind's eye you can see the men rushing forward and the body parts flying. Don't let that put you off. This story is more about the aftermath that the survivors have to deal with. We meet Cass Wakefield twenty years after the Battle of Franklin and see that for him, and his two army friends, the experiences they had are still very near the surface and very raw. Spirits of lost comrades follow them every day. The poetry of the writing carried the narrative very well, and lent an atmosphere to the story that softened the harsh sharp edges.

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