In the spring of 1864 Laura Connor sets out alone from her home in Indiana driving a wagon and team of horses. She has determined to rescue her husband, Thomas, a captured Union soldier, from the Confederate prison at Cahawba in Alabama.
With each step of her journey she descends further into the heart of the war’s darkness: scourged landscapes, a Confederate surgeon faced with the aftermath of a battle, bereaved mothers of wounded and killed soldiers, runaway slaves, and somewhere in the swamps in a lost and dying country, the prison. She has no idea how she will be received there or even if Thomas is still alive. At the prison Thomas fights against despair, hunger, disease and the prison commandant, ultimately deciding that escape is his only alternative.
Inspired by a true occurrence, Casualties is a story of the power of love, and of the strength and heroism of ordinary people confronting overwhelming events.
Lee Smith, New York Times best selling author says,
“I was completely gripped by Casualties, as vivid and accurate a novel of the Civil War as has ever been written. It is similar to Cold Mountain in that it involves a journey, and it also possesses the unusual feature of being both a man's book and a woman's book at once.”
"I think it's a brilliant novel, tightly and carefully constructed though it covers literally the breadth and length of the War. I especially admire the eloquent yet unsentimental prose style which perfectly captures the gravity and intensity of this extraordinary time. “
- David Rothstein, November 2010
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