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I Fear We Shall Never See Home Again by J. Michael Joslin

I Fear We Shall Never See Home Again

by J. Michael Joslin

532 pages
Will Faurot, a Union Army soldier, survived a hard-fought battle, surrendered, was imprisoned under the worst of conditions, and survived. The war ended and Will, along with over 2000 others, joyous to be returning home, boarded the ill-fated "Sultana."

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About the Book
Imagine being a young man who has come of age during the early days of the American Civil War and without needing your parent’s approval, may now go off to war. Such was the case of William Lester Faurot and four of his closest friends from Coldwater, Michigan.

When President Lincoln called for more troops, the boys from Coldwater enlisted without hesitation in the 18th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Company G. Like all young men, as they trained for war, they were full of bravado and untested courage. “I’m gonna kill me some Rebs,” was often their vow. That would all change during the following three years and nine months.

In a detachment of approximately 400 soldiers from the 18th Michigan and the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Regiment, their first and only combat experience would be against an estimated 4,500 troops under the command of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Despite such overwhelming odds, the courageous detachment fought as if they were a force equal in size to their enemy. Within sight of their objective, now out of ammunition, they discovered that their objective had already surrendered. They too were forced to surrender.

During the six months that followed, the boys from Coldwater would experience horrid conditions beyond what they could ever have imagined, but they would survive. The worst was over, and with great joy in their hearts, they were returning home to their loved ones. Sadly, life still had one last cruel twist of fate, known as the steamboat Sultana.

 

Reviews
Author J. Michael Joslin has done a wonderful job of research in writing his latest book "I Fear We Shall Never See Home Again." He has a unique way of creating imagery and dialogue that puts the reader in the shoes of his characters. His descriptions of action sequences are vivid and robust. A stickler for authenticity and detail, Michael has recreated the life of a Civil War soldier in camp, battle, and prison, and the explosion and burning of the steamboat Sultana in a way that educates and entertains the reader and leaves one wanting more. An excellent work of historical fiction based on true events and true characters.
- Gene Eric Salecker Author, Disaster on the Mississippi: The Sultana Disaster, April 27, 1865, and historical consultant for the Sultana Disaster Museum, Marion, AR.
The book is fiction based on fact. The story uses real people, places, and events. It is about 5 friends from the City of Coldwater in southern Michigan and their story as soldiers of the 18th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Author J Michael Joslin spent years doing research to ensure that the story held true to what the men had to endure. Their training, the battle, internment as prisoners of war, and finally their part in the greatest maritime disaster in American history, the explosion of the steamship Sultana on the Mississippi River. My wife and I were lucky enough to be able to visit the Cahaba (Cahawba) prison site 4 years ago with the Sultana Descendants Association. In reading about the prison and what the men had to endure I could picture the areas in my mind. We were also with the Sultana Descendants group when they visited Helena, Arkansas where the T.W. Banks photo of the overloaded Sultana was taken. Our trip there was in April when the Mississippi was flooded. Seeing just the tops of trees and feeling the coldness of the water really brought home the suffering that was cast upon the passengers of the Steamship that fateful April night in 1865. Mr. Joslin states in the book that the story is not about the depth or detail of the sinking of the Sultana itself, but it is about the soldier’s story. I do recommend the book as I found it easy and enjoyable to read. Who knows, it might just spark someone’s interest in reading and finding out more about the worst maritime disaster in American history - one that it seems very few people have ever heard of or know anything about.
- Robert Griggs, member of the Sultana Association and of the SUVCW

 

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About the Author
J.Michael Joslin is an author of historical fiction and prefers writing about the Civil War. I Fear We Shall Never See Home again is his third novel. He did years of research for his novels in order to be as accurate and factual as possible.

 

 

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