#Historical #CivilWar #ChristianFiction
Tamera Lynn Kraft’s novella, Soldier’s Heart, is part of Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom, an anthology of Civil War stories. Today, Tamera is writing about the regiment behind her story. Welcome, Tamera!
When I was asked to join the group of authors writing Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom Anthology celebrating the anniversary of the Civil War, I knew what I wanted to write about. I’d researched the Ohio Seventh Volunteer Regiment for another novel I wrote, and fell in love with them.
The Ohio Seventh was a regiment from northeastern Ohio that enlisted as soon as the Civil War began for a three year term. During their tenure, they fought in many major battles including Gettysburg, Cedar Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. They are considered by many historians as the most heroic regiment.
The Ohio Seventh were sometimes called the Rooster Regiment because, when they went into battle, they crowed like roosters. They were also known for their temperance. The leader, Colonel Creighton, was a Christian and didn’t allow drinking, gambling, or soliciting prostitutes among the ranks. One company of the regiment came from Oberlin College. Oberlin was known for its abolitionist views and religious fervor. Charles Finney, the president of the college, had been one of the preachers of the Second Great Awakening. Because most of the regiment strived to live Christian lives even in the midst of war, they were also sometimes called the Praying Regiment.
Even with all their victories, the regiment came home after three years feeling defeated. Their last major battle, Ringgold Gap, was their worst. After two days of victories in Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, the Seventh was ordered to chase the Confederate soldiers to Ringgold Gap. The Confederates stopped running and set up an ambush. Many were killed in the last battle including Colonel Creighton, their leader. Colonel Creighton died while trying to rescue Leiutenant-Colonel Crane, the man who had been his close friend. Both men died. When the battle was over, every officer in the regiment except four were wounded or killed along with many enlisted men. Colonel Creighton, who was loved by his men, left a young widow he had married a few days before the war. Very few of the men who were left reenlisted.
I wrote the story to show how hard it must have been for a man returning to his hometown after that. I researched PTSD during the Civil War and found out it was called Soldier’s Heart. I knew that would be the title of my story. I wanted to write a story about how a Christian soldier would handle PTSD. I also wanted to include how hard it would be for the family left behind to understand what the returning soldier is going through. My daughter is studying to be a psychologist, so I learned from her what men and their families deal with after war. I think that’s what makes this story resonate today even though it was set so long ago.
My main characters, Noah and Molly Andrews, came from Ravenna, Ohio, the town where I was born and raised. Two companies from Ravenna and the surrounding area were in the Seventh Regiment. I used many of the familiar landmark buildings I remembered growing up in this story. It was fun learning the historical significance of these places. I even learned that Abraham Lincoln stopped and made a speech in Ravenna on his way to his inaugural address.
Here’s the description of Soldier’s Heart:
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
For more historical flavors involving the Cry of Freedom series, see these posts from Kathleen L. Maher and Carrie Fancett Pagels.
Soldier’s Heart was a new term for me. Have you ever heard of it? Have you heard stories of Civil War soldiers who suffered with it?
I have received no compensation for this post and have no material connection with any product(s) mentioned. Embedded links are strictly for the convenience of my readers.