By Bernard Cornwell
The loved accomplice Captain Nate Starbuck returns to front strains of the Civil warfare during this moment installment of Bernard Cornwell's acclaimed Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles. it's the summer season of 1862, and Nate has been bloodied yet positive on the battles of Ball's Bluff and 7 Pines. yet he cannot break out his Northern roots, and it is just an issue of time until eventually he is accused of being a Yankee secret agent, pursued, and brutally interrogated. To transparent his identify, he needs to locate the genuine traitor—a seek that may require awesome braveness, persistence, and a deadly odyssey via enemy territory.
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While Richmond landowner Washington Faulconer snatches younger Nate Starbuck from the grip of a Yankee-hating mob, Nate is either thankful and awed through his idealistic rescuer. To pay off his generosity, he enlists within the Faulconer legion to struggle opposed to his domestic, the North, and opposed to his abolitionist father.
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Colonel Devens of the fifteenth Massachusetts shouted the order and his males moved out into the moon-whitened meadow. nobody fired at them; not anyone challenged them. The South slept whereas the North, unhindered, marched. The solar rose, glossing the river gold and lancing scarlet rays throughout the misted timber. Cocks crowed in Leesburg yards the place pails have been pumped choked with water and cows got here in for the day’s first milking. Workshops that have been closed for the Lord’s Day have been unlocked and instruments picked up from benches. outdoor town, within the encampments of the accomplice brigade that guarded the river, the smoke of cooking fires sifted into the clean fall morning. The Faulconer Legion’s fires had already died, even though the Legion was once in no nice hurry to desert its encampment. The day promised to be tremendous and the march to Centreville relatively brief, and so the regiment’s 8 hundred males took their time in getting ready, and significant Thaddeus poultry, the regiment’s commanding officer, didn't attempt to hurry them. as a substitute he wandered companionably between his males like an affable neighbor having fun with a morning walk. “My God, Starbuck. ” chook stopped in amazement on the sight of ok Company’s captain. “What occurred to you? ” “I simply slept badly, sir. ” “You appear like the strolling useless! ” fowl crowed with pride on the considered Starbuck’s ache. “Have I ever advised you approximately Mordechai Moore? He used to be a plasterer in Faulconer court docket residence. Died one Thursday, widow bawling her eyes out, teenagers squalling like scalded cats, funeral on Saturday, part town wearing black, grave dug, the Reverend Moss able to bore us all together with his wide-spread inanities, then they pay attention scratching or the coffin lid. Open it up, and there he's! One very questioned plasterer! As alive as you or I. Or me, besides. yet he gave the look of you. much like you, Nate. He appeared part decayed. ” “Thank you very much,” Starbuck stated. “Everyone went home,” chicken went on along with his story. “Doc Billy gave Mordechai an exam. Declared him healthy for one more ten years and, blow me, didn’t he cross and die back the very subsequent day. in basic terms this time he used to be safely lifeless and so they needed to dig the grave another time. reliable morning, Sergeant. ” “Major,” Truslow grunted. Truslow had now not been identified to handle any officer as “sir,” now not even poultry, the regiment’s commanding officer, whom Truslow beloved. “You keep in mind Mordechai Moore, absolutely, Truslow? ” “Hell certain. Son of a complain couldn’t plaster a wall to save lots of his existence. My father and that i redid part the Cotton apartment for him. by no means did receives a commission for it both. ” “So doubtless the construction trade’s at an advantage for having him dead,” chook acknowledged blithely. Pecker poultry used to be a tall, ragged, skeletal guy who have been schoolmaster within the city of Faulconer courtroom residence while Colonel Washington Faulconer, Faulconer County’s grandest landowner and Bird’s brother-in-law, had tested the Legion. Faulconer, wounded at Manassas, was once now in Richmond, leaving chicken to command the regiment. The schoolmaster had most likely been the least soldierly guy in all Faulconer County, if now not in all Virginia, and had simply been appointed a tremendous to soothe his sister and look after the Colonel’s forms; but, perversely, the ragged schoolmaster had proved an efficient and well known officer.