Reviewed by Dale Lewis
An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon
"Karl Bacon in An Eye for Glory stayed exceedingly accurate to the times, culture, and tragedy of the Civil War. I don’t believe you can read this novel, especially the conclusion, without the story affecting you in ways you could have ever imagined."
Using first-hand accounts of
the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Karl Bacon has creatively crafted a compelling
novel on the Civil War. Long time student
of this U.S. time period, first time novelist Bacon doesn’t hold
anything back as the reader steps into a citizen soldier’s life before,
during and after the Civil War.
Michael Palmer is a good, God-fearing man: a proud family man who feel compelled to the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country in spite of his bride’s wishes. He was not immune to the extreme conditions, illness, desperation and disillusionment the Civil War dumped on its soldiers. Long, often repeated marches under inept leadership and sleep deprived life & death challenges at every turn, Palmer learns that war is more than the battle on the field.
As the war drags on with the ending uncertain, Michael's only goal changes from fighting for his country to killing as many Confederate rebels as he singlehandedly can. Even after four and a half years removed from the war, he continues to barely exist with his family. His mind is continually overwhelmed with what he witnessed.
With the help of his beloved wife, Jessie Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation in his heart-wrenching journey. In his own words “. . . as God’s transforming power did its work upon this miserable wretch.”
The passionate and sweet letter exchanges between Jessie Anne and Michael are the only things that keep him sane during his time away from his family. They overflow with deep respect, compassion and undying love.
As I read, I yearned for the battles to be no more and a winner to be decided without excessive, senseless bloodshed. I sought out further explanations via the internet for soldier’s personal affects/articles and details regarding specific battles. I was alarmed at the outrageous fighting strategies and how it made no difference when it came to preventing lives lost. In his own words, “. . . but the Army never issued explanations along with its orders.”
I’ve always enjoyed reading history and yet the intensely personal and detailed An Eye for Glory renewed a latent spark within to seek out more information about the Civil War. It was a reminder of a time gone by where both sides claimed God’s favor and fought accordingly but only one was the victor.
Karl Bacon in An Eye for Glory stayed exceedingly accurate to the times, culture, and tragedy of the Civil War. I don’t believe you can read this novel, especially the conclusion, without the story affecting you in ways you could have ever imagined.