The Widow of the South

The Widow of the South

Book - 2005
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Carnton Plantation, 1894: Carrie McGavock is an old woman who tends the graves of the almost 1,500 soldiers buried there. As she walks among the dead, an elderly man appears--the same soldier she met that fateful day long ago. Today, he asks if the cemetery has room for one more.

Based on an extraordinary true story, this brilliant, meticulously researched novel flashes back to 1864 and the afternoon of the Civil War. While the fierce fighting rages on Carrie's land, her plantation turns into a Confederate army hospital; four generals lie dead on her back porch; the pile of amputated limbs rises as tall as the smoke house. But when a wounded soldier named Zachariah Cashwell arrives at her house, he awakens feelings she had thought long dead--and inspires a passion as powerful and unforgettable as the war that consumes a nation.
Publisher: New York : Warner Books, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780446558884
Call Number: HICKS
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: McGavock, Caroline E. Winder, 1829-1905 -- Fiction.
Southern writing.
Williamson County (Tenn.) -- Fiction.
Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Fiction.
Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Hospitals -- Fiction.
Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Casualties -- Fiction.
Cemeteries -- Fiction.
Plantation life -- Fiction.
Plantation owners' spouses -- Fiction.
Franklin, Battle of, Franklin, Tenn., 1864 -- Fiction.


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Oct 13, 2017

An utterly compelling story of the misery and horrors that young men and boys endured at the battle of Franklin. War is Hell and whether one was on the Confederate or Union side, little did it matter when you were left for dead, or otherwise without arms, legs or both. This novel gives a penetrating insight into what would have passed through the minds and hearts of those who were lost - either to death or to the misery of living without hope. I truly recommend this book to those who wish to delve into the inescapable mystery of life.

May 22, 2015

Based on a true incident, written by a man who is working to restore the cemetery that's at the heart of the story. Carrie loves her husband, but can't come out of her depression over the loss of three of her children. The coming of the Civil War to their small TN town means, at first, less to her than these losses. Their plantation home is requisitioned by a Confederate general as a hospital for an upcoming battle; her refusal means nothing. Yet when the numberless, nameless suffering men begin flowing through her home, Carrie finds a purpose in life she hasn't had since her children died. After the war, learning that a neighbor plans to plow under a field where many Confederate dead lie buried, she leads a plan to rebury them next to her family graveyard, and keeps a book identifying them. Over the years she becomes famous, gets letters from family members, and tries to answer them all. A very moving look at a side of the Civil War we don't often think of, and how the humanity of one woman provided hope to many, even years after the carnage. Some very well drawn characters, especially Carrie, her servant Mariah, the soldier Zachariah, even if many in the large cast are cardboard.

allonsy Jul 25, 2011

This book was heartbrakingly beautiful. It was a powerful story that showcased the futility and destruction of war while at the same time emphasizing how much people want hope. The overall story of the battle and the consequences of its aftermath was compelling, but it was the personal thoughts and feelings that each character described that had me captivated. There was war, love, adversity and strife and all of it was moving, sad yet comforting.


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