History books are filled with accounts of Civil War armies, troops and battle tactics, but its impact goes far beyond the battlefield. In his new novel, “Broken Valley: A Wartime Story of Isolation, Fear and Hope in a Remote East Tennessee Valley” (published by iUniverse), author Gregory L. Wade examines how the Civil War affected average people in their day-to-day lives and describes the conflict that existed between families with different allegiances.
“It wasn’t all black and white with some families having members who served on either side,” says Wade. “Not only did people have the usual struggles to survive off the land, they had the war and lawlessness to contend with.”
Set primarily in Sequatchie Valley, an area tucked in between the Cumberland Plateau and Walden’s Ridge near Chattanooga, Tennessee, “Broken Valley” centers on William Barker and his son, Will Jr. Readers see the world through their eyes, as the man and his teenage son cope with the confusion and uncertainty caused by the Civil War.
The book also looks at the experiences of a Cherokee man to illuminate the difficult position Native Americans found themselves in, and a downtrodden Georgia man’s struggles with the emotional impact of war. The characters’ interactions show how common lumbermen, farmers and millers found ways to get along in spite of their political differences.