The Family's Side of the Civil War Now Told

Away at War

   A Civil War Story of

   the Family Left Behind

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What does it take to keep home and family together when soldiers go off to war?  Civil War buffs will especially enjoy this tale of survival which portrays the home front side of war.

This true story of endurance and loss during the American Civil War opens with David Brainard Griffin's farewell to his family, as he heads off to fight, promising to return to their farm in Minnesota.  His wife and three children are left behind to run the farm on their own. Minnesota's harsh seasons dictate the cycles they must follow, and even with the help of family and friends, the hardships and responsibilities are almost beyond them. 

Away at War is the same-time-frame companion to My Dear Wife and Children.

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"Away at War  introduces the reader to the terrible impact, the pain and anxiety, and the untold suffering war causes family members left behind.  A moving chronicle of the experience of war and a compelling story with relevant historical references.  Well crafted...reads like a real piece of history!"  5-Star Readers' Favorite Review

"A companion to his first book, My Dear Wife and Children, this book completes the picture of this family's life during the Civil War. Really worth the read...get both books!"  An Amazon reader's review - April, 2018

                                                                                     Chapter One

                                                                                     September Morn, 1861

     Two young girls, five and seven, hovered beside their mother on the porch of their rough-cut Minnesota prairie home. Submerged in the utter quiet and dark that surrounded them, miles from any neighbors, all three stared up into the vast star-lit sky. They shivered, perhaps more from their uncertain future than from the advancing night's chill air.


     A third child, a six-month old boy, was fast asleep inside the log dwelling, oblivious to the turmoil then churning the emotions of the female members of his family. Far beyond his infant comprehension lay the fact that the only other male member of his family, his father, was gone to war, a war, yes, to preserve the Union, but a war that now severed the fatherly protection, comfort, and strength his presence had always provided.

     So, mother and daughters pondered. How would all the daily chores get done? What about the spring and summer field work if he wasn't back as he promised? And him, where was he this night? Or where might he be all the nights until his return? And worst of all, what would happen to them if he didn't return? Could they even survive without him?

     Tears escaped down the three faces as each struggled at her own level, with no clear answers to their questions. All Ma could offer was a soft assurance: "We'll be all right. He'll come back, then everythin'll be good again. We're just not gonna think about bad things for now."

     With that, they circled into a comforting embrace, re-entered the single room they called their "shanty," and faced individually that first of many nights of fitful sleep and troubled dreams.

To read the rest of Chapter One >>>>