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"The Long Road Home" is a personal story of the lives of James Johnston and Miranda Madderra, the characters you met in "The Great Southern Circus". This time you will follow their emotional journey through the dark years of the American Civil War.
It is a story of hope, despair, joy, heartache, bitter division and reconciliation on a personal level for friends divided by war.
To research this book for both historical and personal accuracy, I relied on many sources.
First as a personal history of my ancestors, Miranda Madderra and James Johnston, I relied on oral recolections from my grandmother, Verna Simmons Goode who was herself the granddaughter of James and Miranda and had heard these wonderful stories from them as a child.
Second, I relied on a letter written to my Aunt Lelia Goode in 1915 by James detailing several of his personal experiences during the war.
As to historical accuracy, I will list a few of my many sources that allowed me to view this troubled time through the eyes of those who lived it.
Ken Burns wonderful documentary "The Civil War" on public television was both inspiring and filled with antidotes and personal reflections of the men and women caught up in the conflagration.
The following books were invaluable in my research:
"Gods and Generals" by Jeff Shaara.
"The Life of Johnny Reb" by Bell Irvin Wiley.
"From Shiloh to San Juan. The Life of Joe Wheeler" by John P. Dyer.
"Bull Run" by Paul Fleischman.
"The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War" by H. W. Crocker III.
"Antietam, the Soldiers' Battle" by John Michael Priest.
"Rebel Cornbread and Yankee Coffee" by Garry Fisher.
"The Civil War" by Shelby Foote.
"The Story of the Confederacy" by Selph Henry.
"Allegiance" by David Detzer.
"Lee's Miserables" by J. Tracy Power.
"My Brothers Keeper" by Daniel N. Rolph.
This is the actual "Hurdy Gurdy" carried throughout the Civil War by Willie Madderra and mentioned in both The Great Southern Circus and in The Long Road Home. It now resides in a museum in Guntersville, Alabama.