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Blair Howard

The Mule Soldiers: A Novel of the American Civil War (The O'Sullivan Chronicles Book 1)

The Mule Soldiers: A Novel of the American Civil War (The O'Sullivan Chronicles Book 1)

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The Mule Soldiers

A Novel of the American Civil War

On a balmy day in April 1863, Union Colonel Abel D. Streight, at the head of a brigade of Federal infantry, set out on a 220-mile ride to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad at Rome, Georgia. The most fascinating thing about the raid is that Streight’s brigade of four infantry regiments, almost 1,800 soldiers, was mounted on mules, a huge problem in itself; few of his men had ever ridden a horse, let alone a mule. But not only did Streight have almost 1,600 stubborn and wily animals to contend with, he soon found himself being relentlessly pursued by the inimitable Confederate cavalry commander, General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The raid soon turned into a running battle between Streight’s raiders and Forrest's cavalry. For Streight, it was a long and tortuous journey across Northern Alabama. For Forrest, it was one defeat after another at the hands of the very “able” Abel Streight, even though he, Forrest, had the advantage of home territory and the sympathy and aid of the local populace.

There are some wildly hilarious moments involving the mules and their new masters; or is it the other way around? There's plenty of action and suspense, and an unforgettable cast of characters, real and fictional, animal and human; some you will come to love, some... not so much.

"They say that truth is stranger than fiction. This amazing story proves the point, for the end of the story is, well, unbelievable."

The Mule Soldiers is the true story " fictionalized ” of Colonel Abel Streight’s Raid into Northern Alabama that took place from 19 April to 3 May 1863. It is an enthralling and bittersweet story that will stay with you long after you have you have finished reading it. Note: The Mule Soldiers is a true story, fictionalized, but it also introduces Ronan O'Sullivan, a fictional character that rode with Colonel Streight during this amazing Union expedition into Northern Alabama. He will be featured in future stories in the series. 

Author's Note: Although this book is a work of fiction, it is historically accurate. The words the characters speak - the generals (all of them real), the officers (most of them real), and the fictional characters - are my own, my personal interpretation of what might have been said in any of the given situations. Everything you have read here actually happened. The timeline is accurate. There are no available maps, so I had to build my own. They, too, are as accurate as I could make them. I had a lot of fun creating the fictional characters. My inspiration for Sergeant Major O'Sullivan was the cavalryman you see on the front cover of the book. Then there are those wildly hilarious moments involving the mules and their new masters - I had more fun dealing with that situation than any human being should be allowed to have. Then, of course, there are the two combatants: Union Colonel Abel Streight and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest; they say that truth is stranger than fiction; no two men illustrate the point better than they do. I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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