Minutemen of 61
by George W. Callahan
Trafford Publishing

"We have a job to do to defend our country. Let's do it with pride and determination. "

The Civil War forever changes the Bates family. When President Lincoln asks for 75,000 volunteers to defend the Union, George Bates decides to sign up. He struggles with the hardships his mother and siblings may endure during his absence, but his country needs him. George leaves Carver, Massachusetts wide-eyed and ready for battle, hoping the conflict will be a short one. He torches ships at the Norfolk Naval Ship Yard and defends Fortress Monroe, before returning home.

As the war drags on, George decides he must enlist once again to protect his family and his country. His younger brother, James, also decides to enlist. Although their mother fears for their safety, she is incredibly proud as evidenced by the letters they send to each other. The Bates brothers travel from the Atlantic Seaboard to New Orleans famed Bourbon Street defending the Union. Unfortunately, the family will not be immune from the war's heart break.

The Bates family is not a fictional family. They are Callahan's distant relatives who fought for the Union during the Civil War. Callahan's use of historical fact and a hefty dose of fiction make for a moving story. Smooth dialogue and well developed characters will have readers bursting with pride as these ordinary men valiantly serve their nation. Photographs of family records, Civil War battlefields, and forts help bring the story to life. Callahan lays out his story a little differently though. He presents the novel on one page and historical facts on the opposite page, making for a very interesting read.

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