Their Last Ten Miles

A Novel

Title Details

Pages: 256

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/01/2003

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8155-2

List Price: $26.95

Related Subjects

FICTION / Historical

Their Last Ten Miles

A Novel

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  • Description
  • Reviews
Civil War buffs will enjoy this historical novel, which uses a range of characters, from politicians to privates to generals to civilians, to explore the motivations behind the war. The climactic scenes take place at the final battle of the war, in Selma, Alabama, in April 1865, where Union general James H. Wilson defeated Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. To reach that point, first-novelist Jim Harrell goes back to the beginning of the war, introducing characters on both sides whose varying philosophies and motivations reflect the deep internal divisions within the nation. Then, as the war progresses, Harrell's interweaving plotlines show how the South was gradually and relentlessly cornered. Fine period details and interesting characters bring the ruinous history to life.
Their Last Ten Miles mixes real and fictional characters to examine the war, its causes and effects in a setting, Alabama, that is little known to many casual readers and historians who believe the war took place only in Virginia. Rich in detail and dialect, this book transports readers from familiar Washington to obscure Selma. It introduces them to familiar characters like President Abraham Lincoln and obscure characters like Union General James Wilson, one of the few Union generals who figured out how to win against Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

—Clint Johnson, author of In the Footsteps of Robert E. Lee and other Civil War books

Fine period details and interesting characters bring the ruinous history of this tragic era back to life for. This is an excellent read and the reader will be pleased.

—The Lone Star

Sparked by a family story of a heroic grandfather who lost an arm fighting for the Confederacy, Jim Harrell has written a novel of interest to a wide range of readers of historical fiction. His book has a particular appeal to readers in Alabama’s Black Belt where much of the action takes place. Sparing no details of the horror of the battle of Selma, Harrell also recounts deeds which “proved that the heart often knows something that the brain does not.”

—Kathryn Tucker Windham, nationally renowned storyteller

Their Last Ten Miles is an enjoyable historical novel by an author who obviously has spent lots of time reading about Selma during the Civil War. As the South’s second most important industrial city after Richmond, Selma played a strategic role in keeping Confederate armies functioning during the final two years of the conflict. Why the city’s armories and the important battle fought to control them late in the war have received so little attention from historians has always puzzled me. Though Jim Harrell’s account is fictional, it is believable and a good read.

—Dr. Wayne Flynt, Distinguished University Professor, Auburn University

About the Author/Editor

JAMES N. HARRELL was born in Selma, Alabama in 1924. He flew 28 missions as a B-17 gunner during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of California (Berkeley) and did post-graduate studies at The Sorbonne. In 2006, Harrell announced the Jim Harrell Poetry Scholarship Awards, open to Alabama high school students. Winners will be recognized at the Mentevallo Literary Festival, held every year in April. Additionally, Harrell donated to the libraries of every Alabama high school and college, public and private, a copy of These I Would Keep, an anthology of verse by Alabama’s poet laureates, edited by Helen F. Blackshear, eighth poet laureate, and his Civil War novel, Their Last Ten Miles.