The Death of a Confederate Colonel


Civil War Stories and a Novella
Pat Carr
178 pages, 6 x 9
978-1-55728-835-6 (paper)


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Dramatically compelling and historically informed, The Death of a Confederate Colonel takes us into the lives of those left behind during the Civil War. These stories, all with Arkansas settings, are filled with the trauma of the time. They tell of a Confederate woman’s care of and growing affection for a wounded Union soldier, a plantation mistress’s singular love for a sick slave child, and an eight-year-old girl’s fight for survival against frigid cold, injury, starvation, heartbreak, and lawlessness.
Here are women holding down the home front with heroism and loyalty, or, sometimes, with weakness and duplicity. Will a young belle remain loyal to her wounded fiance? How long can a caring nurse hold her finger on a severed artery? And how does anyone comprehend the legacy of slavery and the brutality of war?
The Death of a Confederate Colonel triumphs in its portrayal of desperate circumstances coated in the patina of the Civil War era, the complexity of ordinary people confronting situations that change them forever.

Pat Carr, whose stories Leonard Michaels has described as “finely controlled and significantly moving,” has written twelve books of fiction, including If We Must Die, a finalist in the PEN book awards. Her more than one hundred short stories have been published in the Southern Review, Yale Review, and Best American Short Stories, among many other publications. She lives in Elkins, Arkansas.

Visit Pat Carr’s website.

“Intensely imagined, elegantly and efficiently told, the eight short stories and the powerful novella comprising Pat Carr’s The Death of a Confederate Colonel gracefully summon up for us our past. . . . Pat Carr is an admirably gifted writer, counted among our best and brightest; and this book is a memorable achievement.”
—George Garrett, author of Death of the Fox and Empty Bed Blues
“Pat Carr’s voice is distinctive, clear, and sharp. If her startling imagination reminds one of Ambrose Bierce’s, its range is much wider than his. The Death of a Confederate Colonel belongs high on the reading list of Civil War fiction.”
—David Madden, founding director of the U.S. Civil War Center and author of Sharpshooter

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