Cousins and best friends Aaron and Joel Haskins share the same birthday and interests as they grow up on neighboring farms near Sharpsburg, Maryland. But in April of 1861, as Virginia leaves the Union and Civil War conflicts brew, twenty-year-old Aaron and Joel hear the call for volunteers. Now they both must decide whether the impending threat is worth the risk of losing everything they have ever known.
Aaron, who fears Lincoln will take away his right to own slaves, is determined to join the Rebel army and defend his way of life. Joel, who has been married only a few weeks, is less than enthusiastic to leave his new bride and join the fight. After Joel chooses not to go to war, he sees his cousin off with a dose of naïve optimism—even as he is taunted for his lack of courage. As Aaron performs his duties among the atrocities of war, he has no idea the battle has reached his home—leading Joel to join the Union army and become his enemy.
In this compelling historical tale, two cousins battling on opposite sides of a brutal war must decide whether love or hatred will prevail in an uncertain world.
Ralph Beebe holds an AB from George Fox University, an MEd from Linfield College, and an MA and PhD from University of Oregon. He taught high school history for seventeen years and at George Fox for twenty-five years, where he is currently professor emeritus of history. Ralph and his wife, Wanda, have three children, ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. This is his seventh book.