An Eye for Glory: the Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen SoldierAn Eye for Glory: the Civil War Chronicles of a Citizen Soldier
Karl Bacon
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Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country.

This "citizen soldier" learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn.

Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood . and death. Michael's only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible.

It's in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation.

Using first-hand accounts of the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Karl Bacon has crafted a detailed, genuine and compelling novel on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
     


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Karl BaconKarl Bacon is a first time novelist, but long time student of the Civil War. He and his wife, Jackie live in Connecticut.

Favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 40:31:"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


 

 Our Interview with Karl Bacon


 

How did you get started as a CBA writer?

The first draft of An Eye for Glory was finished in June, 2008, but as a first-time writer, I had no idea what to do with it. I found the American Christian Fiction Writers website, became a member, and signed up for their annual conference in September. At the conference I was able to schedule an interview with an editor from Zondervan. I had never pitched my novel before, and never drawn up a proposal, but the editor liked my story and my proposal, and less than two months after the conference Zondervan committed to publishing it. Some would call this beginner’s luck, but I believe it is the gracious providence of God.

How did you come up with the concept for An Eye for Glory?

The seed for An Eye for Glory was purchased in the spring of 1998, in a used book store at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee. While browsing through the history section I discovered a hardcover copy of Infantryman Pettit, The Civil War Letters of Corporal Frederick Pettit in good condition. Pettit was a young Christian soldier from western Pennsylvania who served in the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Brother sometimes fought against brother during the Civil War, but as I read the letters Corporal Pettit sent to his family and friends, it struck me that Christian brothers often fought one another, each trying his best to kill the other, and each fully convinced of the righteousness of his cause. There was a story to tell.

What is the symbolism for the title An Eye for Glory?

Many times during the story, Michael Palmer gives us vivid details about what he has seen, and often these descriptions are terribly graphic. The horror he sees takes up residence within his soul to the extent that, as lowering clouds hide the warm, life-giving sun, so Michael’s ordeals hide God’s tender mercies from him. As the story develops, Michael sees only the temporary afflictions, rather than the eternal glory that can be his, both in this life and the next. 

How much research did An Eye for Glory take?

I didn’t keep a log, but thousands of hours were spent on research, with reading occupying most of that time. My Civil War library grew from half a shelf to an entire bookcase. The town and state libraries were a wellspring of information on regimental histories. The Internet proved invaluable as well, especially the Library of Congress collection of digitized historical maps. I also visited all of the battlefields depicted in the story, some two or three times, in an effort to walk where the men of the Fourteenth Connecticut walked and fought. A complete bibliography can be found on my website at www.kbacon.com.

 

What was the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing An Eye for Glory?

Actually, two facts come to mind. First, a Bacon won the Congressional Medal of Honor at Gettysburg. Private Elijah W. Bacon (no known relation) of the Fourteenth Connecticut won the medal for capturing the battleflag of the 16th North Carolina Infantry. He was killed less than a year later at the Wilderness. Second, some of the statistics from the Civil War were staggering. For instance, my hometown had a population of about 2,000 in 1860 and sent about 200 men off to war.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
As a new author, I am finding it difficult to just sit down and write. It usually takes me a day or two to focus all of my faculties to write something worthwhile. That means no interruptions, no appointments, no phone calls, no distractions…. 

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

In writing An Eye for Glory, I particularly enjoyed getting inside Michael Palmer’s head (or perhaps he got inside of mine). Since the story takes place in history, and Michael serves as a reporter of and participant in that history, the story is told in the first person. I had to develop a style of writing fitting to Michael Palmer’s era rather than my own. Over the years of writing, something like a great friendship developed, and I began to think more like Michael than myself whenever I sat down to write or edit.
 
What books did you read as a child?

I enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia and every Hardy Boys mystery I could lay my hands on, even the old thick ones. And of course I spent a lot of time with the American Heritage illustrated volume on the Civil War.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Yes. I have started another Civil War story. It will be completely different in terms of scope, the personal story of two persons thrown together by the war, rather than a saga like An Eye for Glory.

 


 

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