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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Interview, Excerpt


Michael Palmer has grown accustomed to the comforts of prosperity and a happy home. Yet, believing he has been created for some nobler calling, he enlists in the Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry Regiment of the Union Army.

Hatred of the enemy consumes Michael during a long and dusty march to Gettysburg. Michael's only desire is to kill as many of the enemy 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. He was a brother in Christ, Michael realizes after the man dies, and "I had hated him 'with cruel hatred.'" Michael uses the dead man's Bible as his own and delves deeply into the words of life. When a bullet shatters Michael's leg, he returns home.

After months of recovery, life in general returns to normal. In the spring of 1870, Michael leaves home once more, this t ime to return the Bible to the man's widow. This simple journey would change Michael in ways he never imagined. Could he find the faith he once lived by before the Civil War killed it?

Author Interview | Discussion Questions



 An Eye For Glory Discussion Questions: Karl Bacon


1. At the beginning of his story, Michael refers to it as a confession? Why?



2. Was it a mistake for Michael Palmer to enlist?



3. When Michael Palmer goes off to war, he thinks his enemies are all members of the Confederate States Army. What other, and perhaps more dangerous, enemies confront him?



4. Describe the daily diet of the soldiers while “on the march.” How did their diet differ while in winter encampment?



5. How does Jessie Anne help Michael survive the war? How does Jessie Anne change in the process?



6. The chapter titles sometimes have double meanings. In the chapter “A Grand Design,” how was the death of John Robinson part of God’s plan and how did it work to Michael’s good? Think in both short and long terms?



7. Why does Michael react one way to killing a man at Chancellorsville and then react in a different way one year later at the Wilderness?



8. How does Michael aid in his own downward spiral into darkness?



9. What spiritual lesson did Michael learn while at war?



10. How is Michael’s story similar to that of the Apostle Peter in the gospels?



11. In the last two chapters, how much does Michael contribute toward his own restoration? Why is this so?



12. In the last three sentences of his story, Michael looks to the past, to the present, and to the future. How do Michael's words apply to the story he has written and to the time in his life he wrote it (1882)?    




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