Widow of Gettysburg, Heroines Behind the Lines Series #2Widow of Gettysburg, Heroines Behind the Lines Series #2
Jocelyn Green
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When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Confederate scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

When the scout doesn't die, as expected, she discovers that he isn't who he claims to be.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.


 Widow of Gettysburg Discussion Questions: by Jocelyn Green


1. In June 1863, before the governor’s official call to arms, the people of Gettysburg didn’t take threats of invasion seriously. When has there been a time in your own life when you did not, for whatever reason, heed warning signs of danger? Has there ever been a time when your own community (local or broader) ignored red flags of impending disaster?


2. Bella made a choice to protect her daughter by keeping her heritage a secret, a deception that lasted twenty years. Do you believe there are ever good reasons to deceive someone else? If so, what would those be?


3. Abraham Jamison and the rest of the 54th Massachusetts regiment decided to fight for free rather than take unequal pay, putting great hardships upon their families who depended on income. When have you had to take a stand on principle that required personal sacrifice, or sacrifice on the part of your family?


4. For a time, both Liberty and Amelia cloaked themselves in grief until it eclipsed their individual identities. Has loss ever threatened to define you? What did you do about it?


5. Bella valued Liberty’s protection above all else, which is something all parents can relate to. How do we know when to let our children experience danger?


6. Liberty’s guilt over her response to Levi’s wounds haunted her for two years. How does one break free of guilt?


7. One of the verses that helped Liberty move on was Philippians 3:13-14. In the NIV, the verses read: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” What do those verses mean to you?


8. What Bible verses have helped pull you through a difficult time?



9. During the course of the book, Liberty’s hatred for Rebels transformed into compassion for wounded men, no matter where they hailed from. When and how has your perspective on an enemy changed?


10. Dr. Stephens used opium to deaden his senses to emotional pain, even though he knew it harmed his body. How do people do this in our culture today? Other than drugs, what else do we do when we want to numb our own heartaches?


11. At one point in the story, Silas asked Dr. O’Leary if he believed people could really change. How would you have answered him? What evidence of change have you seen in people’s lives? What caused it?


12. Silas was held captive by the idea that God would not listen to him because of wrongs he committed in the past, or for neglecting to do what he knew was right. Do you believe there is anything that God cannot forgive?


13. One of the greatest heartaches at Gettysburg was all the unidentified bodies buried in unmarked locations. This was especially grievous for Southern family members who hated the fact that their soldiers were buried on what was then “foreign soil.” What would you do if you did not have a gravesite for a loved one and could not recover his or her remains? How would that affect your grief?


14. Liberty, Silas, and Bella all felt categorized at some points in the novel. When have you felt like you were lumped in with a group and not given value as an individual?


15. Liberty’s change of heart toward Southern wounded earned her disdain from others. When have your loyalties or perspectives shifted, causing surprise or disapproval from those in your life?


16. At one point, Dr. Stephens told Liberty, “You don’t know what you can do until you are required to do it.” When has this proven to be true in your own life?


17. Amelia finally found solace from her grief by being able to comfort others who walked in the valley she had trod. When have you been able to use your life experiences to guide or comfort others?


18. Liberty had no choice when her farm was taken for a hospital, but no one forced her to pitch her tent at Camp Letterman and fill her days with more nursing. Why did she do that? Do we do the same thing to avoid painful realities in our own lives?


19.  Some Gettysburg citizens became ill from pollution they were not aware of, such as corpses contaminating their drinking water. How do our spirits become polluted without us recognizing it? What are the warning signs, and how do we recover from that?


20. At the end of the book, Harrison Caldwell urged Bella and Liberty to write their own stories of their experiences during and after the battle. Why is it important to record our personal histories, even if it may not be significant on a national scale? How can writing be a form of therapy?





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