Thursday, 9 February 2012


There’s a special place in our hearts for novels of the American Civil War that don’t conform to the traditional and often depersonalizing fictional and factional reconstructions of that horrific conflict.

Civil wars: Surely the most bitter and emotionally devastating wars of all to those who fire their muskets, jab their bayonets and unsheathe their swords and knives against their own countrymen.

Civil wars are not fought, won or lost by the remote politicians who spark their outbreak, but by ordinary folk, plucked from their private lives, loves and dreams, dressed in uniforms, forced into conformity, armed and thrown into baffling and bloody killing fields, every moment frantic with worry about their far off friends and families back home.

Even those who don’t die and who escape physical maiming can hardly be called ‘survivors’ when a civil war is officially declared to be over and political differences settled around conference tables. And they never know what, if anything, will be left of what they long to return to. Civil war more than any other form can leave dead men walking.

I once asked my late grandfather to describe the horrendous WWI battles he’d struggled through (by no means unscathed physically and psychologically). He told me he couldn’t. Because of the blinding smoke, flares and shell bursts, the deafening roar of artillery and the screams of men and horses, and a soldier’s instinctively intense focus on the very next step he takes, he never knew what was happening more than a few feet away.

Whether a battle had been won or lost, an attack successful or failed was unknown to the fighter until an officer 'officially' announced the outcome and recited the lengthy roll call of the day's dead and missing. I’d have to read the books the generals write, he said. They, you see, could stand back and scan the field. Granddad didn’t have their over-view of mass combat – because he was in the midst of it.

But WWI wasn’t a civil war. The War Between the States was fought by boys and men who shared the same language, the same religion, similar backgrounds and home lives ... and often even the same families.

Today’s BeWrite Books’ release of Kirby McCord’s Cemetery Ridge is about human beings: A book for all eras because it goes so far beyond the warmed-over and obvious. It’s about one confused soldier who saw more than most of what civil war really meant to those caught up in it – whether on the battlefield or in small villages and farms far, far away from the infamously bloody clashes recorded by historians.

                                                  In 1863 America is a Vast Graveyard

Confederate soldier Travis Anderson lives in hell. Friends die excruciating deaths and he is wracked by his own private torture as he, in turn, kills his countrymen in horrific face-to-face combat.
At the height of his misery and terror he is ordered on the most desperate mission imaginable … to save his beloved Texas from invasion by crossing the embattled land to deliver a secret peace proposal to the enemy.
Can the daunting task reconcile his burning doubts and guilt and redeem the honor of a reluctant warrior? Will his passion for a beautiful, married woman free him from his nightmares and exorcise the bloody ghosts that haunt him?
Or will his hopes be buried, along with the Dreams of the South, on Cemetery Ridge?
Anderson’s odyssey reveals to him and to the reader the horrendous scale of the American Civil War. Misery and horror is not limited to the notorious killing fields of Shiloh, Gettysburg and Vicksburg. 

Death is everywhere. It inhabits the quaint village of Gainesville, Texas, the tree-dotted hills of Indian Territory, the plains of southern Kansas, the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, the caves of Kentucky, the farms of Indiana, and the highways of Ohio.

Author Kirby McCord
About author Kirby McCord: When he left the fast track of big city life as a real estate attorney in Dallas and moved with his wife to rural East Texas to raise horses, Kirby’s love of history and of writing was re-kindled. He concentrated on researching the American Civil War and even became involved in battle reenactments to get a closer feel for events than intensive book research alone could provide. His debut novel, Cemetery Ridge is the result.

For more information on this book, its author and for a free extract, please click HERE for our mini-ebook, downloadable, print-friendly full brochure (max five seconds to load). Or you can simply read it on screen right now.

Cemetery Ridge is now available from all major online stores in paperback and all ebook formats for all electronic reading devices. You can also buy ebook editions direct from the publisher’s bookstore on the BeWrite Books website homepage HERE.

For anyone interested in those behind this book … Author: Kirby McCord. Editor: Hugh McCracken. Text and cover design and technical preparation: Tony Szmuk: Other input: The BeWrite Books team. International digital distribution: BeWrite Books. International print Distribution: Ingram Book Company.

Best wishes for a happy weekend. Neil, Tony, Hugh, Sam et al at BB


  1. Congratulations, Kirby - this ought to get them sitting up and taking notice. Love the cover, Tony.

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  3. Kirby followed through with a front page piece in his local paper about 'Cemetery Ridge'. Here's the link: Good going. Best wishes. Neil

    (PS: Removed the previous version of this comment when I found that we can't carry live links in this section -- simply copy the URL and paste it into your browser. N)