Planning a Civil War Fiction Book!

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OldReliable1862

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I've been wanting to write an ACW story with a viewpoint in each of the three main theaters, and I think I've got a basic idea now.
- Three brothers in Georgia join an infantry company headed for Texas. They are part of James Fannin's force, with one of them killed in the Goliad massacre.
- By 1861, the two remaining brothers and their sister have set up their own families, one in Freestone County and the other in Leon County. The sons of the former join the 7th Texas Infantry, while the latter join the 5th Texas Infantry. Their sister's sons join the 5th Texas Mounted Volunteers.

I want to show conflict within a family, but rather than have it come from the war itself, I think I'd rather come from other actions of the family members themselves. My current idea is to have one brother go into severe debt as he tries to set up a business before the war, causing himself to become a financial and emotional burden to the other. I'd like to explore the effect broken promises and emotional parasitism between family members can have on the children of those most directly involved.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I like the direction your taking, but starting it out during the Texas Revolution may be tricky in length of a book. Perhaps two books would serve the story better. I'd also caution against any showing of Fannin in a positive light. He was pretty incompetent.

Of course not everyone at Goliad was from Georgia. I have an uncle from a Virginia family branch who went to Goliad, and incidentally didn't come away from there...

But hey good luck! Sounds like a good basis to go with.
 
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OldReliable1862

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I like the direction your taking, but starting it out during the Texas Revolution may be tricky in length of a book. Perhaps two books would serve the story better. I'd also caution against any showing of Fannin in a positive light. He was pretty incompetent.

Of course not everyone at Goliad was from Georgia. I have an uncle from a Virginia in family branch who went to Goliad, and incidentally didn't come away from there...

But hey good luck! Sounds like a good basis to go with.
Thanks! The Texas Revolution would only be mentioned, the story would likely start a few days before the Texas Secession Convention.
 
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OldReliable1862

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Here's a rough list of the main characters:

James Barrow (1813-1836)
The oldest of the Barrow brothers, James is killed in the Goliad Massacre.

Patrick Barrow (1817- )
The middle son, Patrick is a quiet, pensive man. He has managed to become a successful lawyer, though he has had to lend his brother William money several times to cover for his brother's poor finanical skill. Patrick has been struggling to refrain from cutting ties with his brother, and seeing to his brother's needs has been emotionally draining to him.
Sam Houston Barrow (1839- )​
Sam, Patrick's eldest son, lives in Houston, where he works as a clerk for the Houston and Texas Central Railway (@DaveBrt: care to weigh in on the H&TC?). Sam has married the daughter of a German immigrant family, and she has managed to convert him to Lutheranism. He later joins the 5th Texas Infantry, Company A, "Bayou City Guards".​

Sarah Barrow Elliott (1818- )
Perceptive and dry-witted, Sarah has always been close to Patrick, but has been growing distant from William. Despite still loving him, she has mostly given up on her younger brother ever becoming self-sufficent.
Josiah "Jose" Elliott (1840- )​
Sarah's son, Jose works on the family's ranch. When the war begins, he joins the 7th Texas Infantry.​

William Barrow (1820- )
The youngest of the four, William has given his brother a great deal of trouble in the past few years. His attempt to become a cotton planter has ended in abysmal failure, and has required financial support from Patrick. He considers himself ill-treated by those around him, and responds harshly to criticism.
John "Jack" Barrow (1842- )​
William's only son Jack has grown up close to his cousins, and is gradually becoming more and more embarrassed by his father. He joins Tom Green's 5th Texas Mounted Volunteers.​
 
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OldReliable1862

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Here's a rough list of the main characters:

James Barrow (1813-1836)
The oldest of the Barrow brothers, James is killed in the Goliad Massacre.

Patrick Barrow (1817- )
The middle son, Patrick is a quiet, pensive man. He has managed to become a successful lawyer, though he has had to lend his brother William money several times to cover for his brother's poor finanical skill. Patrick has been struggling to refrain from cutting ties with his brother, and seeing to his brother's needs has been emotionally draining to him.
Sam Houston Barrow (1839- )​
Sam, Patrick's eldest son, lives in Houston, where he works as a clerk for the Houston and Texas Central Railway (@DaveBrt: care to weigh in on the H&TC?). Sam has married the daughter of a German immigrant family, and she has managed to convert him to Lutheranism. He later joins the 5th Texas Infantry, Company A, "Bayou City Guards".​

Sarah Barrow Chapman (1818- )
Perceptive and dry-witted, Sarah has always been close to Patrick, but has been growing distant from William. Despite still loving him, she has mostly given up on her younger brother ever becoming self-sufficent.
Thomas Chapman (1840- )​
Sarah's son, Tom works on the family's ranch. When the war begins, he joins the 7th Texas Infantry.​

William Barrow (1820- )
The youngest of the four, William has given his brother a great deal of trouble in the past few years. His attempt to become a cotton planter has ended in abysmal failure, and has required financial support from Patrick. He considers himself ill-treated by those around him, and responds harshly to criticism.
John Barrow (1841- )​
William's only son Jack has grown up close to his cousins, and is gradually becoming more and more embarrassed by his father. He joins Tom Green's 5th Texas Mounted Volunteers.​
Does anyone have any thoughts on these characterizations? They're still very much a work in progress, as me constantly changing the names shows.
 

privateflemming

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Since this is set in Texas during the Civil War and one of the characters is married into a German immigrant family, is the book going to involve the Nueces massacre of German Unionists or the mass hangings in Gainesville? Do all the characters support the Confederacy?
 
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GwilymT

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Since this is set in Texas during the Civil War and one of the characters is married into a German immigrant family, is the book going to involve the Nueces massacre of German Unionists or the mass hangings in Gainesville? Do all the characters support the Confederacy?
Divided loyalties to the cause would certainly have happened in many families. Almost, if not every southern state fielded Union forces. This would make an interesting point of tension.
 

OldReliable1862

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Since this is set in Texas during the Civil War and one of the characters is married into a German immigrant family, is the book going to involve the Nueces massacre of German Unionists or the mass hangings in Gainesville? Do all the characters support the Confederacy?
Yes, I'm planning on incorporating this into the story. The only character who is a dedicated secessionist is William Barrow (the screw-up brother), most of the rest are less enthusiastic, and consider themselves to be following Texas.
 

OldReliable1862

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Does anyone know of a good name for the AoT character? I've made their last name Eliott as a tribute to @lelliott19, but finding a first name is proving a tad difficult.
 
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OldReliable1862

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As I rework the character relations, I'm thinking of having a character named after the Barrows' commander at San Jacinto, either Edward Burleson or Sidney Sherman. Does anyone know how Texans felt about Sidney Sherman? Was he regarded as a war hero on a similar level as Burleson or Milam?
 
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