Unselfish - A Civil War Saga

Mar 5, 2011
Unselfish - A Civil War Saga by John W. Parsons is a historical fiction novel but is based on letters the author has researched in writing it. Just finished reading it and I must say it is a book you want want to put down after you start reading it.Below is why the author wrote the book.

Ghost of Civil War Veteran
Guides Great-Great Grandson
Author Recounts How Apparition
Guided Him in Writing Civil War Tale
Today, most ghost stories are told on reality TV with fake lighting, bad video and poor sound, and a wink and a nod that it’s really all just for entertainment.​
But John Parsons lived his ghost story. Sharing an eerie, yet poignant, connection with his great-great grandfather, a Civil War combatant, he chronicled a tale based on real letters written by Civil War soldiers. Parsons, author of Unselfish: A Civil War Saga (​
www.manslastcall.com), said that his great-great grandfather, Joseph Corning, appeared to him repeatedly as he wrote his story.
"I started transcribing my great-great grandfather’s letters, about 150 of them, in 1997," Parsons said. "During that time, my wife and I would often hear footsteps going across the computer room floor above our living room when we were sitting in the evening. Our house was built five years after the Civil War, and being that old, it is easy to hear footfalls moving around within it. When I’d go upstairs to check on the noise, no one would be in the room. This went on for about two years as I transcribed the letters."​
But he and his wife weren’t the only ones who began to detect signs that they were not alone in the house.​
"One of my sons, along with his wife and children, lived with us in 1998," Parsons added. "One day, my wife and I went out for coffee at a local diner, and upon returning, my daughter-in-law said she did not realize we were out. She had been sitting at the vanity in her bedroom earlier with the bedroom door slightly open, and she saw someone walk by the bedroom dressed in a long coat. She thought it was me, but there wasn’t anyone home at the time. During this same period, we also had a battery operated motion light in the hallway outside the bedroom that often came on at night for no apparent reason."​
While some of those instances could be explained away in different ways, Parsons said he could not explain what happened a few years later.​
"Sometime around 2005, my wife and I had gone out with another couple to supper and when we returned home I was surprised upon entering to find the alarm system was off," Parsons recalled. "It was about 9 p.m. and the kitchen light was on, along with the living room lights. As I turned to look towards the kitchen, I saw in the darkened dining room a figure standing at the end of the table. I yelled for my friend to come quickly as someone was in the house, and we ran toward the figure. We watched it as it floated towards the kitchen, but when we got to the kitchen, the ghostly image was gone. If I had not seen this with my own eyes I would never have believed it."​
But Parsons’ strongest connection came about a year or two later after a dream he had about his ancestors.​
"I dreamt of a vision of my entire ancestry, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc., all previously deceased, standing along a beautiful garden path," he added. "I thought when I awoke that maybe my time had come, and they were beckoning me. Part of the group included my great-great grandfather Joseph dressed in his Civil War uniform and that image stuck in my mind for many months. In April of 2009, 148 years to the month that the Civil War rhetoric heated up, I felt a strong urge to write Joseph’s story. I wanted to try, in even a small way, to open mankind’s eyes to the futility of conflict to settle differences. I have long felt that Joseph was encouraging me to write this story in the hopes and prayers that it would make even a slight difference. During the actual writing of the book the footsteps repeated and I often felt a strong presence guiding and encouraging me. The motion light would mysteriously turn itself on and off quite often, as well."​
Since completing the book, all has been quiet.​
About John Parsons
John Parsons is a 78-year-old retired career educator and administrator. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in teaching from the State University of New York at Oswego, and a Master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Rochester. He taught industrial arts and math, and was a school administrator for 31 years. He lives in upstate New York with his wife of 57 years.​

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!