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A Year in the South Book Review

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Essay title: A Year in the South Book Review





During the course of Civil War people faced many different hardships and challenges. As the war began secessionist hopes were high and they had control over the unionist. However, as the war progressed this began to change. The men that fought for the Rebels were beginning to come home and the same was true for the men who fought with the Yankees. Since many of all these men lived in the same towns and fought for different sides during the war hostility broke out. Even though there was an enormous amount of hostility between the two sides they still had one thing in common, family. Through the lives of Louis Hughes, Cornelia McDonald, John Robertson, Samuel Agnew, one can see the importance of family through hard times and good times.

Throughout the life of John Robertson, his family and friends played a major role in his life. At the age of 18, having just returned from the war fighting for the Confederates, John was starting a new life. He called himself a seeker. “But it was not riches he sought nor was it adventure. Although he was only eighteen, he had seen, as a rebel soldier and a home guardsman, all of the excitement and danger he cared to see. What he thirsted for now was spiritual fulfillment”(Ash 47). So on New Year’s Day he went to a Baptist church not far away from his aunt and uncles house. What he found when he went there was a preacher who was talking about baptism, not what young John wanted to hear. No, what he wanted to hear was a message that would change his life and help him get to know Jesus. Therefore, for the rest of the service John zoned himself out and sat quietly. The next day, he and his friend George Whillock had to mend a carriage wheel that had gotten broken on the way up from Roane Country. After repairing the wheel he went to see some old friends, the Browns. “He had lived with this family on their little farm for a time in late 1863 and early 1864, while he was employed in supplying firewood to the Yankee troops in Knoxville” (Ash 49). The Browns invited him to a revival that was being held at a local schoolhouse nearby. To say the least, John did not find what he was looking for that night. He kept going to the revival and he finally found what he was looking for, and if it were not for the Browns he probably would not have found it. “In the days and weeks following his conversion, John felt nearly overwhelmed by the sense of transformation” (Ash 51). Toward the end of winter John said that Knoxville was about as awful of a place that he could imagine (Ash 57). He decided to go to the place where he had made his home since October with another one of uncles, Allen Robertson. While he was there he learned about a revival being held at the Blue Springs Church, it is here that he started his goal at becoming a minister. In the spring of 1865, John had put the war totally out of his mind (Ash 87). He had decided now to devote all of his time to the Lord. He visited frequently the Reverend Payne, who helped start off John down the path of becoming a minister. All was going well until he met her, Margaret Tennessee Robertson, a distant cousin of his. “They found that they had much in common besides their age and family connection. Politics for on thing: her family were secessionists, and her older brother was a lieutenant in the Confederate army (Ash 91). Over time he tried to profess his love to her but he was scared that she did not fell the same as he did, so he promised himself that he would tell her in the upcoming summer months. During the months before Uncle Allen had gotten sick, so John had to start helping out in the field. Though the work was hard he still managed time to go see Tennie, this was the nickname that which he called Margaret. Finally on July 9, he decided to profess his love to Tennie. She told him that she needed six days to think about it. He returned on the sixth day during his lunch break and she told him that if she thought she would make him happy then she was his (Ash 175). Not long after at a church service, an event happened that would change his life forever. A man with a pistol riding a horse came up to John and asked to go back home with John for dinner. When the two were walking on the road, through a place where the brush was very thick, the man pulled his pistol on John and said that he was going to kill him, because John had bushwhacked him during the war. John begging with the man for his life managed to talk him into letting him go back to his house and eat. After eating the man and John made a deal that if John gave the man his pistol and his watch

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