November 24, 2014
Lawrence County Historical Society
Museum on the Square
Author of book
Kelsheimer's newest book is based on tensions between the Unionist families and southern sympathizers in the area along the Embarras River and county line near Flat Rock.
The book review on Amazon.com describes the book as follows:
When Samuel Farmer answered Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight the Southern Rebellion, he promised his family that he would return home in a few months. Farmer, like most soldiers on both sides of the conflict, thought that the war would be over in ninety days. After battles in places named Fort Donelson and Shiloh, it soon becomes clear that the bloodshed wasn’t going to end anytime soon. As the months turned to years, Copperheads and Confederate guerillas bring a war of terror to the Wabash Valley. Friends and neighbors suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The Farmer family along with the residents of South Union struggle to survive against the deadly attacks by Southern Sympathizers while their husbands, fathers and sons fight for the Union Army in the heart of Dixie. At ten years of age, Will Farmer finds himself caught up in a local war where the enemy doesn’t differentiate between men and boys. He is forced to become a man in a world that still views him as a child. Far from the glory of the battlefield and based on actual events, “South Union” is a story about the forgotten war waged by the families left behind. It is a portrait of courage and heartbreak faith in the darkest of times.
According to the biography on Amazon's Book page: Rick Kelsheimer, author of The Hanging of Betsey Reed, Wa-Ba-Shik-ki and The Adventures of Wabash Jake, is a native of southern Illinois. After many years as a behavioral therapist and substance abuse counselor in Colorado and Texas, he returned to his hometown of Robinson, Illinois. He now owns a book store and the local bowling alley. He lives with his wife Angela and has five children, along with two grandchildren and one ill-tempered Chihuahua.