A Musket In My Hands (Civil War Romance #3)

By: Sandra Merville Hart

PRAISE FOR A MUSKET IN MY HANDS

I don’t always read Civil War novels, because I’m not into graphic battle scenes. Sandra Merville Hart’s A Musket in My Hands is a wonderful book. The characters grab your heart right from the beginning and they take you through a unique story line right into battles, where I followed willingly. The book isn’t battle-driven. It’s character driven, and the reader becomes intimately acquainted with these people who had to face things they never dreamed about happening. This is my favorite Civil War novel. I highly recommend it.

~Lena Nelson Dooley

Bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of 12 Gifts of Christmas, Esther’s Temptation, and Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides

Sandra Hart, author of the acclaimed A Stranger on My Land and A Rebel in My House has done it again with her third and best novel to date, A Musket in My Hands. In this brilliant historical fiction, Sandra has sat against the backdrop of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Tennessee Campaign a study of the little known but genuine phenomenon of women masquerading as men to serve and fight in the opposing armies of the Civil War. An excellent and well-researched read, this is one of the first books I’ve read to put a touchingly human face on the horrendously bloody Battle of Franklin.

~Kevin Spencer

Historian—ON THIS DAY in North Carolina History

What would make two sisters escape the only home they’ve ever known to join the Confederate Army disguised as men? Prompted by both love and fear, Callie and Louisa are caught up in the War Between the States in a way they never imagined. It soon becomes a nightmare they couldn’t possibly foresee.

In A Musket in My Hands, author Sandra Merville Hart has penned a thrilling, well-researched novel set in the latter months of the Civil War. Her characters are believable, likeable, and, at times, frustrating in their decisions. But readers will find themselves rooting for the protagonists and anxiously awaiting resolution, not just on the battlefield, but in the battleground of their souls.

Inspiring and exciting, this novel will capture your heart as well as speed up your heartbeat. A historical romance well worth the read!

~Elaine Marie Cooper

Author of Saratoga Letters

Through A Musket in My Hands, Sandra Merville Hart brings to life the last months of the Confederacy as experienced by two Tennessee sisters who become soldiers for the South. Detailed research contributes to the realism in a tale of courage and strength during a tumultuous time in America’s history. I was moved by the despair and deprivation yet inspired by the characters’ resolve. A captivating read for historical fiction fans!

~ Sandra Ardoin

Author of the award-winning historical romance A Reluctant Melody

A Musket in My Hands shines with Sandra Hart’s talent for historical romance. Vivid historical details highlight the romance and adventure, excitement and heartache of those desperate to survive the Civil War, while an endearing collage of characters evaluates their own allegiances to God, country, and their fellow man.

~Carrie Del Pizzo

Del Pizzo’s Pen Editing





Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)


DEDICATION

This book is dedicated with love to my sweet daughter, Megan.

You’ve inspired and encouraged me many times.

What would my life be without you? God was smiling when He made you, knowing what joy you’d bring to all who love you. I am so blessed to call you my daughter.








August 1864, just outside Cageville, Tennessee


CHAPTER ONE





Clopping in the yard drew Callie Jennings’ hand to her throat. She rushed to the window and lifted the curtain. A moment of relief washed over her. It wasn’t Yankees looking for food again, thank the Lord. Pa had returned. He never said much about being a ranger, one of those irregulars who participated in guerrilla warfare for the Confederate States of America. The irregulars cut telegraph wire, pulled up railroad tracks, and worse—so some of the townsfolk said. His mood—and his drinking—depended on the success of their last mission. Would he be the even-tempered pa of her childhood today, or the drink-induced stranger she barely recognized?

Porter Jennings rode his horse into the barn and disappeared from sight. Callie dropped the curtain and hurried to the stove. Frying a batch of corn cakes didn’t take long, thank goodness. Pa would have a hot meal waiting when he got done brushing down Midnight. Must have been a hard night’s riding to take nigh onto noon to get back.

She didn’t like the Yankees all over Tennessee any better than Pa, but she’d heard rumblings about the irregulars catching one or two of the enemies alone and hanging them on a tree. That didn’t set well with her. It didn’t seem fair, though she kept those thoughts to herself. He wanted to protect his daughters and, being past the draft age of forty-four, this seemed his only choice.

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