ON THE ROAD TO GLORY
A Western Quest Series Novel
The first book in the Western Quest Series, Out of the Wilderness, follows Thomas Turner as he left Ireland and settled in the wilderness of South Carolina along the Pee Dee River. Book two, On the Camino Real, book three, Under Troubled Skies, and book four, Ride for the Lone Star, follow the life and times of Thomas Turner’s grandson, Aaron Turner.
Book five, On the Road to Glory, introduces Aaron Turner’s youngest son, Aaron Lloyd Turner. Young Aaron leaves home with his brothers, David and Noah, and his brother-in-law, Pinckney Hawkins, to join the Confederacy in turning back the Yankee invasion. He naively believes that it will be a grand adventure as they ride out on the road to glory.
The story is told through the eyes of Aaron who is only ten as the story opens and a war hardened fifteen year old at the end of the conflict. Confederate service records, journals and books accurately locate Aaron in time and place.
He was a courier in the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry Regiment, Dismounted, Company F. He served under Captain Benjamin Tyus for the duration of the war. His regiment was part of what was to be known as Granbury’s Texas Brigade under Brigadier General Hiram Granbury. Granbury’s Brigade was an integral part of Major General Patrick Cleburne’s Division. For much of the war, Cleburne’s Division was part of Lieutenant General Hardee’s Corp, which was part of the Army of Tennessee. The Army of Tennessee was variously commanded by General Braxton Bragg, General Joe Johnston, and General John Bell Hood.
Pains have been taken to follow the details and timeline of the war as closely as possible. While the commanding officers, from generals to Captain Tyus, are actual historic figures, Lieutenant Kinney and the men of the First Platoon are fictional. This is the very unit in which Aaron, Noah, David and Pinckney served. The names of the rest of the company have been changed from those actually on the roster to fictional characters to facilitate telling the story. It is in the details of action, thought and emotion that this work becomes historical fiction.
Historians agree that the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, was one of the bloodiest encounters of the entire war as far as percentage of men lost. Many also believe that the casualties there were due to unnecessary aggression. After the Battle of Franklin, the Army of Tennessee was but a ghost of a fighting unit, and ceased to pose a meaningful threat to the Union.
The war changed Aaron in a way that even he did not understand. But the fiery furnace of the war produced a self-reliant, honest, respected man of tremendous character. In 1938, at age eighty-eight, Aaron attended the Seventy-fifth Reunion of Surviving Union and Confederate Veterans held at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It seems that after that event, he finally made peace with the memories that had haunted him for seventy-five years.
—Stephen L. Turner