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Called to War - Dawn of the Mormon Battalion
Followed by its sequel War in the Far West - March of the Mormon BattalionA Historical Fiction series by military historian, Lieutenant Colonel Sherman L. Fleek.
Volume 1 Softcover 6x9 570 Pgs
Called to War Dawn of the Mormon Battalion is a sweeping epic of history?war, politics, religion and westward expansion of the 1840s. It is a compelling drama of a family caught in the midst of great historical turmoil where they would face the dilemma of military service, religious obedience, individual desires of love, or family unity in the backdrop of war and the upheavals of pioneer life and all its dangers.
Called to War is where history, war, family ideals and pageantry of the West abound with the likes of frontiersman Kit Carson, explorer John C. Fremont, President James K. Polk, Senator Sam Houston, General Stephen Kearny, Mormon apostles John Taylor and Brigham Young, besides slave bounty-hunters, a steamboat wreck, pioneers, soldiers, and Indian warriors as the Barlow's experience this vast western drama.
Crossing the Iowa plains in 1846, the Barlow family, recent British converts to the Mormon faith, struggle to become pioneers while trying to maintain their class values of English landed-gentry amongst dynamics of their new life in the new world. Eighteen-year-olds Arthur and York Barlow, identical twins outwardly but very different in mind and temperament, face the difficult choice of serving in war as the Mormons leaders require, or remain steadfast to personal values of not serving in war instilled by their handsome, well-bred English widowed mother, Victoria Barlow. Victoria also confronts the choice to unite her family or choose love from among two suitors; one actively seeks her hand and the other, a church leader, she secretly desires. The climax is when Victoria Barlow is cast adrift in the midst of the great Mormon exodus while her sons feud and separate on their own journeys of military service.
VOLUME 2 WAR IN THE FAR WEST
550 pages 6x9 Paperback
The Saga Continues!
Richard Cracroft (former dean of the BYU English Dept and current editor of the BYU Magazine book review section "Book Nook" calls Sherman Fleek, The "Mormon Michener" (referring to world famous novelist James Michener). Cracroft says that unlike most historical fiction writers whose charcters are often flat and uninteresting, Fleek's characters "live!"
If you were captured by the first volume: Called to War: Dawn of the Mormon Battalion, then you can't wait to get a hold of this continuing saga!
War in the Far West is the epic story of war and conquest in California and northern Mexico. American soldiers and Mexican lancers clash in bloody battles for control of California. The long march of the Mormon Battalion ends and its consequence of what war does to people, especially the Barlow family. In California severe trials of leadership and governance arise among the American military factions. Even in the Battalion itself the soldiers try to determine which authority is supreme--religious or military. War and rebellion rage in New Mexico where its new American citizens are caught in the vortex of intrigue and battle. Then wild Missouri volunteers face a severe campaign against Navajos and Mexicans across a forbidding land.
The dramatic story continues with Victoria Barlow and her sons Arthur and York as they struggle to find happiness and peace in amidst the turmoil of war and frontier military service. The Mormon Battalion is discharged and the Barlows journey east over the mountains and deserts but soon the brothers must choose between continued military service or gathering to the new Zion in Utah.
Author: Sherman L. Fleek, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, is a military historian and a published author with a MA in history and BA in English. He currently serves as the command historian of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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