Synopses & Reviews
From a Spur Award-winning author comes a thrilling tale of faked deaths, runaway slaves, and revenge amid the Civil War.
The only way to escape the purgatory that is the Florence Stockade is to die, so on February 3, 1865, Zebulon Hogan dies. Corporal Favour and Private Gardenhire, the only two soldiers of the 16th Wisconsin healthy enough to tote Zebs wasted-away ninety pounds, wrap him in a dirty, stinking, and damp blanket, and carry him to the Dead House. It was typhoid pneumonia that got him, the soldiers told the Confederate guards.
Zeb is buried in the prisoners cemetery, but the grave is shallow and its likely that the hogs rooting around will soon be sinking their teeth into his rotting flesh. Then, young Ebenezer Chase, a runaway slave, sees the shadowy figure of a hand clawing through the muddy dirt over that grave, like its reaching to pull anybody nearby into the deepest part of Hades. Ebenezers first impulse is to scream, to warn the soldiers in the Stockade of what is happening, but nothing comes out of his throat.
Zeb Hogan has a mission far beyond escaping from the Stockade. He has sworn an oath to other prisoners to pursue the traitorous Sergeant Ben DeVere, who traded blue for gray and is now a Confederate in Vicksburg, and kill him. The problem for Zeb is that he knows nothing of the surrounding country and is likely to be intercepted. Ebenezer, despite being a runaway slave and no less vulnerable to capture, does know the country. Perhaps they can join forces to get where each wants to go . . .
This is surely one of Boggss best Westerns, an intense and suspenseful story of personal redemption set during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.” Booklist
, starred review
"Boggs is among the best Western writers at work today. He writes with depth, flavor, and color." Booklist
Boggss narrative voice captures the old-fashioned style of the past.” Publishers Weekly
"Johnny D. Boggs stretches the limits of the Western story with this novel ...." Roundup
"South by Southwest is an engaging story with a terrific opening sequence followed by many more like it." Historical Novels Review
About the Author
Johnny D. Boggs
has worked cattle, shot rapids in a canoe, hiked across mountains and deserts, and traipsed around ghost townsall in the name of finding a good story. He has won the Spur Award from Western Writers of America six times, as well as the Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.