Ken Rossignol's new series is off to a great start with Chesapeake 1850, the tale of Ethan Douglas from his days as a 10 year old cabin boy on his grandfather's Chesapeake Bay steamship before the Civil War, through his rise to become a wealthy ship owner. The young boy witnesses everything from a hanging to hurricanes, to bloody Oyster Wars, and meets the love of his life and later marries her. The author does an excellent job of bringing history to life in an entertaining and captivating way that keeps you reading from start to finish.Good work New York Times best-selling author Nick Russell
"A clever way of telling a historical story, it is well told and uses the gentle language of its time to tell of the violence of the civil war. " - Peter Jones
"Intriguing plot with historical soundness swathedin an entertaining story. The languagepresented in the time setting was spot on and the descriptions were as if thiswas a memoir instead of novel. Theprotagonist's coming of age story on the river as he experienced everythingfrom hurricanes to hangings was a joy to read because it was presented in mannerthat made it palpable and real. The timesduring the Civil War were again vividly displayed and suspension of disbeliefoccurred easily as I was transported to where Ethan was and saw the worldaround him.
Anotheraspect of the book was the old world illustrations and photographs peppered throughout. By the time the end arrived and the Captain Douglas was not far from itsfirst voyage, I was thoroughly satisfied yet again; another outstanding work byan exceptionally talented author."
From the Author
A young boy of about fifteen threw out his gun and came up the ladder. Robert brought him aboard the Maryland Lady
while our deckhands secured a tow line to the Mabel Ann
, which was a boat from Piney Point, Maryland. The small boat had no markings on it and was likely either a pirate vessel or simply out to capture a prize for the Confederates. Whichever was the case, we weren't about to tow it back to Virginia--
not during a war--
so it remained adrift. Either the Confederates or the vultures would find the boat as the tide carried it to the Virginia shore.
It took us about an hour to reach Piney Point, and we ran up St. George Creek '
til we arrived at where the lad said his father's dock was located. George Goddard, his father, and three other men lay dead after having been ambushed. That day had been the deadliest in the Oyster Wars. Young Tom Goddard had just become the youngest captain in that area. He was the oldest son and would need to continue working the water to support his mother and three sisters. We helped young Tom unload the bodies of his father and his crew, then we bought his load of oysters and transferred the catch into our hold.
The Yankees were building a prison camp and hospital down at Point Lookout, and lots of ships were bringing in supplies. A federal Navy ship hailed us as we left St. George Creek and entered the Potomac, so we slowed to meet her.
"Hello, Captain, we need to arrange to buy some oysters from you," a young Union lieutenant said, standing on the bow of the patrol vessel.
"We have a market for these oysters already, sir."