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The Safeguard: A Novel of Georgia in 1864 by [D M Wilder]

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The Safeguard: A Novel of Georgia in 1864 Kindle Edition

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Length: 457 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In her notes at the end of the book, AuthorDiana Wilder reveals to us that she stumbled upon her idea for "TheSafeguard" in a replica book that was published by the Government PrintingOffice in 1863 titled, "Instructions for Officers and Non-CommissionedOfficers on Outpost and Patrol Duty, and Troops in Campaign." Whereasresearchers, historians, or Civil War buffs might have passed over this itemabout "safeguards" as nothing special, Ms. Wilder astutely imagined awonderful story of survival wrapped around love, hate, prejudice, and hardshipswith the American Civil War in 1864 Georgia as the backdrop. Her manycharacters are uniquely crafted with care through their dialogue (true to the times),actions, and personalities. I found it utterly fascinating that Ms. Wilder wasable to keep altering her words to conjure up lovely imagery for us when herstory is mostly confined to two main venues--that of a plantation and itsnearby town. The beginning has a fun hook that immediately thrust me into thestory; thereafter, I had difficulty putting the book down. I highly recommendthis historical novel to any avid reader or enthusiast of history--it's a realtreasure! (Lisa Potocar)

For readers who enjoy exceptional historic fiction, Civil War fiction or romantic fiction, THE SAFEGUARD: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA IN 1864 is one novel I recommend as a must read.

When Union troops crossed through Northwest Georgia during Sherman's march on Atlanta, the mistress of a plantation showed compassion for all wounded soldiers, and opened her home as a hospital where she took it upon herself to care for these men. So impressed by her actions, the Union commander avoided foraging of her plantation and the adjacent town. As the Union forces continued their march to Atlanta, the General left a Safeguard, a wounded Union soldier, to protect the plantation (the mistress and hospitalized soldiers) and the town. Once Union forces vacated, bands of outcasts pillaged, raped and murdered in the communities left unprotected behind Union lines. The Union Safeguard became entangled providing protection against overwhelming odds to a community sympathetic to the Confederacy but concerned for their safety.

The storytelling by the author is fantastic. All characters are well developed, and this reader quickly developed empathy for them.... Even actions of the antagonists found my understanding and sympathy. I found this story a better portrayal of this time in history than GONE WITH THE WIND. (Terry L Wilson)


How do you think it was DURING the war when an injured Union soldier is ordered to safeguard a Georgia lady and her possessions, including her town, which happens to be populated by staunch Confederate supporters? Think it's possible for sworn enemies to become... friends? Can decency survive in the face of atrocities and death? Can beauty and love be salvaged in the midst of war and betrayal?

Wilder presents a unique, and enjoyable, tale of the Civil War, where the expected prejudice, hatred, and distrust abound, but where, if given a chance, decency and honor can also lead to hope (Susan Flett Swiderski)

From the Author

It all started when I was researching army procedures for a novel set in the American Civil War. A facsimile edition of Instructions for Officers and Non-Commissioned officers on Outpost and Patrol Duty, and Troops in Campaign, used during that war, provided useful information. I found a reference to a 'Safeguard', a soldier assigned to guard civilian property - hospitals, museums, convents, or anything else that was deemed appropriate. I was familiar with the concept, but I found the book's description interesting:

Safeguards are protections granted to persons or property in foreign parts by the commanding general or by other commanders within the limits of their command.

Safeguards are usually given to protect hospitals, public establishments, establishments of religion, charity, or instruction, museums, depositories of the arts, mills, post offices, and other institutions of public benefit; also to individuals whom it may be the interest of the army to respect.

A safeguard may consist of one or more men of fidelity and firmness, generally non-effective non-commissioned officers, furnished with a paper setting out clearly the protection and exemptions it is intended to secure...

'Fidelity and firmness'... I began to visualize situations in which a Safeguard would be requested. (I get an idea, toy with it, and then - sometimes - characters suggest themselves. A beleaguered farmer... A loyal Southerner who has opened her house to the wounded...

Once characters are involved, the story is well underway. And so it happened.

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Top international reviews

Mrs Yvonne Payne
4.0 out of 5 stars American civil war, behind the frontline
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2017
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Thomas Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2012
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