Dunne, Jun 2003, 23.95, 256 pp.
Many Harvard men died at the Battle of Gettysburg as part of the valiant 2nd Massachusetts Volunteers and in fact the university honors these heroes with a memorial hall listing them. However, not everyone behaved courageously as Mary Kelly tells her husband, Homer, a professor at the school. Her great-great grandfather Seth Morgan apparently deserted, but though her family refuses to talk about his cowardly behavior, Mary needs to know the truth about Seth.
Mary and Homer begin their investigation into her roots by visiting her sister Gwen, who lives in the ancestral home where family items have been stored for years in the attic. They learn that third cousin removed Ebenezer Flint took everything while Gwen and her husband was away. Deciding to continue their quest, Mary and Homer visit the college archives and follow that up with a trip to Gettysburg. From there they go to DC to visit Ebenezer as a story unfolds of cowardice, treachery, and murder on the eve of the pivotal Civil War battle.
Though the prime plot is the modern day inquiries into the Morgan family roots, intermingling throughout the tale is a superb subplot focusing on the key characters involving what happened to Seth. Thus, readers, once adjusted to the flashbacks, receive two delightful tales, of which either could have stand-alone. The prime protagonists, past and present, come through as genuine so that the audience receives a wonderful historical tale inside a fun contemporary investigation into that past.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner