In the winter of 1864-65 Wilmington, North Carolina was the last open Confederate port on the Atlantic Coast and as such it was an important lifeline for the Confederacy. Wilmington was protected by a huge earthwork fort eighteen miles downstream, Fort Fisher. Every man in the fort knew that it was only a matter of time before the Union launched a coordinated attack on the fort and that the attack would involve the massing war ships of the Union navy and a sizable landing force of veteran fighters. It isn’t hard to imagine how the men in the fort felt as they anticipated the battle of their lives. But what would others at the fort–civilians–be thinking? Dead Man’s Clothes attempts to answer that by imagining how the battle would have been experienced by three boys, Willie, Jeremy, and Tom. The boys are orphans who have attached themselves to the Confederate encampment at the fort. By performing personal chores for the soldiers, begging, and scrounging leftover food, clothes, and provisions, the boys attempt to stay alive in that cold winter. Their survival is as precarious as their loyalty to each other is strong. Knowing that a great battle is coming, Willie has made a hideout for himself and his friends. But how successful can a boy be in anticipating the chaos and horrors of a naval bombardment and a massive invasion? Dead Man’s Clothes provides readers with an interesting perspective on a well known battle.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.