Fri, Dec 17 | Martinsville

Local Author - Michael O'Neal

Stop in and meet with local author Michael J. O’Neal and his book The Memoirs of Josey Holmes. He will be signing books at the store from 6:00pm-8:00pm on Friday, December 17th.
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Local Author - Michael O'Neal

Time & Location

Dec 17, 2021, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST
Martinsville, 38 N Main St, Martinsville, IN 46151, USA

About the Event

Stop in and meet with local author Michael J. O’Neal and his book The Memoirs of Josey Holmes. He will be signing books at the store from 6:00pm-8:00pm on Friday, December 17th. *********************************************** My novel, "The Memoirs of Josey Holmes," is a Civil War historical novel. Ten years in the making, it tells the story of a young woman who was part of a Union spy ring in the South during the Civil War. And while there's espionage, warfare, and adventure, it's mostly a love story, as she falls for a slightly roguish Union officer--a warrior-poet and raconteur--whom she helps spring from a prison holding Union captives in Richmond, Virginia.

I have to confess that I've fallen in love with my heroine and narrator. She's courageous and resourceful, and near the end of the novel she takes decisive action--to save the president of the United States, no less! The novel contains lots of humor and banter between the characters, including an oftentimes profane Scots doctor, and while there's some history, none of it's very heavy. At bottom the novel is about human connections through humor and story-telling.

The novel had its origins when I learned that an ancestor, one Rose O'Neal Greenhow, was a Rebel spy. "Rebel Rosie" even spent time in a federal prison for spying for the Confederacy. That got me interested in the topic of Civil War espionage--and there was a lot of it. Think about it: We had two countries with a long common border. People on both sides of the border spoke the same language. Many had relatives and friends on the other side of the border. And the border itself was rather porous, with people moving back and forth across it. Much of this espionage was conducted by women, who used their wiles (often in the boudoir) to worm information out of officers. And lots of women disguised themselves as men so that they could join the fight.

We should not forget the role of black Unionists, who lived in the South and used their knowledge of the terrain and the countryside to provide the Union with valuable intelligence about enemy troop movements, encampments, and the like.

I'm a graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. After ten years as a college teacher, I decided to freelance and have been doing that for three decades. I pay the bills by writing materials for reference book and educational publishers, primarily about literature and history. I recently moved to Martinsville, Indiana, where my canine companion, Polly, has consented to allow me to live with her.

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