Monday, July 21, 2014

The Year Was 1865...

Today, in celebration of the release of Elizabeth Seckman's new historical novel Bella's Point, I'm participating in a fun challenge.




With this challenge, the assignment is to write a post of any type that begins with the prompt "The year was 1865..."

The year was 1865. But I'm going to cheat and talk about what happened at the end of 1864 during the Civil War. I live in Nashville, so an area near me was heavily hit in the Battle of Franklin in late 1864--and the city spent much of 1865 dealing with the loss and destruction the battle brought. There is one home that was in the middle of the fighting, with a family trapped in the basement.



This historic family home was in the middle of the Second Battle of Franklin. The family that lived there hid in the basement during the heat of battle, listening helplessly to the sounds of war outside.




More than 20 people squeezed into this basement to stay safe. When the battle threatened to move into this dining area...



...the families moved into the tiny room beyond.



Here they remained all night, not daring to come out even after the battle finally stopped. When they did venture out, the bodies of fallen soldiers surrounded their house.

Each year, an illumination ceremony honors the fallen, which included the Carter family's son, Tod, wounded on his way home to see his family after a long absence.




If you ever visit Nashville, stop by the Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee. It's a great story, whether you're a history buff or not.



Bella's Point



Isabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way a fallen debutante knows how. She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband. 

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella's affection. He rejected her then, and he's still not sold on the idea of marrying her now.  

It’s complicated.

Though to Bella, it’s simple: make Jack love her, marry her, and live happily ever after. The plan seems to work...at least until her secret is revealed.


Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

You can find her here - Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Cover art by Sprinkles on Top Studios.

Do you like historical novels, movies, and TV shows?

59 comments:

  1. I think Elizabeth will forgive you!
    Fortunate that house had a basement, especially one that could hold twenty people. Nice they do the illumination ceremony every year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that's sad but really good that they had the rooms to be able to go into at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tennessee is definitely on my list of places to visit and now I have a reason! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Reminds me of how people in my country had to hide in their basements (if they had ones) for many months during USA bombings in 1999.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed reading this. I live in Charleston, South Carolina, and down at The Battery there are a number of cannons in the park that were used during the Civil War. If I'm ever in Franklin I'll be sure to stop by the Carter house.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's amazing and wonderful how people helped each other out on their times of need... it's great that you have such awesome history documented ♡

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, what a story. I feel bad for those people.

    I've been wanting to go to Tennessee for a while now, so I'll keep this in mind to check out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always hate when history shows/movies get history wrong, especially on purpose for a better story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have read in books about people hiding in the basement. Good luck to Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great history lesson. I didn't know about this house. If I ever get to Tennessee I surely will visit.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those tiny rooms saved lives of many people,nice to know . I am a big fan of history :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's an incredible story, Stephanie! It's amazing what people are forced to do in order to survive.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay, that's horrible but a piece of history there that you won't forget, and love that they do a illumination ceremony every year to remember. I hopefully will get to visit Nashville one day (because I really do want to go there, and I would love to live there. My grandfather died before any of us grandkids could meet him, but he was obsessed with Country music and wanted to go there but never got the chance to) I definitely got that passion from him, so going there when I do. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great anecdote. Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I didn't know this story but it's really interesting and touching. thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. How scary. I bet there's a book (or two or more) in that tale.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Had to be scary indeed, good thing they could all fit in the basement.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congrats to Elizabeth!

    Wow! What an amazing story, Stephanie! I can't imagine twenty people hiding in a basement. What they must have gone through!

    ReplyDelete
  19. When I think of historical things, my mind goes to the every day things we take for granted today.

    How did young women deal with their periods? What about bathrooms when stuck in a crowded hole in the wall? Those are things I would tend to research, not so I they could be shared in the story, but how to avoid having to share it in a story.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I never thought about that, Diane. How WOULD they have gone to the bathroom down there?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Scary!

    That's a great cover. Congrats to Elizabeth!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing this sad story, Stephanie. I'll bet there are many more like it that took place all over the nation during the Civil War. Such a sad time.

    Any writer worth her salt has a dusty house, Elizabeth! I admire you for admitting it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I used to work at a newspaper that had only missed two days of publication during its many years of existence. One was during a blizzard and the other was during The War Between The States when the Confederates dropped by and dumped the type for the printing press all over the floor. Those slobs.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'll have to visit the Carter House next time I visit Nashville. It looks like it's well-preserved.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congratulations to Elizabeth.
    I came late to history, but love the human side. And cringe for that poor family. And so many like it - before and since.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a sad story. I hope the luminaries do not represent the actual number of people found dead on the property!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What an interesting story! I love historical sites and would love to see the house in Franklin.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes, I'm a real history nerd, so I'd love to visit the Carter house.

    Elizabeth's book sound fabulous. I'm gonna have to go snag a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my gosh. I can't even imagine what that would have been like to be able to do nothing but listen to the battle rage. I imagine stepping out to see all those bodies was horrific.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Civil War [and slavery] is one of my most favorite subjects to read about. Your post was wonderfully composed and a great read today. Along with some outstanding photos.

    ReplyDelete
  31. A great way to celebrate Elisabeth's new book with a history lesson. Well done.

    It looks like it was a lovely house. A good thing that they had a place to hide ion safety.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  32. What an awful story. I can't imagine being so near fighting like that. I think those born after WWII are very lucky they haven't had to experience such a terrible thing. You've made me grateful. Good luck to Elizabeth! Love that cover!

    ReplyDelete
  33. We hear a lot about the survivors of WWI and WWII but rarely the civil war. They were so brave. Great info Stephanie and congrats to Elizabeth!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love history so I totally loved this post!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Interesting history tidbit! Bella's Point sounds like the perfect romance for me! I'm putting it on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  36. What an interesting and sad story, or in this case, actual fact. It is so important to remember no matter how long ago because innocent people suffered. Nice for you to talk about it

    ReplyDelete
  37. How cool. I love history.

    And yes, I read a lot of historical novels. Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors.

    ReplyDelete
  38. That's a powerful story. Thanks for recapturing a moment in history.

    Elizabeth's on fire, and it's a wonderful cover.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't usually read historical books, but this one sounds interesting. I like this writing prompt and liked reading about the Carter House. I would definitely have to visit it if ever in the area.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love historical homes like this - usually for the architecture, but I love this story and the annual tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Interesting story. I love old houses and the stories they tell!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Interesting story. I love old houses and the stories they tell!

    ReplyDelete
  43. That's a great cover. Congrats to Elizabeth!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love novels based on historical facts, and previously-unheard-of stories. Stories of people hiding out are always full of tension and poignancy as you feel it won't end well. I'm fascinated by the troglodyte(spelling) houses in France where hundreds of people lived underground while the fighting went on above ground.

    Beautiful cover.

    Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your visit.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi Stephanie,

    What an added bonus that your post in celebration of Elizabeth's release, as in her book release, has a proximity to where you live.

    The illumination ceremony is such a thoughtful tribute.

    Greetings to Nashville, from England.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow, thanks for sharing that story. I can't imagine what it was like to experience that.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for sharing the Carter history -- fascinating.

    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  48. How fascinating! Great pictures to go with the post. :)

    Wishing Elizabeth the best of luck with her book. The cover is great and the story sounds excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Love visiting new places, even if only through pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I really want to read Bella's Point!

    Thanks for sharing that small morsel of Nashville history. I haven't ever visited that city, though I did pass through Memphis back in 2010.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm a history nerd so I will have to add a visit to this house if I'm in Nashville. How fascinating and tragic.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have visited Tennessee many times but never this place. Now I have a new place to add to my list :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think Elizabeth will love you!!! I am a huge fan of history and read the whole ting enthralled. I'd love to visit the Carter House.

    Excellent post Stephanie! Thanks for the help :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Egads. I could imagine how terrifying that'd be. Still, it's cool you have a significant piece of history in your own backyard.

    ReplyDelete
  55. That's a very interesting story. Lovely photos, too. I like your take on the prompt. :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Life (especially history) has the most interesting stories. I can't imagine how horrid it must have been for that family, but they survived, and that's something. Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Nice history lesson. Thanks for sharing your local history. I like history. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. That sounds scary, Steph!
    And it ALSO sounds like a story waiting to unfold!

    ReplyDelete