David M. Smeltz, the master of high adventure, spins another grand yarn in the saga of Sidney Thomas Sawyer, the Civil War's greatest scoundrel. In this superbly researched tale, the War Between the States comes to life in the best history this side of living it.
Once again the ancient hero Sidney Sawyer charges his snifter with sippin' liquor, cracks his old knuckles and scribbles another installment of his notorious memoirs. Christmas is coming and Sawyer is still licking his wounds from Bloody Antietam. He plans on licking them until the War is over. Our reluctant hero has cringed through enough combat and covered himself with enough fraudulent glory for any man. But Sawyer is lured from his happy home, the arms of his loving wife Amy and the spectacular bosoms of the stunning Pietronella by General Grant's own pappy. There is a fortune in Rebel cotton to be made along the Father of Waters and Old Man Grant reckons Colonel Sawyer is just the man to smuggle it north. Instead of easy graft, Sidney is cornered by Confederate raiders, joins the Johnny cavalry at the point of a bayonet, and runs a' foul of the evil Rebel fanatic Purdy Stark. After riding a bloody raid against his own army, Sidney deserts Rebel service and finds sanctuary as a slave driver on a Yazoo Delta plantation. He celebrates the holiday season enjoying horizontal refreshments with the buxom slave girl, Sweet Pea, and abusing the tradition of Southern hospitality by bulling the plantation matriarch all over the parlor. The delicate Southern mistress takes a riding-crop to his hindquarters and brings the curtains down on their heads. His welcome is quite worn out, so with the help of the faithful old slave, Uncle Remus, Sawyer flees down the Yazoo with a string of runaways in tow, Confederate slave catchers on his trail and the avenging Purdy Stark out for blood. With his arse punctured with buckshot and chewed by bloodhounds, Sawyer escapes through a frozen swamp to rejoin the Union Army just in time for Grant's bloody Vicksburg Campaign. Marching through Mississippi's famous mud, battling through vermin infested bayous on ironclad monsters, swimming from burning Mississippi riverboats, and frolicking with beautiful Confederate spies, Sidney spends the spring winning even more counterfeit laurels. With Grant and Sherman's army of Yankee bummers, our hero shirks, malingers and sometimes even fights from Memphis to Jackson. Beside the heroic Sergeant Huckleberry Finn, Sawyer leads Hawkeye infantry against the impregnable fortress of Vicksburg. Wounded, captured, starved, and tortured, Sidney Sawyer must fight for his life in an epic duel on the bluffs high above the mighty Mississippi. As Old Glory is raised above Vicksburg on the glorious Fourth of July, Sawyer has a final reckoning with Purdy Stark and his gang of villains. In a desperate contest that will take your breath away, Sidney Sawyer triumphs as a river of blood flows into the Father of Waters.
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