In this historical novel, Ellis Brantley, a recent seminary graduate,joins a regiment of General Sherman’s Union army. Faced with the moral dilemma of warfare, Brantley navigates his way through the Union’s progress from Atlanta to Savannah, attempting to follow the will of God so not to compromise his integrity. In his epistles to his beloved fiancée, Elaine, Brantley describes the racism, violence, and selfishness of those around him, while also discovering, under the surface of grim warfare, their tenderness, self-sacrifice, and love. David Bellin’s narrative captivates the reader with its insistence, moving the reader forward rapidly, due to Brantley’s constant desire to perform God’s work. The comparisons between Sherman’s relentless forces and biblical armies reveal that identifying one’s enemy is not clear cut. Also, the side of righteousness can be ambiguous. This story encourages the reader to question the ethics of warfare and how it complicates our understanding of “Do unto others.”
A fast-paced novel, Sherman’s Chaplain is a great read for Civil War history enthusiasts, fans of historical novels, and those interested in studying the conflicts of Christian ethics during wartime.
|Page Count||122 pages|
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