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5.0 out of 5 stars

C M Anderson:  So much more to an amazing story. December 4, 2015

I highly commend Al Arnold on his historical memoir. He writes about one of the most famous African American Confederate participants of the Civil War, his very own ancestor, Turner Hall, Jr. Arnold uses his own recollections of stories passed down through the generations along with photos to instill in today’s Southerners, especially those of African American descent, that they should be proud of their Confederate heritage, because their ancestors earned it.  He stresses that through Christ, African Americans can rise above the thoughts of past injustices done to them and become great Christian men of honor and success. However, he stresses, that they must rethink who they are and learn to work together, not fight each other, to better their lives.

By telling Mr. Hall’s story with the backdrop of the Civil War, Mr. Arnold demonstrates the greatness already embedded in the African American ancestry, even when their stories have went mostly untold; left forgotten, which is a grave travesty.

You cannot tell the history of the Civil War without African Americans. It is impossible to tell one without the other. This is not solely because of slavery. In the beginning, the Northerners believed the “insurrection” would end within six months. They never imagined the power of African American Confederates to keep the war going year after year. It is a testament to the tenacity as much as the sheer determination of Confederate blacks to fight for and with
their Caucasian counterparts and practically family. These children grew up together. When the white soldiers went off to fight, they took their childhood friends along to look after their needs as well as workloads. Most other slaves kept the homelands profiting in order to enable the war to continue for as long as it did. They did not rebel en mass like the Northerners believed they would.

I loved that Mr. Arnold was able to finally, as a historian, remind laymen of this fact. As a historian, myself, I remember the saying, “History was always written by the victor”. It wasn’t until the ladder part of the twentieth century that any other story was given any merit much less any care. However, Mr. Arnold reminds us that this false sense of history was far from the truth. He reminds us that real history is so much richer and more complex than we have ever been lead to believe. And, the untold stories need to be told in order for us to keep the momentum going, to keep each one of our heritages alive and thriving. There is so much more to this book than meets the eye. And, the proof can be found in the life of Mr. Turner Hall, Jr.

Thank you Publish Green and NetGalley for giving me a free copy of this book to read and give an honest review.

on December 22, 2015
Excellent…excellent…excellent! This story needed to be told. Finally, someone has the courage to challenge the distorted meaning of “confederate”. Far too long the bigots and hate groups have hi-jacked the meaning of “confederate” and the flag without any recourse. Now an African American and true descendant of an actual slave participant in the Confederate Army during the Civil War has emerged to tell the story of his great-great grandfather. Regardless of how minuscule some may view his role, it was a role that was vital and had to be done by someone. Having served in the military myself during the first Gulf War, I clearly understand that all roles of the military are important, and even more so during war time. What an amazing story! Unlike myself and others who have allowed hate groups to hi-jack the meaning of “confederate” due to our ignorance or fear of political, social or cultural backlash…Mr. Arnold has boldly stood up for a heritage that he and his family are so rightfully due. Like Mr. Arnold, I too am African American and proud to be from the wonderful state of Mississippi. I must admit…I certainly did not agree with him on the representation of the confederate flag but through the reading of this book (twice), I am now challenging my own perception of what I thought to be true. I believe every citizen of the United States should read this book (young and old alike) because it’s time that we as citizens challenge many of the distorted perceptions plaguing our great nation.
By Lee Millar
 5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all modern Americans. December 15, 2015
This is an excellent book and should be read by everyone in America. Not only does it tell the history of a very proud veteran but relates the times of the 1860’s to those of today. Very compelling.


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