J. Arthur Moore’s novel in 4 parts, “Journey into Darkness,” is making its way onto bookshelves at historic Civil War sites and museums around the country.
Moore is a retired Philadelphia teacher and a resident of Narvon. His series has been accepted by Gettysburg National Military Park, and is available in its entirety at the museum bookstore. It is also available at the bookstore of The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.
In addition, Lisa Barnett, Eastern National bookstore manager at Stones River National Military Battlefield, and Joni House, bookstore manager at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Park, recently notified Moore that his work is also approved for their battlefield park bookstores. It is in review at Shiloh, Chancellorsville and others.
This has been a busy summer as Moore, with the help of three grandsons, has been participating in a number of events to promote his novel and to do presentations on the real boys of the Civil War. The weekend of June 29, Moore, along with grandsons Hector Quinones and John Rivera, participated in the 150th event at Columbia, where they set up a display of materials about the boys of the Civil War and did book sales and signings. The boys also got to meet General Gordon of the Confederate Army, who commanded the army as it approached the Wrightsville bridge en route to Harrisburg, and President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by a real living relative, Ralph C. Lincoln, an 11th generation cousin of the president.
July 3-5 were spent at Gettysburg where book sales were set up in the sutler tent of Heirloom Emporium, and the boys visited the camps of both armies and spent time as aides to General Heth of the Confederate Army. Heirloom Emporium carries “Journey into Darkness” and has been the only sutler to have the books since the first book was published in 2011.
The following week saw presentations about “The Boys of the Civil War” at the Honey Brook Library and the ELANCO Library in New Holland. Each presentation included a slideshow sharing images of several boys from the war and their stories.
A display of books about dozens of these boys, as well as women who fought in the war, included some specific to individual boys, such as 12-year-old Charley King from West Chester, 11-year-old Willie Johnston from Vermont and 13-year-old Orion Howe from Kentucky. Video clips concluded the presentation with one depicting combat as seen by these boys and a second depicting flashback memories of a veteran and his wife from his war experience as a 13-year-old.
Following a two week break, John Rivera and his brother Danny returned for the final events of the summer. July 27-28, was a presentation and book signing at Landis Valley’s Civil War Living History weekend. Time was also spent visiting with those who recreated the history, including John Burns, citizen soldier from Gettysburg, and several Union generals.
Saturday, Aug. 3 was spent at Pequea Valley Public Library’s Civil War Living History event, which Moore helped to put together at the request of Librarians Margie Parella and Sharon Sudbrack. There were an infantry camp, firearms display, and Invalid Corps presentations on the grounds and in the pavilion; authors with their books outside and inside the schoolhouse community room; and several informal conversational presentations about the boys of the war.
Moore has attended several events this past year including anniversaries at New Market and Chancellorsville, Virginia; Antietam, Maryland; and Perryville, Kentucky. He has also presented the stories of Boys of the Civil War at Pequea Valley Intermediate School, Aston Historic Society, West Chester University’s 150th event, and Kennett Square Civil War Club. He is currently setting up his calendar for the fall of 2013, which already includes the Columbia Historical Society at Columbia on Oct. 26 and Denver Women’s Club in Denver on Nov. 20, with more in the planning stages.
The book’s website, www.upfromcorinth.com, carries articles and reviews of the book and a blog page that posts the stories of many of the boys who participated in the war. A new story is added twice each month. The Facebook link from the home page carries photo/art albums identifying two dozen boys with more added each month. It also carries photo albums of places and events related to the war, where the author has visited and information about the four part novel, “Journey into Darkness.”
“Journey into Darkness” can be found in local libraries and public middle school libraries in Adams, Lancaster, Chester, Berks and Philadelphia Counties. It is also available in bookstores at Aaron’s in Lititz, Chester County Historical Society and West Chester University in West Chester, Brandywine Flag in Downingtown, Treasure Hill Antiques in Morgantown and Civil War Sutler Heirloom Emporium www.heirloomemporium.com. It can also be ordered online from www.upfromcorinth.com and www.amazon.com.
Much more can be learned about the book on its website, including a preservation announcement on the blog page. J. Arthur Moore can be reached through the contact page.
It is hoped, as one reviewer writes, that it will also find its way into schools, as it is an “…excellent resource for middle-school American history classes, giving a boy’s-eye view of the Civil War and reminding students that kids their own age were caught up in active duty during the war,” according to Blue Ink Review.