Monday, March 18, 2013

Come visit with me at River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth

Charles Towle
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., I'll be at a book-signing event at River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth.

Among other things, I'll be talking about the first New Hampshire soldier to make an appearance in Our War. He is the man pictured here. Charles Towle was living and working north of San Antonio, Texas,  when the war broke out. During his long journey home to Portsmouth to volunteer, he survived a run-in with a band of desperadoes intent on hanging him. He made it home and enlisted in the Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers.

I used the story of this journey to open my introduction. I closed it with a wonderful quotation from Towle. Because he had some military schooling and was well-liked in Texas, he had been offered a commission in a Texas regiment before he started north. Although he was sympathetic to the Southern view, he turned it down. Here is what he wrote:

"I am a Union man. I could not fight against the promptings of my heart. I could not fight against that flag."

Towle corresponded with Charles W. Brewster, editor of the Portsmouth Journal, and wrote an extensive journal detailing his war experience. These papers are at the New Hampshire Historical Society.

Hope to see you a River Run.

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