Sharpshooter by David Madden
Novel Civil War

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Synopsis

A gripping and thought-provoking work that is unlike any Civil War novel previously written, Sharpshooter takes us into the mind of one of the war's veterans as he attempts, years after the conflict, to reconstruct his experiences and to find some measure of meaning in them. A child of the divided East Tennessee mountain region, Willis Carr left home at age thirteen to follow his father and brothers on a bridge-burning mission for the Union cause. Imprisoned at Knoxville, he agreed to join the Confederate army to avoid being hanged and became a sharpshooter serving under General Longstreet. He survived several major battles, including Gettysburg, and eventually found himself guarding prisoners at the infamous Andersonville stockade, where a former slave taught him to read. After the war, haunted by his memories, Carr writes down his story, revisits the battlefields, studies photographs and drawings, listens to other veterans as they tell their stories, and pores over memoirs and other books. Above all, he imbues whatever he hears, sees, and reads with his emotions, his imaginations, and his intellect. Yet, even as an old man nearing death, he still feels that he has somehow missed the war, that something essential about it has eluded him. Finally, in a searing moment of personal revelation, a particular memory, long suppressed, rises to the surface of Carr's consciousness and draws his long quest to a poignant close.
 

About David Madden

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\David Madden is a novelist, poet, and the author of several books of criticism, including Revising Fiction and A Primer of the Novel (Scarecrow, 2006). His novels include the Pulitzer-prize nominee The Suicide's Wife (1978), Sharpshooter (1996), and Abducted by Circumstance (2010). Kristopher Mecholsky is pursuing his doctorate in English at Louisiana State University.
 
Published November 27, 1996 by Univ Tennessee Press. 176 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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At war's end, Willis survives one more Civil War horror, the explosion and sinking of the steamboat Sultana.

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