Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Passel of Hate

When most people think of pivotal Revolutionary War battles, they focus on Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton and Yorktown.  In A Passel of Hate Joe Epley shows us the gritty truth about the key battle that took place on the Western Carolina frontier at a place know as King’s Mountain which paved the way for the end game at Yorktown.  The guerrilla war that had been raging in the piedmont of North and South Carolina escalated to a showdown when General Cornwallis sent Major Patrick Ferguson on a mission to recruit a substantial Tory militia in the area of modern Charlotte.  Simultaneously the Whigs were amassing a militia to deal with the threat.  The divisiveness of the times—not entirely unlike present times—saw families taking opposite sides, fighting while hoping not to kill loved ones and returning home to glare at one another across the dinner table.  Husband and wives took opposing sides, as did fathers and sons.  Often objectors were pressed into service on the side they detested under threat of the noose.  Few modern Americans would argue that the Revolution was anything but a just and necessary struggle for freedom, however, this was far from the case at the time.  Loyalists and Rebels were nearly evenly divided with plenty of plenty of the undecided simply wanting to be left alone.  A Passel of Hate tells the story of a decisive battle, and the prelude to it, via the personal viewpoints of the participants, exposing the barbarity perpetrated by both sides as well as the in fighting, primarily in the camp of the Whigs, and the complicating factor of concurrent Indian depredation.  Joe Epley shows us clearly how tenuous and costly American independence really was.

My love of history, and familiarity with the area where the battle took place, drew me to this book and I was not disappointed.  The pace is exhilarating, the depth of Joe Epley’s knowledge of the time and place is astounding and the prose satisfyingly straightforward.  The character development is excellent as well.  I have to say that the reader must pay close attention due to frequent point-of-view changes to avoid becoming lost in the labyrinth of partisan intrigue, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the story.  I certainly hope Mr. Epley is working on his next offering.

Ebook price: $9.99

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