Peggy's War

Peggy's War

Karl Rhodes

  • 1995

A real story of Anabaptist nonresistance, this meticulously researched novel adheres closely to the true story of Margaret "Peggy" Rhodes and the young Mennonite and Dunker men she protected during the Civil War. She is a fiercely loyal Union woman living in the Shenandoah Valley, a region of Virginia that strongly supports the Confederacy. While her husband is slowly dying of consumption, Peggy conceals draft dodgers and deserters in a secret cellar under their bedroom floor. She does this while managing a farm, raising five children, and serving as a postmaster for the Underground Railroad. Confederate forces capture one large group of fugitives—many of them Peggy's cousins—and take them to Richmond's notorious Castle Thunder. Then the rebels charge Peggy's uncle, Gabriel "Doc" Heatwole, with treason and imprison him in the Rockingham Courthouse with Dunker Elder John Kline. The story climaxes during Sheridan's burning of the Valley, when Custer's cavalry gives Peggy 15 minutes to empty her house and barn before they set them on fire. (294pp. Author, 2023.)

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