Fields of the Fatherless is the story of the beginning of the American Revolution in Menotomy Village, Massachusetts. While fiction, it is filled with facts. And it reveals that there is much about that first day of the War that many are not aware.
While the sacrifice of the few who fell in Lexington and Concord is written about in our history books, the worst battle took place in Menotomy as the British troops withdrew to Boston. By the time the King’s Army reached Menotomy, just six miles from Boston, they were exhausted, angry, and out of control. The brutal onslaught that occurred in my hometown—for this is the town I grew up in—brought more casualties on both sides than anywhere else that fateful day. It was a story from our history that begged to be told.
Here is the preface from Fields of the Fatherless.
April 19, 1775
Betsy Russell could not discern if the sweat on her palms was from her own fear or from the intensity of Anna’s pain. Either source seemed a sufficient cause of the slippery pool of moisture.
Betsy, the only daughter of Jason Russell, trembled at the events occurring outside on the nearby road as well as in the birthing room. She intertwined her fingers with those of her sister-in-law so tightly that Anna’s labor pains seemed to course through her own arms.
Anna screamed as a contraction gripped her swollen belly. Betsy clung to her as if she could take away the pain with the pressure of her grip. But before the pain ebbed, another sonorous blast of cannon fire echoed from hundreds of rods down the hill. The concussion reverberated throughout the house, and the walls shuddered along with the women’s nerves. Even the midwife, normally a pillar of calm, turned pale.
Betsy desperately fought back fearful tears.
Why did Father not come with us?
She remembered his comforting hand on her shoulder the night he first said he was meeting with the patriot committee. He smiled at her then. All seemed as it should be with the world. But that seemed so long ago…
Another round of explosives elicited uncontrollable shivering.
Where is he now when I need his reassuring presence? Dear Lord, protect him.
The women in the room jumped when an enormous volley of musket fire rattled from the direction of Concord Road. Betsy doubted the pain-filled screams she heard were only in her imagination.
Father in heaven, this cannot be happening. How did we get to this terrible place? Dear Lord…help us.
Fields of the Fatherless releases October 22. To pre-order a copy, click here.