Review of THE OLD COOTS: Sam by Shirley Parsons
DL Rogers has done an outstanding job of taking us into the heart of the South during the Civil War era and right into the misery inflicted upon peoples both North and South by its years of conflict; conflict between states, between family and between friends. Ms. Rogers follows the life of Mr. Sam Whitmore, his family, his marriage to Ellie, his children and his relationship with former slaves, Horace and Jefferson. Sam’s initial struggle was with his conscience in that he could not support the idea of slavery and wanted to separate himself from it and from those who supported it. He meets Ellie who embraces Sam’s desire to break from the traditional role of plantation owner and work his own land right alongside Horace and Jefferson, who Sam freed. As the war broke out, Sam was forced into the conflict in every way possible. Sam suffered unspeakable tragedies, loss of family and friends, loss of his home, but the thing that keeps you drawn to this book is how Sam overcame the physical and emotional conflicts as a Southerner drawn into a war he does not support. Sam’s sole desire was to protect his family, his friends and his home. Sam’s integrity and his humanity shine through in every chapter. Sam travels from Tennessee to Missouri, back to Tennessee then on to Virginia and into the heart of the war. Sam joins forces with a number of colorful characters as they embark on a perilous journey both to dodge Northern forces and conscription by Southern forces on their way to join the 14th Tennessee Volunteers to fight for the South under General Lee. To avoid giving too much away, you will be drawn into this book and Sam’s life from the first to the last page. An excellent read!