Author Robert Hicks To Read And Sign This Saturday

Thursday, December 1, 2005 - by Bambi Evans

I’ll admit it up front, I’m not a Civil War buff. Once or twice a year I will delve into a biography of historical significance and like many, the older I get, the more fascinated I am with all history. But some part of me still recoils at the sight of a Confederate flag and all that it represents, so I have probably missed out on some compelling stories from that period of American history. That is until recently when Tennessee author Robert Hicks pulled me into the Civil War era with his first novel “The Widow of the South.” Whether you know everything there is to know about the Civil War or you just want to dive into a powerful story set in nearby Franklin, Tn., you’ll be able to walk back into history with a talented guide this Saturday, Dec. 3.

Robert Hicks will give a talk, do a Q&A, and be available for book signing at the Barnes & Noble (2230 Hamilton Place Boulevard, phone # 423.899.9970) here in Chattanooga.

It all starts at 2 p.m. and Barnes & Noble will discount the book when you purchase it there - making the cost just $19.96 plus tax.

“The Widow of the South” (Warner Books $24.95) is a novel based on the story of Carrie McGavock and the 1864 Battle of Franklin, one of the bloodiest battles of the war with over 9,000 casualties (7,000 of them Confederates) in just one day. It all took place quite literally on Carrie and her husband John’s doorstep, their family home, Carnton Plantation. The Confederate Army took over the plantation, turning it into a hospital and Carrie became the “angel of mercy” to the wounded and eventually, the only female record keeper of the battle and its aftermath. She became known as “the Widow of the South, the Keeper of the dead.” But her fame spread far beyond Tennessee because when British playwright Oscar Wilde was touring America in 1882, he asked to visit “sunny Tennessee to meet the Widow McGavock, the high priestess of dead boys.”

However, the book doesn’t just capture a moment in history accurately, it draws you into the relationship Carrie had with a wounded soldier, Zachariah Cashwell. And Hicks lovingly paints a picture of courage, on the battlefield and off, in body and spirit. For that reason, “The Widow of the South” has universal appeal which has resonated beyond the South. So it’s not surprising that the town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri chose the book for their fifth annual city-wide literary focus.

Beyond the opportunity to be introduced to the book itself, those attending the event at Barnes & Noble will get a glimpse of an impressive author. Robert Hicks has more than writing credentials behind him as he is a music publisher, artist manager, art collector and partner in B.B. King’s Blues Clubs. In addition, he has made substantial contributions in the area of art, music and historical preservation for our state.

To prepare yourself for the event or if you won’t be able to attend, visit the following web sites: www.WidowoftheSouth.com; www.Carnton.org; and www.franklinscharge.com. I’ve heard that a visit to the novel’s setting is well worth the trip. For more info on a joint offering of Carnton Plantation and downtown Franklin, call Margie at 615.794.0903 or e-mail her at Margie@Carnton.org. The guided tour costs $18.

The abridged version of “The Widow of the South” (read by Becky Ann Baker, Tom Wopat, David Chandler and Jonathan Davis) is also available on 5 cds for $29.98.

(Bambi Evans is a freelance writer in Chattanooga. She returned to her birth town after decades in the Washington, D.C. area. She covers the book, music, film and art world in addition to her editorial column, Engines On Run-Up. Her e-mail address is stonyirons@aol.com)


Salvation Army Holds Donation Drive On April 11

There will be a donation drive for the female population of The Salvation Army and The Chattanooga Room in the End. The drive is hosted by the Human Service Specialist Club of Chattanooga State Community College. The drive will be Saturday, April 11, at Country Inn & Suites Hotel, 5000 New Country Drive (Behind IHOP & Super Shine Car Wash off Hwy 153), ... (click for more)

Vehicle Donated To Bradley County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Eric Watson and Chief Deputy Brian Smith accepted the gift of a free automobile from a Cleveland dealer.  Andy Kiswani, of David Auto Sales on South Lee Highway at Phillips Street, made the donation of a vehicle to the sheriff and chief. Mr. Kiswani said he greatly appreciates the effort made by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to keep the community safe, and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Detective Karl Fields Terminated On Code Of Conduct Charges

Karl Fields, former Chattanooga Police detective, was terminated on Wednesday, on code of conduct charges. The Chattanooga Police Department received a correspondence from the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office o n Sept. 4, 2014,  informing it of allegations of inappropriate behavior committed by a CPD investigator during the course of a rape investigation. ... (click for more)

Autopsy Says 5-Year-Old Whitwell Boy Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

An autopsy on five-year-old Lucas Dillon of Whitwell says he died of blunt force trauma. The TBI is investigating the death, which is being treated as a homicide. The child, who lived on Jewell Lane Road, was injured on Saturday and died in a hospital on Monday. Lucas was a student at Whitwell Head Start. (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Look At My April Garden

On this April Fool’s Day, as I take my monthly stroll through my virtual garden, there are gorgeous flowers and there are weeds, which appear to be trying harder than the flowers. So let’s see what we find before searching for “The Prize Egg” on Sunday. A FLOWER to the New York cab driver who told a young writer, “Always remember that everyone you meet knows something that you ... (click for more)