War-Torn Valley Author:Joyce Miller A realistic presentation of life among the Mennonites in Virginia during the Civil War days. — On a lovely morning in June, 1861, the tranquility of the Lord's Day worship service of the Weaver's Church in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is rudely shattered. Two officials from the newly organized American Confederacy appear abruptly and announ... more »ce that all boys and men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five are to report for military training the following week.
Consternation and sorrow, mingled with questions and fear, follow their departure as the congregation faces the conflicting requirements of God's Word and the State.
Lavina Rose Blosser, along with her family, are caught in the throes of the difficult situation. How Father can retain his integrity before God and escape a prison sentence or a possible death penalty for refusing to obey the State becomes the first question. Many more follow. Nathaniel will soon be draft age, and Matthew follows next. The family must maintain the farm with the men gone, through food shortages, emergencies, and the nearness of war.« less
A very interesting look at the Mennonite church in the South during the Civil War. The story is told through the eyes of a young teen girl watching first her father, then her older brothers deal with the choice of fighting for the army despite religious convictions not to kill, working in the army in a non-combative role (such as doctoring), or running away, leaving behind the women and children to run the farms. The book addresses how the church looked upon each choice, and how the neighbors reacted. This is a slice of history unseen in the history books.
The cover says it is suitable for intermediate readers and up, but the middle-aged and senior adults in this family enjoyed the book. It does not come across as either preachy or childish.