Q&A: "Up From Corinth" Author J. Arthur Moore
The former Episcopal Academy educator commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with Up From Corinth, the second book in a four-part series that chronicles the role of boy soldiers in the four-year conflict.
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MLT: Why tell the story of the war through a boy’s experience?
JAM: The earliest stories I read were about a drummer boy or other youth. I learned early on about Johnny Clem, who went to war at age 10, and that many were boy soldiers.
MLT: How likely would it have been for a boy Duane’s age to spend time with the Union and Confederate armies?
JAM: It’s not entirely impossible, since battles often found individuals in the care of the other army. But it’s highly unlikely that a boy Duane’s age would’ve spent so much time with both armies. That’s a fiction that allows Duane to realize a universal sameness in humanity. Regardless of the army, war is hell on earth. But there’s also a need for people in our lives, for friends where we least expect them, family for whom he searches, and the tie that binds—love.
MLT: Why does the Civil War continue to fascinate so many of us?
JAM: A benchmark event in the history of the United States—as much as the American Revolution—it determined whether the nation would survive as a whole or become two separate nations. It brought an end to slavery and a beginning to another 100-year battle for equal rights. We celebrate it because it’s our history, just as we celebrate those involved because they are our people, our ancestors, our veterans.