By Bethany Thompson
Esther Sullivan has no idea what she will lose from the Civil War…or how much she will gain.
“Why did you let him go?” she asked quietly, sitting below her father and gazing toward Mama’s distant grave. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I cannot force him to believe the way I do, and I cannot force him to stay here. So, I said I wouldn’t stand in his way.” He sighed again. “It’s better this way. He will want to come back home, whereas if he had run off, it would be harder for him to face me.” Esther nodded and leaned against his leg. “I only hope that he will get his fill of it soon.” Esther’s father reached down and smoothed her hair away from her forehead. “And come back to us.”
The war becomes real to Esther when her brother David leaves their Pennsylvania farm to join Lincoln’s army. Her father’s faith and strength help her through the trying days ahead, but when he is drafted and then captured by the Confederates, she leaves home to join a field hospital unit. While nursing wounded soldiers, Esther finds her brother’s captain, Daniel Armstrong, dying from a bullet wound infection and ignored by the doctors. She had saved his life once before, and maybe, with God’s help, she can save it again.