Loyalty to Country or Love of a Woman? A Soldier's Defining Choice

Loyalty to Country or Love of a Woman? A Soldier's Defining Choice

The Civil War era is often portrayed through tales of battles, strategies, and heroics. However, these grand narratives lie in deeply personal stories of love, sacrifice, and moral dilemmas. J.D.R. Hawkins beautifully captures one such story in her novel "A Rebel Among Us," part of her acclaimed Renegade Series. This book delves into the heart-wrenching decisions soldiers had to make, often torn between loyalty to their country and love for those they held dear.

About the Author

J.D.R. Hawkins is a celebrated author who brings a unique voice to Civil War literature. She is an Amazon, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose works have received numerous awards. Hawkins is one of the few female authors who narrate the Civil War from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series, including "A Beautiful Glittering Lie," "A Beckoning Hellfire," "A Rebel Among Us," and "Double-Edged Sword," offers a vivid portrayal of a family from north Alabama whose lives are irrevocably changed by the war.

The third installment in the series, "A Rebel Among Us," has garnered critical acclaim, winning the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the 2022 B.R.A.G. Medallion. Hawkins is also known for her nonfiction work, "Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses," which explores the significant roles horses played in the Civil War.

A Rebel Among Us: A Tale of Love and Loyalty

"A Rebel Among Us" tells the gripping story of David Summers, a young Confederate soldier whose life takes an unexpected turn. After being wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, David cares for four sisters in Pennsylvania. This twist of fate places him in a complex situation where his loyalty to the Confederacy is tested against his burgeoning feelings for Anna, the eldest sister.

David's initial idealism and sense of chivalry are shattered by the brutal realities of war. His journey from Alabama to the bloody battlefields of the North leaves him physically and emotionally scarred. The narrative begins with David grappling with his injury and subsequent abandonment by his Confederate comrades. Alone and vulnerable, he is nursed back to health by the sisters, particularly Anna, with whom he forms a deep connection.

The Dilemma: Love vs. Duty

As David recovers, he faces a profound dilemma: Should he honor his commitment to the Confederate cause, or should he follow his heart and stay with Anna? Anna's proposition to David complicates matters further. She suggests that he could stay with them by pretending to be a Yankee, a plan that goes against everything he believes in. If discovered, this deception could result in dire consequences for both of them.

David's internal conflict is palpable. His sense of duty and loyalty to his fallen father and comrades pulls him in one direction, while his love for Anna and the peaceful life she represents pulls him in another. The stakes are high. If he stays and is discovered, he risks being branded a traitor, which could lead to execution. If he leaves, he faces the peril of capture and the heartbreak of leaving Anna behind.

A Reflection of the Era's Struggles

"A Rebel Among Us" is more than just a love story; it reflects the era's struggles and the personal toll of the Civil War. Through David's eyes, Hawkins explores the complexities of loyalty, love, and identity during one of America's most turbulent times. The novel vividly portrays the emotional and psychological battles that soldiers endured, often more harrowing than the physical conflicts.

Hawkins' portrayal of David's character is deeply human and relatable. His journey mirrors the experiences of many soldiers caught between their duties and personal desires. The novel's setting, rich in historical detail, provides a backdrop that enhances the story's emotional depth.


J.D.R. Hawkins' "A Rebel Among Us" is a compelling addition to her Renegade Series, offering readers a poignant look at the Civil War's impact on individual lives. The novel's exploration of the conflict between love and duty, set against the harsh realities of war, makes it a captivating read. Hawkins' ability to weave historical accuracy with emotional storytelling sets her work apart, making "A Rebel Among Us" a must-read for fans of historical fiction.

"A Rebel Among Us" provides a touching and thought-provoking narrative for those interested in the personal stories behind the broader historical events. It invites readers to ponder the sacrifices soldiers and their families made and the enduring power of love and loyalty in the face of adversity.

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