The Parting: A Story of West Point on the Eve of the Civil War By Richard Barlow Adams, West Point Class of 1967
(c) 970-471-1952; email@example.com
ISBN: 978-1-4502-3118-3 (Hardback): $32.95 retail price
ISBN: 978-1-4502-3117-6 (Softcover): $22.95 retail price
It is July 18, 1861 near Winchester, Virginia. The Civil War has begun, and Confederate Lieutenant John Pelham, formerly of the West Point Class of 1861, is about to confront his former classmates and best friends at the First Battle of Bull Run.
The confident Pelham bears little resemblance to the seventeen-year-old who journeyed alone five years earlier from Jacksonville, Alabama, to West Point, New York, to enter the United States Military Academy. As the class begins its final year, Pelham meets Clara Bolton, a Philadelphian belle who captures his heart. In the months that follow, Pelham, Clara, and the Class of 1861 witness the unraveling of the Union and the birth of the Confederacy against the political backdrop of slavery and states' rights, the Democratic and Republican Parties, the fire-eaters of the South, and the abolitionists of the North.
The book's cover artwork is adapted from the painting Encampment on the Plain, by William Guy Wall, 1862, courtesy of the personal art collection of Thomas Petrie. Superimposed on the painting are cameo photographs of John Pelham and Edmond Kirby, West Point classmates and best friends.
To a very great extent, The Parting authentically defines the Victorian world of West Point and embodies characters who are real and whose personalities and relationships are based on non-fictional sources. The principal protagonist, John Pelham, one of Alabama's most lauded sons, is the most popular man in his class, but also the one with the most demerits. Other cadet characters include Edmond Kirby (New York), Henry du Pont (Delaware), Thomas Rosser (Texas), George Custer (Ohio), Adelbert Ames (Maine), Nathaniel Chambliss (Tennessee), Charles Patterson (Arkansas), Henry Walter Kingsbury (Connecticut), Emory Upton (New York), Charles Hazlett (Ohio), Patrick O'Rorke (New York), Charles Ball (Alabama), and Henry Farley (South Carolina).
Woven into the story are the Academy's military and academic leadership; past graduates Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Irvin McDowell, Thomas Jackson, John Reynolds, William Hardee, Oliver O. Howard, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee, and others; the venerable General Winfield Scott; the first-ever visit to North America by British Royalty culminating in an appearance at West Point; and the legendary tavern keeper and thorn in the Academy's side, Benny Havens.
“…Thanks to the great work of Rich Adams in The Parting, such a terrible period in America’s history is presented in a most profound and riveting fashion. There is a truth on these pages we can all benefit from. A great read.” —Hal Moore, Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.), Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and co-author of We Were Soldiers Once…And Young and We are Soldiers Still.
"I've just now finished reading "The Parting"--a very fine achievement! I think you handled your complicated plot expertly, especially the shifting time settings. I also like the tone and general balance to the military in your love story with Clara. Really, this is very good work and I hope you're hard at work on another book (maybe a sequel?)."—Max Byrd, professor emeritus of English, UC Davis, and author of Jefferson, Jackson, and Grant: A Novel.
“In this wonderful book, Rich Adams tells a powerful and poignant story about West Point and West Pointers on the cusp of the Civil War… A “must read” for every fan of historical fiction as well as for Civil War buffs in general. Brilliant. Stunning.”—Tom Carhart, author of Lost Triumph: Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg—And Why It Failed.
About the Author
Rich Adams received his appointment to join the West Point Class of 1967 from Texas congressman, Homer Thornberry, and was the first of three brothers to graduate from West Point. Six months after graduation, he deployed to Vietnam with the 1/506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (of WWII "Band of Brothers" fame). Upon completion of this tour, he became an army aviator, meeting and marrying the love of his life while in flight school. After seven years in the military, he and the family returned to his hometown, Austin, Texas, and he began a career as a consulting civil/environmental engineer. Eventually moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he formed, grew, and later sold an environmental consulting company, and since then has consulted as a sole practitioner on a wide range of groundwater and related environmental issues.
He is active in West Point alumni affairs and in the many activities of his class, and has served as adjunct assistant professor to West Point's Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, and as adjunct professor to the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Southern Methodist University. He and his wife reside part of the year in Destin, Florida, and part of the year in Denver, Colorado.
In his free time, he enjoys golfing, hiking, biking, and traveling the world, and during the winter season is a ski instructor at Beaver Creek, Colorado.
As an author, he is working on a number of other novels and expects to soon publish his first book of poetry.
To Book Sellers
The Parting may be purchased from iUniverse under the “Booksellers Return Program,” and is distributed by the Ingram Book Group.