On the morning of July 21, 1861, several hundred civilians set out to Centreville, picnics packed, to watch the battle of Bull Run. Year of Disunion is a novel that explores who these people were and what their experience might have been. The story opens in Vermont as two very different sisters, Lettie and Roxana, reunite after years apart while Roxana is enduring a near-fatal childbirth. Changes caused by the war take them to Washington and an invitation to watch the battle, along with their five young children. Things do not go well for the spectators. Visions of champagne toasts to celebrate a glorious, easy Yankee victory are shattered as dishonorable retreat drives the civilians from the field along with the soldiers. After the battle, Lettie is pursued by her abusive, wealthy husband, and Roxana travels south to find her husband, chaplain to the 2nd Vermont, who has been captured and made a prisoner of war. Events lead characters into wartime Washington, DC; Raleigh, NC; Cairo, IL; and the North Carolina Outer Banks, as they respond to the disunion the war brings to their lives throughout the remainder of 1861.
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