PRLog - May 19, 2011 - MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Lee Ann used to think that the tall man that stood by her bed at night when she was a young girl was Abraham Lincoln. However, with all that has happened with a hometown Civil War soldiers memoirs and the same tall spirit now visiting her at her home in Tennessee, as the 150th anniversary of the Civil war begins - she believes that it is indeed the spirit of Corporal Erastus Winters.
When her publisher hit "send" on the completed reprint of the memoirs, the original version flew to the floor and split down the seam.
Lee Ann is no stranger to the paranormal but it is nothing she has willingly talked about until now.
Her first encounter outside of her midnight visitor was when she went to Gettysburg on a family vacation when she was ten. As her parents and siblings trotted off to the visitors center on the anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg that she was inexplicably drawn in the opposite direction, toward a hill where she witnessed the horrific fighting, suffering, and screams of a day of horror from 1862. Terrified she ran to catch up to her family. She never told them what had happened. She was a shy little girl with a gift or curse of connecting with long dead heroes.
Battlefields would become a joy and a sorrow over the years as this type of scene played out again and again.
It would be another 28 years before she discovered that her great, great grandfather, Theobold Schantz had been fighting in that area of the battlefield on July 4th, 1862.
As she wrote her civil war novel "Beneath the Shadows" it would be the beginning of many more unexplained happenings.
Now with the publication of Corporal Erastus Winters memoirs, the spirits are stirring once again.
Although these memoirs were authored 150 years ago, they read as though they were written by a contemporary. This is truly a unique glimpse into our nation's history. Newton has done an incredible job of bringing this work to her reading audience in a captivating way. A must read for any history buff-- or for anyone interested in how our union survived the Civil War.
Sarah Lange, CEO TYCVF – Shreveport, LA
How can someone not like the autobiographical memoirs of a Civil War American hero. Winters account especially during the Battle of Franklin and subsequent capture and imprisonment at Cahaba Prison are riveting. Thank you Lee Ann Newton for resurrecting such an American treasure.
J. Benson, Chaplain (Retired), US Army
Serving Uncle Sam in the 50th Ohio is the Civil War memoir of Corporal Erastus Winters. Erastus greatest fear was that he and thousands like him would become lost heroes. His fears were realized for over 100 years but now Newton has brought them back into the public eye, after they literally dropped into her hands a few years ago.
Erastus’ brings fresh accounts of not only the foot soldiers daily trials but his love of practical jokes, girls, sneaking out of camp and other amusing forays. He also gives eyewitness accounts of the battles of Perryville and Franklin as well as the siege of Atlanta. He is captured at Franklin, escapes and is captured again among the deadly chaos of crossfire and becoming pinned down between lines of battle. He is then sent to the infamous Cahaba prison and later is put aboard the ill-fated steamship Sultana, which becomes the greatest maritime tragedy in US history, exploding and sinking into the flooded Mississippi river taking over 1600 souls with it. More people died on the Sultana then died on the Titanic. Erastus is among the 700 that survived, albeit severely burned.
Lee Ann Newton is the author of two civil war novels, and the CEO of Uncle Sam’s Heroes, a non-profit that promotes veterans, past, present and future. She is the 2011 recipient of the Tennessee AMVETS highest award for veteran service, the Silver Bayonet. Wife of retired Army Master Sgt. James Newton and mother of three. She resides in Murfreesboro, TN.
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Uncle Sam's Heroes - www.unclesamsheroes.com is a non-profit organization created to send encouraging letters and care packages to our nations wounded warriors that are currently in military hospitals worldwide. The organization also supports the memory of past veterans through battlefield preservation and creating the Sultana Remembrance fund which works to bring knowledge of the tragedy of the Sultana into our nation's collective conscience and history books.