About the Author

Karl A. Bacon

Why Civil War Fiction?

Since childhood I have been fascinated by the Civil War, and this interest remained with me into adulthood. I read every word of Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: A Narrative, over 3,000 pages. In the spring of 1998, while browsing through the history section in a used book store at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, I discovered a hardcover copy of Infantryman Pettit, The Civil War Letters of Corporal Frederick Pettit. Pettit was a young Christian soldier from western Pennsylvania who served in the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Brother sometimes fought against brother during the Civil War, but as I read the letters Corporal Pettit sent to his family and friends, it struck me that Christian brothers often fought one another, each trying his best to kill the other, and each fully convinced of the righteousness of his cause. I thought there was a story to tell, and that story became my first novel, An Eye for Glory.

Richard R. Kirkland is a name generally unknown outside the community of people with an abiding interest in all things Civil War. However, a monument to this young soldier stands beside the Sunken Road at Fredericksburg, and it’s one of the most beautiful and moving monuments I have ever seen.

The inscription on the monument reads in part: “…at the risk of his life, this American soldier of sublime compassion brought water to his wounded foes at Fredericksburg.” The figure of a Confederate soldier coming to the aid of his dying enemy draws upon our emotions, and causes us reflect upon the great dedication and sacrifice required of that generation a century and a half ago.

(Click image to enlarge)


An Inspiring Example

Deeply personal and inspirational stories such as Kirkland’s inspire and influence my writing. In particular, this monument inspired a pivotal scene in Until Shiloh Comes. In each of the novels I write I hope to engage your intellect, emotions, and spirit in stories set in the rich history of the Civil War.

Before I Knew I Could Write

I grew up in the small picturesque town of Woodbury, Connecticut. After graduating from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, teaching jobs were few and far between so I found employment in manufacturing. "Just a job" turned into a professional career, much of which was spent working for a Swiss machine tool company. In 2000 I started my own business to provide services to manufacturing clients across the USA. This change also allowed time to develop my writing skills.

The Shiloh Trilogy

My second novel, Until Shiloh Comes, only took about ten months to write. It’s the story of Stanley, a sixteen-year-old soldier from Ohio, and was intended as another stand alone novel, but it had a very tragic ending. I sent the manuscript off to a couple of trusted readers and their feedback, though very positive, made me rethink the stand alone bit. There was a lot more Stanley’s story to tell. So I rewrote Until Shiloh Comes to serve as the first book of the Shiloh Trilogy. The second book of the trilogy, Prairie Dog Town, was published in 2016. It deals with Stanley’s experiences in and around Vicksburg from July 1862 through October 1863. The third and final book of the trilogy, The Gates of Sheol, was published in 2017. It tells of Stanley’s struggle to keep his own hope and humanity alive amid the horrors of the deadly prison camp at Andersonville.

Was My First Novel Any Good?

The draft of An Eye for Glory took ten years from conception to completion. Thousands of hours were spent researching every detail, through copious reading, Internet research and personal visits to each of the battlefields, so the novel might be as historically accurate and believable as possible. The novel was published in 2011 by Zondervan, a leading Christian publisher of both fiction and non-fiction, which is now part of Harper-Collins Christian Publishing. An Eye for Glory was critically acclaimed by both professional and amateur reviewers. It was a Publishers Weekly Top Pick for Inspirational Fiction for Spring/Summer 2011 and a Christy Award Finalist for First Novel in 2012.

I am available for speaking engagements and book signings. Please visit my Contact Me page or drop me an email.

I still live in Connecticut with my lovely wife, Jackie. This photo was taken in the summer of 2014 at a living history event in Guilford, CT. I met a lot of nice folks that day, and it only rained for a short time.

Original photo: Fredericksburg National Battlefield Park.

“Any recipe that starts with bacon and onion has got to be great.”  (Anonymous)

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