The Deserter, and Other Stories: A Book of Two Wars

The Deserter, and Other Stories: A Book of Two Wars

Harold Frederic

Fiction

Harold Frederic (born Harold Henry Frederick; August 19, 1856 – October 19, 1898) was an American journalist and novelist. Frederic was born in Utica, New York, to Presbyterian parents. After his father was killed in a train accident when Frederic was 18 months old, the boy was raised primarily by his mother. He finished school at fifteen, and soon began work as a photographer. For four years he was a photographic touch-up artist in his hometown and in Boston. In 1875 he began work as a proofreader for the Utica Herald and then the Utica Daily Observer. Frederic later became a reporter, and by 1882 he was editor of the Albany Evening Journal.
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The Copperhead

The Copperhead

Harold Frederic

Fiction

“The Copperhead” is a farmer in northern New York who sympathizes with the South in the anti-slavery struggle, and who in consequence is boycotted by his neighbors. He is driven from church, not allowed to sell his milk at the neighborhood creamery, and in a hundred ways ostracized and treated with scorn. To add to his burden, his son falls in love with the daughter of the arch-enemy of the family, a ranting Abolitionist, and then goes to the war, only to be reported " missing" after the battle of Antietam. Finally the farmer\'s house is set on fire by a crowd of young roysterers who have come with the intention of tarring and feathering him and his " hired man," and then the reaction in favor of the Copperhead sets in. The book ends with the return of the "missing " soldier and the reconciliation of his father\'s family with that of the young school-teacher in whom he is interested. Mr. Frederic\'s descriptions of life in a rural community at the beginning of the war are true, and his character studies not only have power and individuality, but are evidently based upon careful observation of real life.
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