The year was 1864. The freezing winds off Lake Michigan swept across the snow laden grounds and through the cracks of a building that held Southern prisoners in Camp Douglas, Illinois. Huddled with the other prisoners, John mulled over the reasons he had enlisted, even after his father had forbidden it. He knew the only real reason was to protect his best friend Frankie, who had enlisted first but never even bothered to show up at the station when the recruits left for war. Shivering, he wondered if he would ever see his family again or especially the girl he had loved since childhood. John realized that nothing but an act of God could deliver him from this hell on earth. Includes Readers Guide.
About the Author
Johnny Neil Smith, a retired educator in Mississippi and Georgia, taught Mississippi, Georgia, American and World History. Smith has written three previous novels, Hillcountry Warriors which received praise from Publisher's Weekly, Unconquered which was a finalist in the Georgia Writer Association's Author of the Year, and Beyond His Mercy with Susan Cruce Smith. Four of his great grandfathers served in the Confederate Army, and he has long been fascinated with the Civil War. His knowledge of that war and Federal prison Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois has made Beyond the Storm true to the times. The main character, John Wilson, was named after his grandfather and many of the accounts of battle and prison life relate to his great grandfather, Joseph Williams, who lost an arm in the battle for Atlanta and was sent to Camp Douglas. Susan Cruce Smith, also a retired educator, has given the book a woman's perspective and added many of the Biblical and scriptural insights.
Johnny Neil Smith is a 1957 graduate of Union High School, Union, Mississippi.