The Wilderness novels came into being in part because of my interest in the War of 1812, a conflict that is often overlooked in history classes.
The war had a tremendous impact on the development of the young U.S., to the extent that some refer to it as the Second War of Independence. It ranged throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast, into Canada, and onto the high seas and Great Lakes.
The United States declared war against Great Britain, which was already at war with France in ways that impacted international trade. The U.S. claimed neutrality in that larger conflict, but Great Britain refused to recognize this claim, which in effect was a challenge to the independence and legitimacy of the new country. British naval forces were also impressing American sailors, forcing them into the Royal Navy. The grounds for war were abundant, the prospects daunting, given Great Britain’s status as the largest naval force in the world.
It was during the War of 1812 that a foreign power captured and occupied the capital, something that had last happened during the Revolutionary War, and has never happened again. A British force marched into Washington and set fire to government and military buildings, including the the Presidential Mansion (now called the White House), the Capitol and other government buildings. The attack was in retaliation for destruction of Canadian possessions by American military forces.
Fire Along the Sky is set against the backdrop of 1812 in the Lake Champlain area and into Canada. Queen of Swords continues this storyline when characters are taken as prisoners of war by Canadian forces under British rule at Nut Island, and moves on to the war in Spanish Florida, BaratariaThe Barataria region lies south of New Orleans and west of the mouth of the Mississippi. It is isolated by wetlands, bayous, lakes, bays, and at last by the great Gulf of Mexico itself. and New Orleans.
Canadian/British and American forces fought on Lake Champlain; in particular the Battle of Plattsburgh is considered by many historians to be the most decisive naval battle of the entire war.
One major character dies from injuries sustained during a naval battle on Champlain.
|↑1||The Barataria region lies south of New Orleans and west of the mouth of the Mississippi. It is isolated by wetlands, bayous, lakes, bays, and at last by the great Gulf of Mexico itself.|