Into the Vortex of Fire is a work of historic fiction written by James Lamason and Gerard Mayers. Published by Dorance Publishing, the book follows the actions of the 11th New Jersey Infantry and their participation in the Battle of Gettysburg.
The mere mention of the word conjures up different emotions. For some, it evokes images of the battlefield, adorned for more than 100 years with impressive monuments and markers, making it one of the most impressive collections of outdoor statuary in the world. For others, Gettysburg means a family vacation, filled with battlefield and museum experiences, shopping, dining, and swimming in the hotel’s pool. To others, Gettysburg is a place of controversy, with debates lingering over the need for historic preservation versus the desire to add townhouses, retail shopping centers, casinos on occasion, etc.
But to many, the word Gettysburg brings images of something much more personal – the stories of ancestors and kin who fought there, of long-ago warriors from our respective home states, of young men and boys who never came home, many of whom still lie beneath the rich topsoil of Adams County, Pennsylvania. It is the collective stories of thousands of brave (and some not-so-valiant) soldiers, blue and gray, who survived to write their impressions of the three-day battle in their letters home, journals and diaries, newspaper articles, or in memoirs. Several of the soldiers who fought at Gettysburg later were fortunate enough to have the health and means to travel to the former battlefield to attend the dedication ceremonies for their regimental or state monuments, or to visit the graves or the locations where their respective regiments or batteries had once fought.
It is the latter, the stories of the men who were there, those who came back and those who never would, that form the backbone of this work. Author Jim Lamason, long a friend and spiritual brother, and collaborator Gerard Mayers (my co-author of our book of human interest stories of the Irish in the war) tell the story of one man from New Jersey and his comrades who sweated, toiled, and bled at Gettysburg. This book is a fitting tribute to the sons of New Jersey whose lives were forever changed in the fields that we now know as the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Scott L. Mingus, Sr. York, Pennsylvania
I invite you to read other blog posts related to the Battle of Gettysburg by clicking THIS LINK.
Mr. Lamason and Mr. Mayers have not paid for this post nor have they provided a copy of their book. I have yet to read this title and have not seen a copy in person. Readers are advised to refer to online reviews for additional information.
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