My historical fiction story "The Return of Catesby" is very believable because it tracks real historic events chronologically that surround the story.
The trial of Henry Wirz happened in real life as it is described in the book. As a prisoner at Andersonville prison, it makes perfect sense that Catesby gave a deposition and watched the proceedings.
The feud between the white population of Harpers Ferry and the students and teachers of Storer
College is well documented. The use of Mr. Russell, a real Harpers Ferry merchant, to explain to the students and teachers why the trouble existed makes perfect sense.
The massive flood that carried away much of Harpers Ferry and many of its citizens is an actual event witnessed by Catesby. His friends lost family members in the tragic flooding of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
I strive to accurately depict the actual events while at the same time, tying them into my characters in such a way that most readers will not know which part is true and which part is fabricated.
The Return of Catesby is a sequel to Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War published in 2008. In this account, Catesby, a former slave, becomes the first colored teacher at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, WV. Storer was one of the first schools in the country to be established for the purpose of educating former slaves. Catesby, a real historical character, brings his experience as a blacksmith, a veteran of the Union Army, and his survival of the famed Andersonville Prison to his students. The historical fiction story is based on Catesbys journals, papers and letters.