Blood Traitors


Blood Traitors, with the rather cumbersome subtitle The True Saga Of Families Torn Apart By The Struggle For Independence In Revolution North America, the first of my books to be co-written with Sheila Hirtle, was published by HarperCollins in October 1996. It is still in print as an Amazon title.

This was the story of the American Revolutionary War, told not through the actions of generals or the great sweep or armies or high deeds in pitched battles or the rhetoric of patriots but through the experiences of a handful of families newly arrived in America. They were lured from their homes in Europe by false promises, abandoned and distressed, rescued, placed in the way of a Cherokee Nation angry at their own dispossession, caught up in the violence and lawlessness of the Back Country, battered by the vigilante gangs who came to be called Regulators (called into being by the lawlessness they confronted, they came to personify another kind of lawlessness), swept downstream in the flood of revolutionary fervor, and, for some, exiled once more, to die in the sour soils of Nova Scotia, far to the north.

More than 20 years of struggle and hardship. Some won. Some lost. A revolutionary fighter once wrote: “If we lose, my children’s children will hear the tale differently. The thieves will become sheriffs, the sheriffs thieves, and everything will be backwards, loyalty become treachery and treachery fealty … Our voices will be forgotten, only our deeds remembered, motiveless, random, mysterious.

Some survived. Someone always does.

Some of the survivors were heroes. Some were not.

Alas, the book was largely ignored by the critics, though it still sells, in small numbers, at some of the National Park battlefield sites in the Carolinas.