Murray Pura and Daughter, Micala have spun a heart-felt and wholesome story about Canadians who were soldiers in the American Civil War — a conflict you might expect Canadians willing to sit back and watch…”Not our problem.”
But, did you know that the Underground Railroad, delivery system for runaway slaves, had some ending depots in Canada? Meet some characters who represent the people who were seeking freedom.
Jack Burns, a farmer and fisherman of Nova Scotia who leaves his motherless child with family while he enlists in the Union army to support what he believes is right. The story is woven poetically through correspondence between Dan and his daughter, Kitt who is eleven when Jack leaves. The eloquent letters coming to the lonely father become the encouraging light and the saving grace for the entire regiment of the Army of the Cumberland, where Jack Burns serves. The lonely soldiers have adopted his daughter, calling her Sweet Child of Mine in their hearts, as a mascot and eagerly await her poetic blessings and outpourings of love and loneliness for her father. They don’t know the child’s full name, but felt the sweet phrase fit better than other names they might have used.
While the story is spread over two years in general, the largest part focuses on the season at the base of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee. Some who are waiting for the battle to take up claim to be atheists while others can quote Scripture at the drop of a hat to support the promises and prophesy that motivates Jack to believe they will claim Missionary Ridge for the Union forces as they battle for Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.
The epilogue is fulfilling, though unexpected.
Sweet Child of Mine is truly a sweet story of a man and child of faith who stand firm in their trust for the outcome of their time apart. As the Eleventh volume in Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom series, Sweet Child of Mine speaks of the father’s sense of freedom’s cry which called to Murray Pura begging for this collection to be written. Very appropriate that the poetic and tender presentation comes from a Canadian father and daughter.
Research and terms are historically apt…Missionary David Brainer is described as a ‘lunger’ who died from the ravages of consumption, but till the end served up the salvation message to the Delaware, Cherokee and other tribes. The missionaries had used obscure trails up the face of the cliff to reach the Cherokee villages at the top. These same trails, even more obscure, but till there were used by Union soldiers in their charge up to and over the top of Missionary Ridge. Statistics discussing the 50,000 Canadians who crossed the border to participate in this monumental conflict are not commonly known, but should be.
As with every other volume in Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom, I recommend the story.
Murray Pura Sweet Child of Mine