John C. Bush


JOHN C. BUSH, a retired Presbyterian minister, now devotes much of his time to writing, family and travel. PATRIOTS AND REBELS, a historical novel of the Civil War, is his first venture into fiction, though he is author or editor of four non-fiction books in the field of religion. He is now working on a prequel the PATRIOTS, set in the American Revolution. Born in the Florida panhandle, he grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, with ancestral roots in Virginia Colony (1670.) He holds an undergraduate degree from Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham and two advanced degrees in theology. Father to two children, grandfather to six and great grandfather to one, he and his wife Sara make their home in the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama.

Patriots and Rebels is a true story, imagined, and set in the years 1863-65. In it we encounter the stark reality of patriotism and rebellion played out in the words, thoughts, experiences and emotions of Thomas Files and his fourteen-year-old daughter Mary Francis. Born and raised in the hill country of north Alabama, Tom is determined to defend the United States of America as his ancestors had done in 1776. His strong sense of patriotic loyalty places him and his family in situations of profound conflict and danger. Patriots and Rebels is based on the actual records of real people, as found in the National Archives and published biographical sketches. There were at least a hundred thousand men like Tom Files – white Southerners fighting for the Union -- from every Confederate state except South Carolina. Their story has been largely neglected, particularly in historical fiction.

“Patriots and Rebels is an impressive work that combines both engaging storytelling and historical fat and context. Your commitment to historical accuracy without relying on common myths or stereotypes has established this book as a standout in Civil War literature.” Dr. William R. Ferris, Senior Associate Director, Center for the Study of the American South, Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Smashwords Interview

How did your background as a Southerner inform your writing?
My wife grew up in North Alabama. I grew up in Montgomery, 200 miles to the south and very different culturally. Montgomery is "Old South", the "Cradle of the Confederacy" where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President. During twelve years of public school and four years of college, I never heard a single word about Alabamans who fought for the Union. I knew nothing of this piece of history until I married into a family of Southern "patriots." What my own background brought to the writing of PATRIOTS AND REBELS was an appreciation for history and a love of the language. When you hear Mattie's voice in the novel you are hearing my Grandma Bush, whom I knew well. She died when I was in my teens and as a child I spent a good bit of time with her.
How did you come to write PATRIOTS AND REBELS?
The idea for this book was planted in my brain some 35 years ago, which is when my wife and I Iearned that her GG Grandfather, Tom Files, who was an Alabama native, had served in the UNION army. My first response to that news was, "There has to be a story in that if you could just find it!" I was busy with an active career and growing family, so that thought was filed away but kept presenting itself now and again as a gentle reminder. Such pursuit of the idea as I did took a genealogical form. Several years past, when I had a researcher get Tom Files war record for me from the National Archives. When he sent it to me he included a note" "Looks like there could be a book in this one!" That was the nudge I needed to start putting the story together, and it became a five year project, with PATRIOTS AND REBELS as the final result.
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Patriots and Rebels
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 79,640. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
PATRIOTS AND REBELS shines light on aspects of the Civil War largely neglected in historical fiction. It is told through the voices and experiences of Tom Files, a Union soldier from Alabama, and his fourteen year old daughter, Fannie, who survived the war at home with her mother and young sisters.

John C. Bush's tag cloud

civil war    military    war