Upon These Steps
Find Out What Happened "UPON THESE STEPS" In The 1860s
Based On Actual Characters & Events
Winner of the 2018 "John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction"
Given by The Military Order of the Stars and Bars
Two brothers are faced with whether or not to join the Confederate Army. One decides to voluntarily enlist, while the other joins only after being drafted. The brothers’ episodes reflect the chronicles of the “Granville Rifles,” a Company within the NC 23rd Regiment. From the Battle of Bull Run to Sherman’s occupation of Raleigh, the plight of each boy gives the reader an insider’s glimpse of the war.
Left behind on the family farm are their parents and siblings. Relive what a Southern family had to endure during the war years. All major events seem to originate on the home’s unique circular rock steps. Soldiers leave for and return from war, slaves are freed, Yankees pay a visit, and suitors come a calling.
The epic story of this Southern family is a unique blending of historical fiction with a storyline that reflects the resilience of the human spirit. The book is the result of over 35 years of genealogy research of the author. All characters are based on actual people living during the Civil War, with many events being based on eyewitness accounts as recorded by the soldiers in letters written home.
The Reavis House was built by the Samuel Reavis family in 1789.
NC Society of Historians 2013 "Clark Cox Award for Historical Fiction"
Judges' Collective Comments: "It's always difficult to put into words what we think about a book such as this when the time comes to judge. We want to mention so many highlights, moments when we became 'involved' in the story and anger flared, or times when the heart sank as low as is possible when disappointment or loss occurred. Emotions ... that is what this book generated with its realistic characters and storyline, all tied together with true genealogical research and the author's meticulous attention to detail.
We found ourselves to be the proverbial 'flies on the wall' in many instances as each scene unfolded and action took place. And, we learned that, Reavis was right ... our ancestors are not simply names and dates ... they were human beings, full of life and hope, and they possessed the same characteristics as human beings do today ... they were the SAME only they lived in a different era. That realization in itself was like walking into a brick wall. It was at this point that we truly began to read the novel with the understanding that, even though it is to be considered 'historical fiction,' it is actually a lot of real, factual genealogical research and historical events pieced together with imagination.
Mr. Reavis's book was an inspiration to our panel. It taught us more than we had intended it to do, and the end result will most certainly affect our judging in years to come. All of our 'emotions' were enhanced by a brilliantly written text and not just a flurry of words. It was a profound pleasure to judge this book, and it enhanced our appreciation of the stamina and will our ancestors had in order to survive the hardships of their era."
NCSH Guidebook - October 19, 2013
Excerpts from "ForeWord Clarion Reviews"
"The author grew up in the house where these soldiers were raised, walked the fields where they farmed, and visited the battlegrounds where they fought. His thirty-five years of research into family documents, local records, and military histories and reports yielded a treasure trove of detail, but these are merely the buttons and braid to the well-tailored uniform that is Upon These Steps."
"Reavis, however, does not lose sight of the Confederate aspect of this tale, and scenes such as when one of his principals is patted on the shoulder by Stonewall Jackson less than an hour before the legendary general is mistakenly shot by his own men is the stuff of which Southern family legends are born."
"Upon These Steps is a solid piece of both Civil War and family history. Its few shortcomings aside, it deserves a place on the nightstand of any who are intrigued by works of either genre."