The Brother's War: A Mason County History
Based on the oral history of Joseph Ross Davis (1853 - 1943) of Mason County, Kentucky, The Brother's War is an attempt to convey a sense of spirit and understanding on the part of an eye witness to the Civil War, especially as it related to the residents of Mason County, Kentucky.
Joseph Ross Davis, as the author writes, "was an ancient white-haired neighbor, a retired gentleman dairy farmer with a rather straight back for old age and a slow but determined gait, when he strolled out to visit the neighbors." He was also a gifted story-teller with first hand experience of the Civil War. "He regaled Daddy, me, and my siblings during the early 1940s, the time of the Second World War. All of us liked history for it was part of being situated near the historic pioneer town of Washington, in Mason County, Kentucky. He seemed intent on establishing his own record on the 'War.' We listened with attention for he resembled the shoot of a stressed old oak, striving desperately for some form of new life at the end of the journey. Our family became his ear, willing audience to his quest for verbal immortality."
The Brother's War is required reading for anyone interested in the history of the Civil War in Kentucky or anyone interested in the history of Mason County. It's one thing to read about history. This narrative puts you in history.
The Brother's War PDF version (recommended)
The Brother's War HTML version
About the author: Fr. Al Fritsch, SJ is Mason County native who is considered an authority on eco-spirituality. He's the author of several books about the Appalachian region and co-authored Ecotourism in Appalachia (from The University of Kentucky Press). He also maintains the Earth Healing web site, which lists much of his work.