A Review of Partisans and Refugees
by Geoff Baggett
Having reviewed Geoff Baggett’s first novel in a series, Brothers and Warriors, I am well aware of this fine author’s major writing skills, story-telling mastery, and historical expertise. In his new book Partisans and Refugees, he wastes not one second reaffirming each incredible credential, as one finds himself in pre-revolutionary America just before the war for independence, engaged with friends and neighbors of a different era, with a more genteel nature if you will, at least in courtesy and manners, though certainly no less spirited of mind or adventurous of act than Americans yet to come. For those inclined toward alternative historical perspectives, one must understand that Baggett’s novel is an unerringly and precisely accurate telling according to the colonial history of this land, with no apologies necessary for his choice. Baggett does not disparage a different perspective, but he is absolutely faithful to the facts of his.
And so Robert Hammock and family begin a long trek down the King’s Highway from Virginia into Georgia to claim some recently ceded Indian land. Largely due to his personal qualities of character, he is assigned some of the best land to be had: fertile, luxuriant, idyllic, and beautiful. With the hardworking ethics of their forebears, the Hammock family and friends create a most productive farmland and supportive homestead. But war soon comes upon them, initially with an uprising of local Indians prodded by British military forces into a deeply invasive and violent attack. The nature of the war in the Deep South provides an unusual and fascinating plotline. Like inclement weather, the war sweeps the family up, then lets it be, then sweeps it up again, calling on every member and every colonial skill they possess to survive if not always to prosper. A thrilling book in every detail.