GREEN RIVER SAGA
By Rick O'Shea and Michael W. Shurgot
“O’Shea and Shurgot illuminate their story with wonderful details of life on the frontier. [T]he characters are well drawn and embellished with significant backstory.... For those looking for a quick read about violence and injustice in the Old West.” —Kirkus Review
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Jeremiah Staggart, a Confederate soldier, discovers while on leave in 1863 that Union soldiers have murdered his family and burned his farm in Tennessee. Because he could not save his family, Staggart succumbs to a paralyzing guilt that leads him to the edge of madness. After the horrific battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga he deserts and, after working in Omaha for three years, arrives in Green River, Wyoming in August, 1866. There he meets Sheriff James Talbot, another Civil War veteran, who is trying to maintain peace between cattle baron Brent Tompkin and a band of Southern Cheyenne led by Chief Running Bear. Like many Cheyenne chiefs, Running Bear was infuriated by the terrible slaughter of Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado in 1864, and he has moved his tribe to the canyons northeast of Green River.
Sheriff Talbot employs an Irish half-breed, Johnny Redfeather, also a Civil War veteran, in his efforts to maintain peace in and around Green River. When Jeremiah goes to work for Tompkin’s cattle business, he becomes deeply involved in the ensuing conflict. In his deepening delusion and search for redemption, Jeremiah, believing he is following his Biblical namesake, becomes obsessed with saving an Indian woman and her child whom he comes to believe are his lost wife and child. In the final battle at Greens Canyon the fate of Running Bear’s tribe, Johnny Redfeather, and Jeremiah’s frantic search for redemption and his lost family collide. Includes Readers Guide.
Michael W. Shurgot, PhD, retired as Professor of Humanities from South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington in 2006. His publications include three books on Shakespeare, numerous scholarly and pedagogical essays on Shakespeare and modern fiction, nearly fifty theatre reviews, and six essays on baseball. He and his wife Gail live in Seattle where he still teaches part-time.
Rick O’ Shea received an Associate of Arts in Humanities from South Puget Sound Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from St. Martin’s University in Olympia, Washington. He completed additional graduate writing classes in Los Angeles. Rick is an accomplished blues guitarist and he and his wife Serafina live in Encino, California, where he writes fiction and music.
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