A Rock for Ambrose
Loyd Hoke, Jr
Here is a Civil War story that explores life beyond the battlefield, one that tells a harrowing tale about one of the darkest times in US history. Author Loyd Hoke left no stone unturned in his quest to complete a search begun by his grandfather, Lester Hoke.
The Hoke family knew Lester's grandfather, Ambrose, died during the Civil War but his body was never recovered. For years, Lester searched for his ancestor's remains, but to no avail.
Loyd, Ambrose's great-great grandson, continued the pursuit, searching the state of North Carolina, from Catawba County to Bald Head Island. Using family letters, state documents and his own gut instincts, Hoke discovered where his great-great grandfather likely died. His story is heart-wrenching, one of deprivation, sickness, and fear; but also one of great love.
"Books about the Civil War so often center on epic battles and famous generals. A Rock for Ambrose gives us something different: the haunting story of an ordinary Confederate soldier who twice went absent without leave in a heartsick attempt to look after his struggling family back home. What makes this story even more compelling is that this soldier was a real person- Loyd Hoke's great-great grandfather Ambrose Hoke. Based in part on archival detective work, Loyd Hoke's marvelous historical novel evokes in rich detail the frightening months of the Confederacy's decline, when living conditions became increasingly desperate and Home Guards terrorized deserters and outliers with the threat of summary execution. Loyd Hoke's suspenseful narrative conveys the drama and the pathos of a Confederate Everyman drawn by fate into a conflict not of his own making."
- Peter J. Thuesen
Author- Predestination: the American Career of a Contentious Doctrine
Dept. Head- Religious Studies; University of Indianapolis- Purdue
"A compelling account of a North Carolina soldier's struggle. Based on the harrowing experiences of his great-great grandfather, Loyd Hoke offers a unique perspective of the grim realities of the Civil War for the common soldier ... disease, famine and the plight of his family left behind."
-Mike Lassiter, Our Vanishing Americana
"Loyd Hoke's drive to finish his grandfather's search for answers about his grandfather Ambrose's disappearance during the Civil War opens a fascinating window into American history. History books rarely document the hardship and devastation wrought upon families and civilians during the Civil War. Without communications from their loved ones, adequate food, or pay, soldiers and their families were devastated and left desperate to survive. Hoke's documentation of his family's history and the hardship of the Civil War era make for a powerful and captivating book."
- Greg Grenawalt
Author- Destination Charlotte, the book
President, Col. Wm. Bratton Chapter-
SC Society Sons of the American Revolution
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192pp. Hardback, Case bound, 5.5 x 8.5, Coated Stock