The Story

Passed Midshipman Gavin MacKenzie and the USS Pawnee head for Charleston Harbor in a desperate attempt to resupply Fort Sumter in April 1861. Too late, the country plunges into civil war. Events follow quickly for the Pawnee: the destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard, the Battle of Aquia Creek, the capture of Hatteras Inlet in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

By February of ’62, MacKenzie, on the USS Delaware, is in the thick of the battle to capture North Carolina’s Roanoke Island and to destroy the defending Confederate mosquito fleet.  

Ironically, naval officer MacKenzie sees much of his action ashore, in command of howitzer detachments. But battle still calls for the heart-pounding boarding of a Rebel vessel with pistol and cutlass. 

The Civil War generates painful dilemmas, and MacKenzie is deeply conflicted by his close friendship with the Franklins of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Jeremy was his best friend at the Naval Academy but “goes South” when his state secedes. And his sister, Rebecca, is an alluring and headstrong young woman who challenges MacKenzie’s intention to marry—eventually—the beautiful Christina back home in Wisconsin. 

Join Gavin MacKenzie and the Navy as the horrendous defining event in the country’s history unfolds.

Read Chapter 1 

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