Civil War Novels

Chase The Wild Pigeons

The Civil War South in 1863 is desperate and dangerous. For Joe, a 12-year-old boy suddenly alone and 600 mile from home, it’s a nightmare come true.

This adventure story is a tale of a special friendship that only comes along once in a lifetime. Joe, who is white, and Peter, sixteen and a free Black, become unlikely friends and learn to depend on each other as they try to escape the desperate Confederate South.

Follow these two as they trek through a war-torn countryside and witness war at its worst, up close and personal. They travel through a landscape that has been decimated by brutal battles, and they encounter people that have suffered the extreme hardships and depredation of three years of war. All the while they learn to depend on each other and grow a binding love as special as any two brothers.

They will need each other more than they know–unknown to them, they are being pursued by a deranged killer.

Warning: This is an adult novel. The violence of the American Civil War is portrayed here.

See What Others Are Saying!

More adventure than Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Moving Civil War Fiction like Gone With The Wind.

“…The triumph and terror these young boys faced during the civil war is unimaginable. I found myself cheering them on, almost crying for them. My heart broke, I laughed out loud and I was filled with anger and rage throughout the story. Not too many books can have people go through all those emotions and back again, but this one did…” Courtney at

 “I have never been a history buff but the story held me until the last page!!! I am now waiting for the next one to find out more!!!! Great job!!” Barbie at

“I enjoyed this book very much. I am a history lover – and so the subject was right up my alley but I enjoyed it for other reasons as well. I think the characters were very well developed. I feel as if I know Joe and Peter – and feel as if I have met them in person. I fell in love with Peter and the man he became. The language/dialect did not bother me at all and I think it was necessary to be true to the period the book depicted. I wish it did not have to have such violence depicted – but then again it was about what war does to people. You would not have understood what the boys faced if the violence had not been included. As a Christian I was refreshed by Peter’s faith – I feel as if our Lord was saying “Well done!” to both he and the author. I am going to recommend it to my book club.” Virginia Myers at

“…Two young adolescent boys, one white age 12, and one black age 16, become indelibly imprinted on your mind. Because this is a character-driven story, you laugh and you cry, you love and you hate, you react and you reflect. Gschwend’s heart and soul resonate on every page. The story is action-packed. The description is superb…” Edwynne at

“Good read taken from a young boys perspective and a free slave. Marvelous adventure detailing a war torn time and how everyone was effected.” Lori Marshall at iTunes

“Set in the deep south, Chase the Wild pigeons is a historically accurate novel that transports the reader back to the Civil War. The reader finds himself pulled into life on the Mississippi River, Southern culture and even Civil War era flora and fauna. Mr.Gschwend paints a vivid picture of the effects of war on a nation, especially from the stand point of a child. Chase the Wild Pigeons does a fine job of illustrating racial tensions across the south with out being offensive, and tells a lovely story of two young men who have only each other to rely on. Entwined into this entertaining story is adventure, one that makes it difficult to put down. I read this book into the wee hours of the night! I highly recommend this book!”  JennBryant at Barnes & Noble

Now Extinct Carolina Parakeets

Now Extinct Carolina Parakeets

Read about the rare and extinct species that are brought back to life in this historical novel.

30% off in paperback at Lulu Books.

Rated Highly At Goodreads

This moving story makes a terrific gift for men and women alike. At or Barnes and Noble it is easy to give electronically. Just go to the right side of the page on their site and click “give as a gift.”

John’s new short story for kindle The Red Pond At Shiloh 


John’s latest novel, Spirit In The Red Amber, is now available at most online sellers: Amazon.comBarnes and NobleApple, Kobo, and for most other devices at SmashwordsSpirit Cover

An exciting new historical novel about an American Indian. A great story for all ages.

A warrior and his Quapaw tribe were forced from their homeland in 1830s. Many years later in 1862, with the American Civil War raging, this aging warrior reappears–alone–on his native soil of Arkansas. He is back on a quest to recover a sacred object he was forced to leave behind all those years ago. On his mission he encounters a runaway fifteen-year-old white boy, but unknown to the boy, the encounter is more than a mere coincidence.

The boy, Johnny, fears for his life as the warrior forces him to join him on the journey. Later he comes to realize if the warrior fulfills his quest, there is power in the ancient object that will change the world forever.




“John Gschwend Jr. is a storyteller. He captures your attention immediately – page one — and he has your attention until the last word. I liked the way he incorporated some of the Quapaw language throughout the story, made the story seem more authentic. The reader knows this author is a nature lover who has spent a lifetime in the woods. His descriptions of flora and fauna are beautifully and accurately written by someone who cherishes God’s creatures and their habitats. The author also has a heart for those who have been mistreated. In this book he has great compassion for the American Indian. John Gillette – a strong name and a strong multidimensional character- takes us on an exciting adventure during the Civil War in Southeast Arkansas along the White River and on the prairie.”–Edwynne, reviewer

“An amazing novel. If you love history and nature, you will love this book. Mr Gschwend writes in a way that you can hear, smell and visualize everything he describes!”– reviewer

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