Steel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady an auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business.
When Gus Owens was still a low level sergeant in the Union Army Quartermaster Corps, Finn Honeycut came along with his brash, unadulterated confidence and quickly became Gus’ go to man when things had to be done under the radar. Never really committed to the Northern cause, but able to put on enough of a front when necessary with anyone senior to Gus, Finn proved his worth quickly and often.
Gus was a substitute elder to Finn and Nolan Russell, another Northern Army Savior, who toiled with him as Hooker’s Army rattled around the roads of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania as it squared off with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in their epic struggle.
Gus recruits Xavier Touchette Broussard, or “Brou” a former Southern Army mechanical genius, when Lulubelle becomes part of their operation and the three continue to make Gus look good as the War between the States spins toward its end. Gus did all he could to shield his guys from potential repercussions from his sometimes questionable methods of keeping the boys in blue on the field. But as you will read in this novel, old debts continue to chase our trio more than a year after Lee and Grant sign their papers in Appomatox.
Here is an excerpt:
Gus knew he needed “Brou” on his team if he was ever going to benefit from the marvel the boys had decided to call Lulubelle. Nolan said it was the name of his grandmother back in Ohio. At first Gus hesitated to call the steam engine Lulubelle, but it wasn’t long until the name stuck. The heartburn he should have felt for adding a Southerner to his team was something he kept to himself for about a half year. Then one night Finn and Nolan came into his tent to confront him. Gus expected the worst but the guys expressed more disappointment that he didn’t trust them enough to share this important tidbit of crucial news.
“Brou” was the kind of man who could fix anything. If he couldn’t repair or figure out how to use something you were better off without it. As Gus’ assignments became larger he brought his three caballeros along for the ride. Without them he could not have accomplished a third of the things he did and of that he was well aware.
In the next A to Z post you will read about Harrington the population boom town that will either make or break both O’Grady Timber & Lumber as well as Rollins Lumber.