Thursday, 15 July 2021

Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65 (The Simmons family saga) by Dane Pizzuti Krogman @dekester09 @maryanneyarde

Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65

(The Simmons family saga)

By Dane Pizzuti Krogman


Publication Date: 15th March 2021. Publisher: Independently Published. Page Length: 416 Pages. Genre: Historical Fiction

This is the fictional story set in Mendota, Minnesota of the Simmons family who are faced with the consequences of the Dakota Sioux Uprising of 1862 that swept across the state as well as the Civil War.

The father, Dan enlists in the 1st regiment of Minnesota volunteers as a teamster. His two sons, who are both underage join the 2nd Regiment. John, aged 16 becomes a bugler and William, aged 15 becomes a drummer. Their sister, Sara is left behind with their mother, Louise to fend for themselves. Dan is sent east to fight with the Army of the Potomac while his sons are sent to the western theater to serve in the army of the Cumberland. Back in Mendota, their neighbor and close friend, Colonel Henry Sibley is ordered to stay in the state to control the Indian uprising.

Dan will see action up through the battle of Antietam. He will later find himself in the hospital in Washington DC where he befriends a comrade also from the 1st Regiment. His sons barely miss the action at Shiloh but after, are engaged in all the major battles in the West. While they are passing through Louisville, William falls for a young woman, Mary who works as a hospital nurse. Back in Mendota, Sara befriends a young Chippewa native boy while her mother struggles with the breakup of her family. After Colonel Sibley defeats the Sioux, he is promoted to General and ordered to round up all the Dakota and push resettle them in the Dakotas.

This leads to the punitive expeditions that he and General Sully will command up until 1864. William is captured at the battle up Missionary Ridge and then sent to the prison camp at Belle Isle, VA. and then onto Andersonville. GA. John receives a 30 day furlough and returns to Mendota before he re-enlists. Louise and Sara wait for the war’s end so the family can be reunited, but events may not turn out as anticipated.

Book Rating:

📚📚📚📚📚 ⭐ = A book in a million.

📚📚📚📚📚 = I could not put this book down. I Highly Recommend it.

📚📚📚📚 = A really great read.

📚📚📚 = It was enjoyable.

📚📚 = It was okay.

📚 = Um...! 😕

My Review

Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65
(The Simmons family saga)
By Dane Pizzuti Krogman 

📚📚📚📚📚 = I could not put this book down. I Highly Recommend it.

"...When the war with the South is finished you will get your payments..." 

In the meantime, the Sioux can starve. 

I do not usually take quotes from books and I hope that the author does not mind that I have done so, but I thought this quote really sums up this book. Not only does it explain the dire situation that the Dakota Sioux faced, but it also, inadvertently, speaks volumes about the desperate shortages the country faced due to the Civil War.

This was a desperate and unprecedented era in American History, but unlike many books that are set in this era, very few have depicted the desperate plight of the Native American Indians. I thought the author tackled the buildup to the Dakota War, the uprising itself, and the deplorable executions that followed with a great deal of skill and authority. I am not ashamed to admit that I found myself shaking my head in disbelief and reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion.

This novel also depicts the realities of the American Civil War. The lack of supplies, the endless marching, the loss of friends, and the threat of disease reminds that reader of just how much was lost, but also how much was gained. The union was preserved and slavery was abolished, but for those who fought in the war, their lives would never be the same. 

At times, I became so immersed in the story that I found myself forgetting I was reading a book, rather it felt like I was alongside Dan, and his sons, witnessing the events first hand. 

This book is probably one of the most educational historical fiction novels that I have ever read. I feel like I have a better understanding of the historical events depicted in this book than I had before. This is certainly a novel that I can see myself coming back to time and time again. A great read. 

You can find this novel on Amazon. It is also available on #KindleUnlimited

Dane Pizzuti Krogman was educated in the fine arts at the University of Minnesota, receiving BFA and MFA degrees. He also specialized in Asian art history, with a concentration in textile and surface design. After graduation, he worked as a freelance designer creating fashion samples for women’s athletic wear. He eventually relocated to California and taught at Cal-Poly Pomona in the Environmental Design program then moved on to work as a pictorial artist for outdoor advertising. Moving back to the Twin Cities in 1981 he formed a scenic design company call Artdemo which in 10 years did over 1000 designs and productions for sets, props, and special effects for television commercials and feature films. In the early 90’s he relocated to Charleston, SC to work as a spec writer for feature film scripts. Six of his screenplays have won major writing awards and two of these have been optioned for production. During this time he also taught scene design at the College of Charleston. This position led to an adjunct teaching position at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught art direction for filmmakers. In 1998 he took a full time teaching position at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he taught art direction, life drawing, set construction, and Asian film studies, eventually becoming chairman of the department. 

The common thread through all of this has been his passion for Japanese design, art, and fashion. He has lived in Kyoto, Japan for the past 20 summers studying Japanese kimono and obi design of the Heian and Edo periods. In 2002 he won the Grand Prize for the best graphic novel at the Hiroshima manga competition. His graphic Novel Skeleton boy was selected for inclusion into the Hiroshima peace memorial library in 2007.

He was most recently an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate Program in Digital Filmmaking at Stony Brook Southampton. He is also an award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay, The Schooner was produced as the Australian film, AUSTRALIA in 2008. He has other award-winning films that have been optioned for production or are in production.

As a Civil War historian he has worked as a technical advisor for the films, Dances with Wolfs, Gettysburg, and Glory. He currently has one Civil War novel in pre-publication; MENDOTA, AND THE RESTIVE RIVERS OF THE CIVIL AND INDIAN WARS 1861-65.

He also works part-time as a crew member on a Grand-Am Rolex series race team. The team won the national championship in 2008

Tour Schedule can be found over on The Coffee Pot Book Club.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65 (The Simmons family saga).

    Thank you so much for hosting today's blog tour stop.


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