GORDON SAUNDERS

A Drummer in Red

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How can you prove your father’s not a deserter when you don’t know where he is and he hasn’t communicated in months?

What do you do when you’re fogged in on the waters of Chesapeake Bay and your sole companion doesn’t even speak English?

Lewis Elliot and his mother, Stella, are forced to flee their Baltimore home for the modest farm of their cousins in Gloucester County, Virginia. They arrive just as the feared Lord Cornwallis and the hated Colonel Banastre Carleton take up residence in Gloucester Point and across the York River in Yorktown. The war heats up as Cornwallis fortifies Yorktown and Carleton begins foraging raids in Gloucester County.

Then, while Lewis and his cousins, Lloyd and Tetty, are off to Gloucester Courthouse to try to sell enough tobacco to provide for the family, Carleton raids the family farm and Stella receives a life-threatening injury.

Through battle, betrayal, unexpected alliances, and, apparently, the Hand of God, Lewis and his cousins and friends take a role in the events leading to Cornwallis’s surrender on October 19, 1781, after the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

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