True Story Inspired My Novel

Hid Wounded Reb

By Jeff Salter

This week, 152 years ago, a local skirmish likely unknown to many outside Kentucky occurred hardly two miles from where I live. The Battle of Dutton’s Hill occurred on Mar. 30, 1863 on and around a knoll which is now near the junior high school.

One or two Confederate soldiers – either escaped the bloody aftermath of the Union victory here, or possibly abandoned or forgotten by their comrades – made their way to the cabin of elderly William Bishop and his young second wife, Mary Taylor Bishop, Nancy Catherine Bishop – my wife’s great-grandmother – was a child in that cabin.

In Yankee-Occupied Pulaski County, it would have been treason to harbor an enemy fugitive, but the Bishops took in the mortally wounded Reb and did what they could to ease his suffering. He died during the night and his body was concealed/covered in the woods (some relatives say) or buried shallow in the frozen ground of that harsh winter.

The burial spot of that unnamed Reb is some 600 feet from where I sit as I’m writing this. It was the beginning of Bishop Cemetery, which later came to include family, friends, and neighbors of the Bishop Family and now numbers several hundred graves and sites.

I guess you can see why this true story of the kindness my wife’s ancestors inspired me to write my novel, “Hid Wounded Reb.”

It was my second novel drafted and became my fifth to be published.

It’s available for $4.99 in digital formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other sites. In additional to the fictionalized story – using characters, dialog, and correspondence I fabricated – this book has, as end notes, some actual accounts of the battle and many other interesting history.



Cold secrets are finally warming up… and Kelly can feel the heat.

Kelly is haunted by the mysterious involvement of her landlord’s ancestor with a wounded soldier in 1863, while her boyfriend researches the unsolved murder of an unidentified horseman in that same Kentucky community a few years after the Civil War. As Kelly and Mitch assist each other’s research, tantalizing discoveries seem to connect their subjects.

Kelly’s initial assignment is to research the cemetery which started 152 years ago with the death of a battle-wounded Rebel hidden briefly in the Butler family cabin. But the actual facts are clouded with hazy family legends, including possible involvement of a second soldier — the dead man’s cavalry buddy. Mitch’s belated study of the stranger murdered at the church yard has also hit baffling snags.

When surprising old documents surface and rekindle fading memories, the uncovered secrets could help solve both cold cases. But those investigations are hampered when Kelly harbors a terrified girl (with her own complicated secrets) who brings danger close behind.

The exciting prequel to “Called to Arms Again”


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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8 Responses to True Story Inspired My Novel

  1. I love the true, original story;I can see where Denise gets her kindness! That is a very inspiring story and I will get my hands on this ASAP! I am very interested to see what direction the inspiration sent you, Jeff.


    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Tonette. Even though this was the second complete novel I finished, it was actually that hidden Reb story which inspired me to begin writing fiction after I retired. The research and early notes I made about that family experience couldn’t find a place in my first novel, so I had to save it for my second.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    Mysterious stories from the past make for exciting stories of today. Love the cover, Jeff. This book is definitely on my TBR list.


  3. I love the true story behind your book.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    What a fascinating story! And it’s even more interesting because of your personal connection. What got my attention is the last line in your description – that this is the prequel to Called to Arms Again. Do you find it challenging to promote a book that takes place before the events of a previously published work?


    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Patty.
      re: promotion — I find ALL promotion to be difficult (for me) and at times quite frustrating.
      But I didn’t find promoting a prequel after alread promoting the sequel to be much different.


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