The Reluctant Patriot

(1 review)


Publication Date: December 1, 2020 – Pre-Order Today

In the early days of the American Civil War, Harry thought it was just a quarrel among politicians—until his young son ran away to join a guerilla raid against the Confederates. Within weeks, Harry himself was falsely accused of sabotage, tried in a rigged courtroom, and sentenced to hang for treason. Based on true events and the real life of Harrison Self, this is a tale of eastern Tennessee, where loyalty to the Union survived long after the state had seceded. At times evoking the diaries, humorous tales, and adventure narratives of the period, it is the story of a man for whom love of country was not a given, but the result of decisions forged under pressure. In the course of his war, he will lose a son, plumb a daughter’s love, and form a strange bond with the region’s most controversial figure, W. G. Brownlow. Unremarked by history, Harry experienced, firsthand, the serial betrayals and surprising loyalties of a bloody war on his doorstep. How he survived—and what he became—is a suspenseful and moving tale of a soul’s reformation.

SKU: 978-1-951547-10-3 Category: Tag:

Additional information

Publication Date

December 1, 2020


Perfect Paperback




300 pages


5.5 x 8.5 inches

1 review for The Reluctant Patriot

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    Martin Roper, author of “Gone”

    An exquisitely written love letter to America. Based on a true story, Lohafer gives us a moving account of the life of Harrison Self, a Tennessee farmer who, in an effort to save his child’s life, is unwittingly dragged into the American Civil War. This is the amazing story of a reluctant patriot in desperate times as he endures the horrors of prison life, and, in one gruesome episode, the brutal death by hanging of an innocent boy.

    Set during the Civil War in East Tennessee this story is about the countless sacrifices made by ordinary people attempting to create a fairer society. In a novel full of compassion and humanity, we witness the occasion when black people, in fear of their lives, arrive to cast their votes for the first time, and the extraordinary show of solidarity from their white compatriots who act as human shields for their fellow men as they escort them safely to the polling station.

    In elegant and clear-sighted prose that brilliantly captures the speech of its time, this is a novel that is epic in its scope and local in its experience, making it a story of universal proportion. Accompanied by endnotes that expertly explain background and context, this is a book everyone should read, not only for its outstanding portrayal of life during America’s Civil War, but to better understand the complex issue of race in America today. More than anything, it is an essential reminder of something that is often not talked about—how decent Americans have always struggled to do the right thing and often at great personal cost.

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