Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday sales and the Battle of Lone Jack!

Today is my birthday. Yes, this grizzled old writer has turned 43. To celebrate, I'm dropping the prices of my ebooks for the rest of the month. My Civil War novel A Fine Likeness is going down from $5.99 to $2.99, and my short story collection The Night the Nazis Came to Dinner and other dark tales is reduced from $2.99 to $.99. That's right, just 99 cents!

While this is an historic moment, of greater historical importance is that this day marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Lone Jack. On August 16, 1862, Union and Confederate forces clashed at the little town of Lone Jack in Jackson County, western Missouri.

A group of rebel raiders had come up from Arkansas gather recruits. They found plenty thanks to a new decree by the state requiring all men to join their local Union militia or face punishment. Men who had been content to sit out the war had to choose sides, and many chose the South.

To head off the rebel raiders, three separate Union columns went after them. Only one made it in time. Outnumbered more than two-to-one, the Union troops put up a stiff fight all day amid Lone Jack's buildings before having to withdraw.

The Union troops had a few things on their side: they were defending a town and thus had better cover, they had two cannons while the rebels had none, and the Confederate force consisted of several units each under their own commander. By the end of the day, however, the weight of numbers gave the field to the rebels. For an excellent article on the battle with some good maps, click on the link I provided above.

Even though Lone Jack was a small battle compared to many in Missouri, it may have been the toughest one for the men in it. I'm tempted to include it in one of my novels one day!


  1. Happy birthday, Sean! And grizzled? Heck no, you're still a young pup.

  2. Happy birthday, Sean. Are your e-books available for Nook readers?

    1. Hi Donna!
      A FINE LIKENESS is available for the from the Smashwords and Barnes and Noble sites. I just changed the price there so you might have to wait for a day or two to get the sales price at B&N. It's already discounted on Smashwords.


      THE NIGHT THE NAZIS CAME TO DINNER is in the Kindle Select program and so is exclusive to Amazon. I'd be happy to send you a PDF for free though.


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