Matthew A. Perry is a public school history teacher from West Virginia that writes in his spare time. Matthew has written two non-fiction books about the Civil War in West Virginia, Protectors of the Ohio Valley: The Fifth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry and A West Virginia Rebel: Albert Gallatin Jenkins and His Border Rangers. Matthew has long wanted to write something that his own students could relate to and enjoy which led him to pen A Boy in the Bloody Seventh as his first attempt at the fiction genre.
A Boy in the Bloody Seventh tells the story of Jedidiah “Jed” Whittington, a 17 year old boy from rural Western Virginia. Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, Jed and his mother are living a simple life on the family farm, but when the Confederacy breaks away and attacks the Union at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, the entire nation is thrown into turmoil. Jed’s hometown and home area are now a disputed territory, the people from the western counties of Virginia do not want to leave the Union, and they eventually form their own government to break away from Virginia.
In what would become West Virginia, loyalties are difficult to ascertain and people are scrambling to sign up for either the local Union or Confederate regiments. Jed and his cousin Henry see this as their opportunity to break away from their parents and see their first real adventure in life. This is their opportunity to get off of the family farm and test their manhood in the crucible of the Civil War. Jed and Henry volunteer for the Bloody Seventh West Virginia, a nickname that is rightfully earned and the two cousins see the worst that the Civil War had to offer.
This is the first book in a series that chronicles Jed’s service and takes the reader from enlistment day to the bloodiest day in American history, Antietam. Follow along as Jed encounters love, death, pain, sorrow and every emotion in between in his quest for manhood.Matthew A. Perry