When his father joins the Union Army, 17-year-old Robert Glover reluctantly vows not to enlist until he turns 18. But when his cousin Emily writes seeking help for Uncle Albert---imprisoned at Fort Delaware---he unwittingly becomes embroiled in a Confederate escape plan! Can Robert find answers on matters of family, faith, and freedom for all? 336 pages, softcover from Moody.
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Customer Reviews for I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Review 1 for I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Date:February 29, 2012
This book kept me at the edge of my seat for the entire read! Cathy Gohlke is truly talented in making the characters' emotions feel real. Due to a few violent scenes in the book, I do not recommend this to anyone under 15. This is a very sweeping tale and a nice complement to the first book of this series.
"I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps...His truth is marching on."
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" roused a nation to sacred causes, telling by song an epic tale.
Cathy Gohlke creates no less of an epic in her second novel, I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires.
The Civil War has separated Robert from his mother, who has fled to her Confederate roots, and his father, who's serving, along with all able-bodied Northern males, in the Union army. Passionate about his work on the farm and with the Underground Railroad, Robert still pines for his family.
Then a letter arrives from Emily, the plantation-dwelling cousin Robert has always loved. Emily begs for Robert to help release her father, Robert's uncle, a Confederate soldier who languishes in a Union prison.
Without his father's guidance, Robert sets out on a quest, determined to do things his way. The horrors of war, greed fostered by inhumane conditions, and betrayal at the hand of a relative leave Robert despondent and vengeful.
An unlikely one-legged soldier and a reunion witih his beloved horse and God's guiding hand provide Robert miraculous passage through enemy country.
On the wings of prayers and the strength of an Irish nurse and passionate doctor, Robert eventually steps on the once-verdant plantation lands of Emily's family and his mother.
When the Old South incinerates right before Robert's eyes and Robert's hopes to reunite with his mother are nothing but cold ashes, will Robert grow cold in bitterness or die to his own plans and allow God to rule His life?
Readers, if you don't buy another book this year, PLEASE get this marvelous story. Gohlke explores allegiances, the evils of war, the struggles of a young adult to relinquish to God's will, and the tragedy of mental illness. The poignant prose and marvelous characterizations allowed me to trod in the soldiers' bloody bootprints and filled my ears with the roar of cannons.
May God whisper many more stories to Ms. Gohlke! She's penned a brilliant read.
Robert Glover faces more choices in this sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name. This time, we join Robert near his eighteenth birthday at his home in Maryland. The Civil War rages on, and Roberts father Charles is away, working for the Union making maps. Roberts mother Caroline has decided to stay on her fathers plantation in North Carolina. Despite his desire to fight for the Union, Robert promised his father that he would not enlist until he turns eighteen. Emily, Roberts cousin, asks him to visit her father, an officer in the Confederate army. Uncle Albert is being held as a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware. Robert agrees, due in part to family obligation, but mostly because he loves Emily. After he visits Albert, Robert plans to go help his mother, who he has not seen in four years.Robert involuntarily gets caught in a prison escape plan, derailing his plans to travel to North Carolina. He is abducted, left for dead, and faces charges as a spy, challenging his integrity, his endurance, and his faith. Roberts adventures include new friends, a persistent enemy, and even a friend from his past travels on the Underground Railroad.This book is a roller coaster reading adventure packed with action and intrigue. We see Robert mature and find his place in life while coning to terms with family secrets. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is a wonderful story that gives the reader thoughtful insight into days gone by. Roberts story brings history to life, and it would serve as a great teaching tool for this era. If you liked William Henry is a Fine Name, you are sure to enjoy Cathy Gohlkes satisfying conclusion to Roberts story.
One of the finest qualities of Cathy Gohlke's I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is the way lines become blurred between Union and Confederate sympathies. And I don't simply mean the sympathies of the endearing, believable young hero, Robert Glover. Any reader of this touching, exciting novel will be surprised to find herself rooting for the southern inhabitants as often as for the northern. By dividing Robert's family, Gohlke shows the reader how our divided country suffered; how the conflict wasn't as simple as pro-slavery vs. abolition, states rights vs. Federal power. And, best of all for this reader, Gohlke never reaches for sentiment. Still, she managed to move me to tears more than once. An excellent read for teens and up.
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Review 5 for I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Date:February 25, 2009
Civil War enthusiasts will enjoy this sequel to "William Henry is a Fine Name." It's fast-paced and it gives the reader a glimpse into the experiences and horrors of the War Between the States. I was thoroughly engrossed in the reading. The characters were believable, and I was captured by the storyline. It is a novel well-done.
I HAVE SEEN HIM IN THE WATCHFIRES is the exciting sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name, which won the coveted Christy award. This book continues Robert Glovers story. Robert longs to help his countrymen fight the Confederates, but he promised his father that he wouldnt become a solider until his eighteenth birthday. Shortly before that time, he accepts a mission of mercy to locate his cousin, Col. Albert Mitchell, a Confederate soldier held captive in a Union prison, and deliver items from the mans daughter. Afterwards, Robert plans to travel south to find his mother and cousin Emily and take them to the safety of his familys farm in the North. But Roberts plans misfire from the start. His efforts to help Col. Mitchell backfire, and he is taken captive by escaped prisoners. Will he ever see his family or home again?I HAVE SEEN HIM IN THE WATCHFIRES is the fast-paced story of a nave, good-hearted youth who stumbles into a quagmire of trouble. Roberts fortitude is tested both physically and emotionally, as is his faith in all he believes in. While this is a stand-alone book, there are many references to the first book in this series, and readers will have a fuller understanding if you read William Henry is a Fine Name first. Readers are sure to be quickly engaged in I HAVE SEEN HIM IN THE WATCHFIRESa story of growing up, true friendship, faith in God, and love of family and friends. It wouldnt surprise me if author Cathy Gohlke won another Christy for this book.
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Review 7 for I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires
Date:December 6, 2008
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke is a stand alone sequel to the book William Henry is a Fine Name.During the civil war, seventeen-year-old Robert leaves Maryland for North Carolina in order to bring his mother and the girl he loves north. That's his plan anyway. The way he actually leaves Maryland is far different from what he had intended. Finding his mother is much more difficult than he expected and she is much different than he remembered.Robert discovers who God is in difficult times. He learns that life cannot be controlled and that the only way to peace is through letting go.This is a very good book and I recommend it. It would also be appropriate for young adult or teen readers. I've also read William Henry is a Fine Name and recommend it as well. A great story of the Underground Railroad.
I couldnt wait to read the sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name, and Cathy Gohlke didnt disappoint. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires hooked me from page one. Not yet eighteen (which is old enough to enlist) Robert Glover bides his time at home in Maryland. Pa has gone off to the Civil War and his mother has been living the past five years at her childhood home in North Carolina. A letter from Roberts cousin, Emily, begs he visit her father, a Confederate colonel whod been captured during the battle of Gettysburg. Unbeknownst to Robert, her father uses him to pass secret information to his men, helping them escape the prison. Now thought to be a Confederate spy, Robert is on the run. He heads for North Carolina, hoping to get to his mother and cousin and be of use. But war has ravaged the land, and Robert is in danger at every turn. He berates himself for not joining the Union and fighting against slavery like his Pa and other young men his age, but he learns that his plans are not always Gods plans. As Robert cheats death again and again, he discovers slavery comes in many forms and only by becoming a slave to Christ will he ever be truly free.Very highly recommended.
Cathy Golke's first book, William Henry Is a Fine Name, won a Christy Award, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn this one will too. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is the continuation of Robert's story through the Civil War. It is a real page-turner with plenty of excitement as Robert gets entangled in a prison escape, is left for dead, and charged as a spy. Determined to travel south to help his mother and cousin, Robert faces one harrowing challenge after the next. The lessons he learns help him become a man and prepare him to begin a new life after the war. Cathy's storytelling is riveting and her characters become so real you will not want the story to end. Great read!