CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. – Dixon native Bob O’Connor has published his eighth book, “The Return of Catesby.”
It’s his fifth historical fiction account of the Civil War, and a sequel to his earlier book, “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War”.
The latest book follows a real blacksmith, a black man captured by John Brown in the raid at the Harpers Ferry arsenal in 1859. Much of the story takes place at Storer College, one of the country’s first black colleges, established to educate newly freed slaves in Harpers Ferry. Catesby was the school’s first black teacher.
His opportunity to testify at the Capt. Henry Wirz trial in Washington (Wirz was commandant of Andersonville Prison), his special association with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, and his days as assistant to Pennsylvania legislator Harold Quinn in Harrisburg, Pa., are important elements of the story, which is based on Catesby’s journals, papers and letters.
O’Connor is the son of the late Charles and Willa O’Connor of Dixon He is a 1963 Dixon High School graduate, and a 1967 graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
His other books are: “A House Divided Against Itself”; “The Perfect Steel Trap Harpers Ferry 1859”; “The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln”; “The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison”; The Centennial History of Ranson, West Virginia”; “The Life of Abraham Lincoln as President”; and “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War.”
“The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln” also is available as an audio book.