.Since I've already written one Civil War era biography and am currently working on another (of James Montgomery), why is my newly published book a historical novel?
One reason can be seen in the eyes of the guy in the photo, the young Civil War general Francis Herron.
After writing the biography (of General Gordon Granger) I was looking for another subject, and considered writing a nonfiction account of immigrant soldiers.
I also looked around for people, like Granger, who had had interesting careers but about whom no one else had had a biography published. Which led me to Herron.
But when I stumbled on an account of the Battle of Prairie Grove relating how Herron had killed one of his own soldiers there, to turn around panicked cavalrymen who were fleeing from the fighting, I realized I would not be able to give a satisfactory account of how he came to feel about what he had done, because there would likely be no record.
So he became a major character in the novel (The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant).