Union Bound is the amazing true story of Joseph Hoover a Union Soldier who witnessed many incredible moments during the terrible carnage of the Civil War. Union Bound is a story of honor, integrity, love of country and the belief that all men are equal. Based on the actual diaries of Union soldier Joseph Hoover. This is the story of how Sergeant Hoover came to join the Union army only to become captured during the Battle of the Wilderness and taken to the dreaded Andersonville prison in Georgia where he was held for four long months before being transferred to the Florence Stockade in South Carolina. Shortly after arriving to Florence, Joseph escaped and was helped by the very slaves they fought to free as they helped him travel the Underground Railroad back to his company in the north.
A companion book to the popular dramatic film by the same name, Union Bound delves into matters of integrity, honor, and redemption. In a time of racial division like the country hasn’t seen in sixty years and weak leaders who are willing to compromise the principles and values the nation was founded on in order to appease an enemy hell-bent on killing anyone who disagrees with them, Union Bound is a powerful story of one man who understood what slavery is all about and who risked everything to do the right thing, to save his country, to free slaves. It is a story of compassion, resolve, and unity against a common evil. It is a story of our past to encourage us to be resolute today.
After the war he went back to his farm in upstate New York and worked as a cabinet maker. He went on to live to be eighty-four years old.
This is not a story of generals or battle strategies, but of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of an enlisted man, Sgt. Joseph Hoover of the 121st New York Volunteers. Starting with the entries in Hoover’s dairy, the authors researched the events in which he participated in order to tell his story. Through the authenticity that comes from an eyewitness account, we experience the camaraderie of camp life, the tragedy of the loss of friends in battle and the horrors of Andersonville. Above it all is the first-person view of a Union solider who joined up to support a cause known only in generalities, but who is brought face-to-face with the inhumanity of slavery as he and a companion escape from a prison camp and flee north. Their only hope of survival is by being helped by those they had come to help: Black men and women who provide them with safe harbor at great personal risk and shepherd them along secret routes that had been created to help slaves escape to the to freedom Hoover himself seeks.
This story humanizes the war by telling it through the experiences of common men and women, Black and White, whose stories were rarely recorded and, thus, largely lost. Thankfully, the carefully protected diary of Joseph Hoover, now brought to life, helps us regain those stories and learn first-hand of the high price these very real people paid to restore the Union and bring an end to slavery.
—J. Wesley Baker, Distinguished Professor, Cedarville University
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