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Ford the Pacholet


Loved it! 😍

A masterful look at life and war in Revolutionary War South Carolina, as seen through the eyes of a thirteen year old boy.

While there are many works of historical fiction concerning the American Revolution, there’s been a lack of novels that deal with the war in the Southern states. Author Richard C. Meehan, Jr. has done much to correct this oversight.

Ford The Pacholet is a detailed look at life in Revolutionary War era South Carolina, just prior to the pivotal Battle of Cowpens. We first meet our protagonist, Lemuel Farnandis, as he starts his chores on his thirteenth birthday. Lem, while making deliveries from his father’s store, is captured by British raiders, who imprison him in the basement of a local tavern. When caught, Lem is able to steal a vital message from the pocket of his captor. Also imprisoned is a teenaged Indian girl, Amadahy, and two American soldiers. Realizing the importance of the message Lem obtained, as it contains the British military plans, they manage to escape and get it to General Dan Morgan. During the events that follow, which include the Battle of Cowpens, Lem quickly grows into manhood.

The author brilliantly looks at the divisions of the day, where few, such as Lem’s father, were neutral, though it was not easy to maintain that political stance, especially when the area surrounding Lem’s hometown was beset by British marauders. The havoc and cruelties reaped upon the patriots were heartbreaking to read.

Mr. Meehan writes in the dialect of the day (a glossary is provided) which, along with his vivid descriptions of the Southern locale, really made me feel as if I were living Lem’s adventures. There is so much detail presented in the narrative, but it never slows the story down. The description of the Battle of Cowpens was easy to follow, especially with the provided maps.

For those who have issues with violence, some of the descriptions of the casualties incurred during the battle may be a trigger.

Ford The Pacholet deservedly won the Southeastern Writers Award in 2021 for young peoples fiction. But I would make the case that it’s appropriate for adults as well, as it not only provides a glimpse into a fascinating way of life that no longer exists, but helps to fill in a huge gap in Revolutionary War fiction.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by

I’m a retired physician who’s been reading all his life, especially since retiring. My cousin introduced me to Goodreads, where I started reviewing books I loved. I then joined Netgalley, and have been actively reviewing there, but I’m now branching out into books from indie publishers.

Wagon, Mule, and Boy

About the author

Richard C. Meehan, Jr., born July 18, 1960, lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a town rich in Colonial American history. His writing appears in fiction and nonfiction magazines, e-zines, newspaper columns, and novels. His wife, Renee, a teacher, is his most demanding critic and editor. view profile

Published on May 13, 2022

Published by Noggin Universe Press, LLC.

80000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by