Solomon Ramsdell: A Novel of the Civil War Era

Painted image of Solomon Ramsdell, bearded and with a high forehead and blue eyes, in a rust coat, red vest, and tan trousers, with a black bowtie, and in his hands a tophat and a cane, all in a wooded setting
Solomon Ramsdell, detail of a painting by Betsy Marsch

Introducing Solomon Ramsdell

Rosette's brother and a veteran of the Civil War.


The Novel

Filling out events touched on in Rosette, this new novel traces Solomon's life from his courtship of Jennette Watson through his service in the Civil War and his imprisonment at Andersonville to his return home and the events of the next few years.


The Painting

This detail of the cover painting for the novel brings to life the Solomon Ramsdell depicted in a head-and-shoulders photograph of him in early middle age. The artist is Betsy Marsch of Marsch Studios.


Solomon joined the 6th Michigan Cavalry as a bugler the last day of 1863 and was captured at the battle of Trevilian Station in Virginia, spending a few months at the notorious Andersonville prison in Georgia. After the war he settled in the Grattan area north of Grand Rapids, and Ramsdell Road still winds through that beautiful country, alongside the Bostwick Lake Cemetery where he and his family are buried.

Beauty in Tragedy

Solomon Ramsdell suffered heartbreaking events in his war experience and family life, and his narrative voice in chapters of Rosette has drawn in many readers of that novel. His story bears telling in more detail, and this new companion novel stands on its own, yet harmonizes with Rosette.

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