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  Details Here



Recent praise for books by Michael Aubrecht

Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy

By James M. Schmidt
The Civil War News - "Medical Department" - May 2009

"At an early hour Dr. Cutter called on fourteen men…to go with him to the city, to establish hospitals there…in a short time we had four ready for occupancy, we were then ordered to clear the Baptist church…the armies had met and the wounded were rapidly brought in…Then in the outer rooms of the church the surgeons began to cut and slash…" - Diary of John Bailey, Ninth New Hampshire

In his recent book, Historic Churches of Fredericksburg: Houses of the Holy (The History Press, 2008, 128 pp., $19.99), Michael Aubrecht provides a look at disunion, war, and reconstruction (literally and figuratively) as experienced by Secessionists, Unionists, and African Americans in Fredericksburg, Virginia's landmark churches during the Civil War era.


Michael Aubrecht has articulated his thorough research and interviews into a very accurate but interesting and vivid account of our City churches "under heavy bombardment" both from Union artillery on Stafford Heights and sectional differences which polarized around the slavery issue. The fact that abolition split local congregations at that time is penned in his "Houses of the Holy" in a non-accusatory and unemotional style yet his words are vehicles of the intensity of feelings prevalent during the upheaval preceding the War, during the War and even into the divisions of congregations in the mid-20th Century--in the case of my own church.

Mr. Aubrecht has researched, chosen and exhaustively painted a picture through his credited photographs of the suffering and devastation the City underwent in December 1862. The aftermath and the slow emergence through the rebuilding of the modern City churches, nicely documented with excerpts from period personal writings as well as church records, tells the story--so prolifically treated and repetitiously published heretofore--in a new and fresh manner from a perspective long neglected by historians.

Flawlessly researched, illustrated and written, this book will serve as the source for years to come to the scholar, the student, the buff and the tourist alike. The reader will think Michael Aubrecht walked these streets during the War!!!

Godspeed on your next book, Michael. As a retired English and Latin teacher with 44 years experience and a lifelong Christian, I am so impressed with your book! It is unique and such a joy to read semantically. The subject itself is not a joyous one, however. Your approach made the War realistic and yet devoid of the usual "emotion" that accompanies this close scrutiny of ONE city in ONE period in history--a much overworked period! Your book escapes that "overworked" aspect completely!

Becky Guy, Church Historian, Fredericksburg United Methodist Church

My initial impression is that it is generally balanced, well researched, and readable. It appears you have done a credible job with it.

Dennis Sacrey, Church Administrator, Fredericksburg Baptist Church

I was pleased to receive a copy of your Historic Churches of Fredericksburg...I'm nearly finished reading the book, and I have found it to be both informative and inspirational. Your writing style is very enjoyable for me. Incorporating personal letters makes the stories come to life, and you have provided a vivid picture of living in Fredericksburg during the war years. It's hard to imagine what those people went through - both soldiers and citizens - during that time in our history...

Bill Ackerknecht, Santa Cruz, CA

I just finished reading your book Historic Churches of Fredericksburg. First off, I’m so impressed. Take this from someone who is anything but a scholar when it comes to history and grammar, but I found it very professionally written, researched, and presented. From my perspective as someone who really knew NOTHING about Fredericksburg, its history, or the position it played in the Civil War, I found the book very informative. It was cool to get the perspective of the times almost through the ‘eyes’ of the churches themselves. It’s a perfect place for the euphemism “If these walls could talk.” I always knew that the Civil War was a brutal time in our nation’s history, but until you get to really dig into the actual stories, you just don’t get the whole picture of the atrocities that occurred. You’ve done a great job of bringing that to light.

Chris Jamison, Pittsburgh, PA

Historic Churches of Fredericksburg by Michael Aubrecht is an interesting and informative book. The author does an excellent job of combining first hand accounts and factual information thereby creating a fascinating history of the "Houses of the Holy." The many Civil War and contemporary photographs, along with the recollections of Fredericksburg citizens and clergy, make this truly a wonderful read.

Jane Conner, Educator, Author and Historian (Stafford, VA)

The Southern Cross: A Civil War Devotional

Michael, I am now 3/4 of the way through TSC and enjoying it very much. Some of those stories will play really well in future sermons! I was familiar with several of the stories, but they're so good it was nice to be reminded of them again. And then you pulled in many less familiar ones as well. The Whitman quote really hit me; for some reason, it just never dawned on me that the injured could lie there for days, not just overnight. The Lee quote about feeling responsible for his students was so inspiring, as Lee always is. With my son going to Notre Dame, it was fun to read about one of the school's early presidents; never made that connection before. I LOVED the nurse's quote you came up with: "I have never worked so hard in all my life and I would rather do that than anything else in the world." The Confederate Prayer is amazing, and before your book, I never made the connection that Stonewall's bravery was tied so closely to his belief in providence. Lots of great stuff there.

Gary Thomas, Best-Selling Christian author (Seattle, WA)

Dear Mr. Aubrecht,

My name is Stephen and I just returned from a a tour of duty overseas. I am a specialist who helped maintain CH-53Ds in Iraq. You may know these birds as super stallions but I affectionately called them dirt devils as they were always blowing sand.

I am a practicing Methodist who attends Grace Methodist church and I am emailing with appreciation for the devotional that you penned on the Civil War. Each week we would get a crate of books from the states and the Southern Cross was one of the paperbacks that caught my eye. I recognized the monument from Gettysburg on the cover.

I think the good Lord may have pointed it out to me because I had no intentions of even taking a book. I was pissed off and missing home all the time and was not going to services for a while. Our divisional chaplain tried to get me to join a men's study group, but I didn't have the energy to go. Then I started reading the Southern Cross.

Your book moved me and was a very enjoyable read. I used it with my bible to keep up my devotions in between shifts. I worked the night shift mostly but managed to attend some group meetings. I told them about your book and the chaplain said he knew your name from the Tun Tavern fellowship at Quantico. What a small world we live in.

I liked your choice of scripture and found comfort in reading about Gen. Lee and all the other believers that were dealing with war just as we are. You seem to have a favorite in Stonewall Jackson and he is very popular among my fellow Christians. I imagine he is huge in Virginia.

I just wanted you to know that I read your book cover to cover in a week and then passed it on to a friend of mine over there. I think that it will probably be circulating for many months to come. I thought you would be proud of that.

S.J. Ivino

Our family uses 'The Southern Cross' as a daily devotional after our regular Bible reading. We are captivated by the lives of these great men of God as it is a perfect example of their great character. Each section covers a different trait: courage, duty, faith, honor and mercy. Simply put, this book is a great faith builder. It is a wonderful companion for the 'two edged sword', the Word of God. These men could face death with boldness and we look forward to meeting them one day. 'Press On', Michael Aubrecht, and thank you for this work.

Rick and Kathleen Warren (Salem, VA)

More to come




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