THE BANISHMENT OF ANNABEL GREY
Confederate victory and defeat are all the same to cotton millworker Annabel Grey, who dreams only of the war’s end. She’ll leave the Roswell, Georgia factory and the lint-filled air that’s sickened her sister, seventeen-year-old Cora. Annabel will marry Beau Lindley and, as her sister’s protector, bring Cora to live with them on Beau’s farm.
When Sherman’s troops threaten, the mill owners and local gentry flee Roswell, leaving the workers—mostly women and children—to endure a Union raid on their own. The general leading the raid burns the mills. He charges the workers with treason for making Confederate cloth and orders their deportation. Taking only what they can carry, Annabel, Cora, and hundreds of weavers and spinners, doffers and carders, are sent by train four hundred miles north to a refugee prison.
In her twenty-three years Annabel hadn’t traveled farther than the few miles from her parents’ farm to the cotton mill. Now, without a rock in her pocket, she must protect Cora as they fend for themselves in an unfamiliar, unwelcoming place. Annabel must survive the war as a refugee and somehow acquire the means to make the journey home. It will be neither quick nor easy, and each month she spends in the North increases her risk of losing the future she’d planned with the man she loves.
THE BANISHMENT OF ANNABEL GREY (85,000 words) is historical fiction for which I’m currently seeking representation.
THE MILLWORKER is a work of flash fiction that appeared in Exit 271: Your Georgia Writers Resource.