While Father is Awayreveals the intimate story of a British-American's role in the American Civil War. William Bradbury's letters home provide a rare window on the unique relationships among husband, wife, and children while a father was away at war.
Yorkshire attorney turned Union volunteer soldier Bradbury became a "privileged private" with extraordinary access to powerful Union generals including Daniel Butterfield, future president Benjamin Harrison, and Clinton B. Fisk, the region's administrator for the Freedmen's Bureau during Reconstruction.
The letters also provide an in-depth look at this driven land speculator and manager for the Atchison Topeka Santa Fe Railway. As a reporter for theChicago Tribuneand theManchester Guardian,Bradbury was both eyewitness to and participant in the shaping of events in the world as it moved west.