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Friends of the Wigwam

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A WGN Emmy Award nominee news video on this fascinating Civil War novel can be viewed AMAZON EDITORIAL REVIEW ... This is a love story about six young friends whose innocence is stripped from them seemingly overnight in the brutal setting of the American Civil War. The subplots woven into the story include each friend's successes and struggles on th ...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Barrington Group Publications
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If educators would use more books like Friends of the Wigwam as a tool to bring the past to life, I think more students would embrace the love of history and not take brief naps while going through those dry textbooks. History is about events, yes, but those events affected human beings, whether as victims or the cause.

The Civil War robbed this country of its innocence, it made enemies of brothers and divided a young country with the blade of hate. John William Huelskamp brings the human elemen
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Don't just read the first sentence, please:

This book has all the elements of a winning historical novel -- a great (and large) cast of characters, solid research, rich setting -- but it just doesn't come together in the way it should. But it frequently comes close. What it really needed to be successful is pretty simple: More. More of just about everything. Longer scenes, more developed characters, more developed storylines. The book covers
Clare O'Beara
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely for students of social history as well as war history. Due to meticulous research, demonstrated by letters, written accounts and photos, we meet six young people in a town called Freeport on the Pecatonica River, Illinois before the Civil War and follow their lives. Through their histories we see electioneering, a move to secession, the fate of a warhorse and how ordinary settlers lived, loved and fought.

The scale of this work is impressive and we come out of it with a m
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
To properly review Friends of the Wigwam, I need to separate it out into the two elements of its genre – “historical” and “fiction”.

From the historical side of things, I found these regiments from Illinois compelling and inspiring. Knowing that the people on the pages of Friends of the Wigwam were real people who lived and breathed and fought for our country made the history that much more real as well. The inclusion of scans of the originals of several of the letters quoted in this book is an a
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
"I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand."

This historical novel was took thirty years to research. The author, John Williams Huelskamp, set it in the area of Illinois where he himself grew up.
It is a Civil War story which begins in 1857 and ends in 1864. The Civil War officially began in 1861 and ended in 1865.

So, what are the Friends of the Wigwam? They are Will, and Aaron; younger and Will's best friend, Allie, a tomboy, and Jenny, her best friend, and Trick and his fri
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well done fictionalized account of Civil War friends based on real letters and diaries. My rating 4.75.

Will and Aaron are teen friends in Freeport, Illinois. One summer they find an old Indian cave along the bank of their favorite river and they pledge to always be “Friends of the Wigwam.” Allie, a tomboy finds the cave and she and her friend, Jennie, a daughter of a wealthy family, soon join the Friends. They are joined by two other local boys who fish and hunt in the woods. The friends share f
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is a fine piece of historical fiction, and it's clear that the author did his research. Many historical nvels are comprised of fictional characters, with perhaps one or two actual historical figures to interact with or provide a backdrop. In here, all the main characters are actual historical figures, with short bios and photographs provided at the back of the book for further information.

As far as life in this period goes, this book was well-researched, though I do have a minor quibble, th
Tony Parsons
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Timeline: 1857-1865.
12/1857, Pecatonica River Freeport, IL. Tutty Baker Tavern. Ol’ Tutty (owner) Will (16, Aaron’s BMF), Aaron (13, Will’s BMF), Major Elmer Ellsworth (Rockford City Greys, Rockford, IL.), Alfred Smith (West Point cadet, Galena, IL.) was getting all the fellas the drinks they wanted.
John Sheetz came busting through the front say they needed volunteers for bucket brigade,
Fire Marshal Holden Putnam (banker) was hunted down.

3 horses & a colt were saved from a burning barn.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fic
Friends of the Wigwam is the debut novel of Civil War historian John W. Heulskamp, who is particularly interested in forgotten heroes of that conflict. The first section of the book relates the formation the strong friendship of six young men and women, and follows their experience of the social and political friction that leads to the war's outbreak. The fact that these characters are based upon real people increases the impact of this section, which is further enlivened by the appearance of su ...more
Sherry Hancock Dart
It was a quick and easy read. I enjoyed the history within the story.
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May 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, kindle, own

I won this book via Goodreads Giveaways.
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John William Huelskamp is a historical novelist whose early passion for Civil War history was ignited when he discovered a cavalry saber in the Maryland woods near his boyhood home. An avid research historian, he is a consultant to Civil War scholars, writers, and artists and has been a frequent guest commentator on national television broadcasts raising public awareness of forgotten Civil War her ...more

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