Author Paul Tremewan Offers a Rare Glimpse into a Soldier’s Struggles

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“As near Hell As I ever expect to be…” is a striking portrait of war and its effects on the lives of people caught up in the conflict

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In “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…”, author Paul Tremewan, revisits one of the wars that shaped American history while sharing a rare and intense glimpse into the struggles of a soldier caught up in the turmoil of the times.

Years ago, author Paul Tremewan purchased a collection of letters and documents that dated back to the American Civil War era. The correspondence, written by a certain Lt. John V. Patterson of Company K, of the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, propelled him on a remarkable journey to the past and let him witness the daily grind and peril that soldiers confront through the eyes of a participant.

In September 1861, 27-year old John V. Patterson left his young wife, Victoria, and their two babies in their farm to answer Lincoln’s call to save the Union. In November, Victoria Patterson received a message with the despondent phrase “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…” written in the inside address. Over the next four years, an exchange of letters revealed a young soldier and husband gripped by sickness and imprisonment and his attempts to escape. Following each letter, Tremewan includes notes which elaborate the historical context of the correspondence. This account is not a comprehensive history of the period nor is it a deep analysis of the Civil War; it is a series of snapshots that paint a striking picture of the lives embroiled in battle and irrevocably affected by war.

A testimony of hope, courage and survival, “As near Hell As I ever expect to be…” explores the grim phenomenon of war in light of the struggles and experiences of one man who was involved in it. For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Paul Tremewan holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from Eastern Michigan University, and post-masters work at Wayne State University. He is a veteran of 39 years of classroom experience, grades seven through twelve and was an adjunct lecturer at both Ferris State University and Eastern Michigan University. An avid student of American Civil War and re-enactor, the writer has scoured battlefields, cemeteries, archives and historical sites across the country. Once he read the collection of letters, his passion for Civil War history compelled him to tell the rest of the story.

As near Hell As I ever expect to be… * by Paul Tremewan
The Civil War letters of Lieutenant John V. Patterson Of the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 248 pages; 978-1-4628-7392-0
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 248 pages; 978-1-4628-7393-7
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4628-7394-4

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