A Distant Flame

A novel by Philip Lee Williams

Winner of the 2004 Michael Shaara Prize for the best Civil War novel


“The dramatic wartime events of A Distant Flame are written in the heart of Charlie Merrill—sharpshooter, lover, pilgrim, and friend of General Cleburne. This intense and memorable story of battlefield and hearth tells us that it is high time to assess and treasure the work of Philip Lee Williams.”
—Marly Youmans, author of The Wolf Pit

“A must-read . . . a moving and beautifully crafted story that leaves one with hope for humankind’s redemption.”
Civil War Book Review

More / Hide


A young Confederate sharpshooter, Charlie Merrill, has already suffered many losses in his life, but he must find a way to endure—and to grow—if he is to survive the battles he and his fellow soldiers face in July 1864 at the gates of Atlanta. From the opening salvos on Rocky Face Ridge in northwest Georgia through the trials of Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain, Charlie faces the overwhelming force of the Union army and a growing uncertainty about his place in the war.

Framed by a story that finds the elderly Charlie giving a speech on the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta, A Distant Flame portrays love, violence, and regret about wrong paths taken. With an attention to historical detail that brings the past powerfully to the present, Philip Lee Williams reveals Charlie’s journey of redemption from the Civil War’s fields of fire to the slow steps of old age.

Page count: 320 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about Philip Lee Williams at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $22.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

List price: $19.95
Check ebook availability

Philip Lee Williams is the author of fourteen books, including The True and Authentic History of Jenny Dorset and The Heart of a Distant Forest (both Georgia). His most recent novel is The Campfire Boys. He is a winner of many literary awards and a Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities and will be inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2010. He lives with his family in Oconee County, Georgia.