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A FATAL MERCY is set in the American War of Secession and its aftermath. Drayton FitzHenry is the son of a prominent South Carolina planter. He opposes secession but joins his brothers in the Confederate Army in defense of his state. During the war’s decisive battle at Gettysburg, Drayton commits an act of mercy toward a Union officer which he later discovers probably caused the South to lose the battle. By his act of mercy, he is literally “the man who lost the Civil War.”

About the Author


Thomas Moore writes historical fiction, recognizing that certain events from the past impart dramatic power to his fictional scenarios set in the present. He seeks to entertain as well as illuminate, to engage the heart as well as the mind. He is a Southerner, and his three novels are set in the South, primarily because locale and "rootedness" in a particular place are ideal for dramatizing human conflicts that are universal. In portraying human conflict and its resolution, good fiction depicts the transformation of the characters in the novel. Thomas hopes in turn that readers will be transformed vicariously in giving themselves fully to the story.

Thomas brings 25 years of experience in Washington, DC in national defense and foreign policy to his writing. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, (the late, celebrated Pat Conroy's alma mater). A former officer in the US Army Reserve, he earned an MA in National Security Affairs from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He also attended University College Cork, Ireland, where he earned an MA in History of the Irish Revolution and an MA in Creative Writing, both with First Class Honours. He and his wife Rhonda live in Aiken, SC.

Thomas Moore Photo

Other Books By Thomas Moore

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No Villains, No Heroes
The Hunt for Confederate Gold
A Fatal Mercy

The Man Who Lost The Civil War

Drayton wrestles with guilt and self-reproach for half a century until he travels to Gettysburg in 1913 when 50,000 Union and Confederate veterans returned to the battlefield for a time of national reconciliation.

A Fatal Mercy was Long-Listed for the 2017 British Bridport Prize for Fiction. The first chapter was a winner in the “Chapter One Contest” of the West Cork (Ireland) Literary Festival.

"A Fatal Mercy is a gripping novel of conscience with all the grandeur of Gone with the Wind and all the gravitas of War and Peace."
-- Mary Morissy , Professor, novelist, winner of a Hennessy Award, Lannan Literary Foundation Award, and a member of the Aosdana, the association of Ireland's leading writers.


Thomas Moore Books

Award Winning Author