As a Catholic cavalry chaplain with the Confederate Army, Abram Ryan witnessed many of the major Civil War battles. His sixteen year old brother, Dave, joined and served the Southern cause. His death at the Battle of the Wilderness brought individual tragedy to Abram and his widowed mother. But it may have been the inspiration for much of the poetry Abram wrote commemorating the Southern dead. He ministered to the needs of those of other faiths as well as his own and was an active force in the work of Reconstruction. Sympathy for the Southern cause is evident throughout. It is a biography of uneven interest, not noteworthy for style or liveliness.