Author mixes family history with fiction

February 22, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

Hagerstown resident Myrtle Long Haldeman, 79, writes what she knows, and she writes what she's learned.

She describes her books - 1997's "Cassie: The Girl With the Hero's Heart" and its 2004 sequel, "Cassie: After Antietam" - as historical fiction, but she says they contain a lot of fact.

Cassie Long of the stories was the daughter of David Long, Haldeman's grandfather, but Haldeman takes creative license with some of Cassie's exploits.

The book's setting is real. The family's 200-acre Sharpsburg farm, the St. James School and the C&O Canal are part of the story.


Haldeman's new book picks up Cassie's life after the the Civil War's bloodiest single day of battle and continues through the Reconstruction years.

Haldeman's research included books of local history as well as her family's genealogy.

She wanted to share the story of local life in the aftermath of the battle. She tells it through the experiences of one young woman and her family.

"I decided Cassie needed to get married," Haldeman laughs.

The softbound book of 109 pages costs $7.99 and is available at area Christian bookstores. For information or to order the book, call Review and Herald Publishing Co., 1-800-765-6955, or go to

Art Space - an occasional Sunday Lifestyle feature - highlights accomplishments of Tri-State area residents.

If your book has been published or your album has been recorded and released, contact Staff Writer Kate Coleman. To enter the Art Space, mail a basic press release with a copy of your book or music to Art Space, Lifestyle, The Herald-Mail Co., P.O. Box 439, Hagers-town, MD 21741. Fax it to 301-714-0245, or send it via e-mail to Please include a daytime phone number.

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