A STORY OF COURAGE, FAITH, AND ROMANCE
Beginning in the spring of 1861, The Choice Was Gray is told through the eyes of Will Cross, a naïve country boy who joins the Upshur Grays, a company raised in a Unionist-leaning county that eventually becomes part of the new state of West Virginia.
From the first skirmish at Philippi to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Will experiences the terrors of battle, boredom of camp life, and scarcity of food, uniforms and equipment that are the lot of a Confederate soldier. He also undergoes the strain of separation from family and loss of friends in battle, but relies on a solid Christian faith to overcome hardships.
In May 1862, the Upshur Grays come under the command of Stonewall Jackson and take part in the Valley Campaign that includes the battles of Cross Keys and
Port Republic. The 25th Virginia then goes with Jackson to Richmond, where it takes part in the Seven Days battles.
Wounded at Gaines’ Mill, Will is sent to the lavish Richmond home of the Brantlett family to recover. The Brantletts’ oldest daughter, Tommie, steals Will’s heart at first sight but differences in their social and economic backgrounds challenge the development of a true romantic attachment. While recuperating in Richmond, Will also meets and is enthralled by Melissa Redding, sister of an Army comrade. He strikes up a correspondence with both women upon his return to the Army, and Will's romantic dilemma intensifies during his two-month furlough in Richmond in 1864. After the Confederate Army is forced to abandon Richmond, leading to the surrender at Appomattox, Will still faces the choice of his life.