Arts Literature

Book Feature: Captured Freedom

Steve Procko, Author

When a neighbor showed writer, historian and documentarian Steve Procko a Civil War photograph of a group of ragged men and told him what he knew about the photo—that an ancestor of his had helped nine of the men who were Union officers escape through the mountains back to Union lines—Procko knew that he had his next book. “Looking into their faces, I wanted to see if 158 years later I could tell their story,” he says. “Turned out that I would soon discover an epic story of survival.”

Procko researched diaries, books, newspaper stories and war records. “I pinned down the life of each of the men and the history of their regiments, built family trees on everyone and connected with descendants of the men,” he says.

He discovered that being prisoners of war scarred each of them. “Today we would call it PTSD,” Procko says. “One hundred fifty-eight years ago, they suffered in the same way as today’s soldiers when they come home from conflict.”

Captured Freedom, Procko says, “reads like a novel and is for lovers of history. I hope readers are taken back to a different time and come away realizing our ancestors were in many ways just like us.”

Captured Freedom, August, 2023, history, paperback, $29.95, by Steve Procko and published by There’s History Around Every Bend, Ocala, FL. Learn more at

Leave a Comment