Duty, Honor, Country is the motto of the graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Black Knights of the Hudson is a series of books that tells the saga of the fictional MacKendrick Army family from the Civil War through World War II.
In Shadow of the Flags, brothers James and Timothy MacKendrick must decide whether to honor their oaths to defend the flag and remain in the Blue of the Union Army or to follow kin and closest friends into the Gray of the Confederacy.
Shadow of the Flags is the first book in the story of the MacKendrick Army family. James MacKendrick and his younger brother, Timothy, are both graduates of West Point but have been raised in a proud Virginia family. When Civil War rips their country apart, each must make the heartbreaking decision as to whether to stay loyal to the United States or join the tide of other Southern-bred officers who choose to follow their home states out of the Union. For James, the decision revolves around his affection for his Virginia homeland as well as personal ambition. Graduated at the top of his class, James understands that great men often rise from the anonymity of the battlefield. For lighthearted Timothy, in his first exciting assignment with the 1st Cavalry, the decision carries a heavy burden: West Point and his determination to honor his soldier's commitment against his strong friendship with J.E.B. Stuart and Fitzhugh Lee.
The MacKendrick brothers are not alone as they face the dawn of war. Their uncle, Lafayette Randolph, is a close friend and kinsman of Robert E. Lee. He too is a Virginian and graduate of West Point and must make the same difficult decision to remain true to flag or state. Their aunt, gentle Dorothea, provides what motherly support she can to the boys she raised after the deaths of their own parents at the time of the Mexican War. Vivacious Marietta follows her husband to the plague-ridden city of Richmond so that she'll be there for him on his rare furloughs. Adria Weston, a brilliant and restless young lady from Boston, must balance her sudden infatuation for a professional soldier against her own willful determination to remain her own person.
In Shadow of the Flags, the reader encounters the full panoply of West Point's legendary Band of Brothers: Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Fitz Lee, Philip Sheridan, George Custer, and Philip St. George Cooke to name only a few of the historical personages who march through this sweeping saga. From First Manassas to Reconstruction, the MacKendricks confront their destinies on the field of battle and in the loving arms of their women.