Alf Bolin and the Civil War
by Woody P. Snow
The Civil War changed many lives and sometimes created monsters from men.
Alf Bolin had simple desires: to become rich and to marry Emmy Ann Granger. But he faced two
obstacles—he was a poor fellow without any real prospects, and Emmy Ann's father promised
to kill him if he so much as laid eyes on him.
In 1856, the seeds of conflict had already taken hold in the Ozark Mountains. In what became known
as the Bleeding Kansas border conflict, anti-slavery forces from Kansas clashed with pro-slavery
residents of Missouri. Factions from each side killed both innocent and not-so-innocent alike.
Alf—a young, idealistic patriot from Missouri—decided it was time to take a stand.
In a lawless time of horrific brutality when the likes of Bloody Bill Anderson and William Quantrill
came to power, Alf grew to full manhood. He assembled a vicious gang of bushwackers that ambushed,
robbed, and killed many travelers who took the road past what are now known as Murder Rocks. His
reputation grew to the point that he was one of the most hated and feared men in the Ozarks, and
he was pursued relentlessly by Union forces.
But through it all, the boy-become-madman still had only two simple desires: to be rich and to
marry Emmy Ann Granger.
Praise for Murder Rocks
Today Alf Bolin gets little respect . . . In this very good historical novel
about the time of troubles . . . leading up to and into the Civil War, Snow
reveals Alf Bolin's humanity through his struggles to laugh, love, and quote Shakespeare at apt
moments. From a troubled, humorless, yet oddly studious childhood, to an adulthood with multiple
personalities in a time and place when no one could be trusted, Alf held on until the bitter end.
Each of his personalities was monogamous, however, and the love stories almost outdo the stories
of war, pillage, and plunder. This is a very good novel about someone who lived the exact
opposite of a charmed existence.
~ Thomas Peters, Dean of Library Services, Missouri State University
Woody P. Snow
Woody P. Snow, radio personality and award-winning author of The Boy Who Stole the Moon,
Blood Silver, Murder Rocks, and Eye for an Eye, has been intrigued by the stories of
the settling (and unsettling) of the Ozarks. He writes books and songs, paints and researches in the