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Published January 24th, 2018
Moraga resident pursues unique idea in new book

Simple experiences are often the catalysts for something much larger. In 2013 when Moraga resident Alex Foley and his wife, Linda, visited Gettysburg, site of the seismic battle that determined the outcome of the Civil War, he learned it was also the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, and it sparked an idea.
"After reading that Lincoln penned five copies of his Address, I wondered if there could be a sixth copy hidden somewhere for all these years," said Foley. "I thought it would be interesting to revisit the precarious Lincoln presidency and the conditions which challenged the U.S. at that time." The result? Foley's first novel, "Caleb's Watch," which he self-published last fall.
"American history seems to present us with tumultuous periods every 100 years - the 1760s, 1860s and who can forget the 1960s?" Foley said. "The Civil War period was probably the most divisive era in our history. We forget how close the South came to winning the war. Considering the past few years in our country, what better way to do this than to take the reader through an interesting and intriguing adventure reliving some of those historic events."
Foley chose a small town on the southern coast of Maine as the starting point of the narrative.
"Perkins Cove, York and Ogonquit are favorite vacation destinations and a close friend had provided me with letters written by his ancestor who was a member of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain's 20th Maine Infantry Regiment during the Civil War," he said. "This unit was immortalized in 'Killer Angels,' the book, and 'Gettysburg,' the movie."
Foley says his research involved reading over 100 books, periodicals, articles, watching DVDs and visiting numerous websites.
The story begins with the protagonist Zach Rivers on holiday in Perkins Cove. He discovers that Caleb Shandry, a sergeant in the 20th Maine Regiment was killed in Gettysburg the same day Lincoln delivered his Address. This coincidence piques River's journalist curiosity, setting off a journey to determine how Shandry died and the possibility that a sixth copy of Lincoln's Address exists.
Rivers hooks up with a professor of American history and they are soon joined by Rivers' lifelong friend, a military operations security expert, as they travel to various sites, from Gettysburg to Philadelphia, Kittery, Maine to Frederick, Maryland, searching for answers to the mystery, and soon find themselves running from two differing murderous factions intent on obtaining the Address for themselves. The book is available online at Amazon.com.

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