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Independent Press Award 

2024 winner

A Rambling Man

Robert Vaughan

Captured in the last year of the Civil War, Lucas Cain becomes a POW in the infamous Andersonville prison. There he learns how to survive the cruelty of the Confederate guards, and the perfidy of a few who are prisoners themselves.

When the war ends, Lucas and almost 1,500 others crowd aboard the riverboat Sultana, which has a capacity of just under 400 passengers. After an unforeseen event occurs, Lucas finds himself further adrift.

Returning home to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Lucas becomes a police officer. At the time, Cape Girardeau policemen received no salary, but were paid for specific tasks, including receiving bounties for prisoners captured. Lucas also finds an unexpected love interest in a journalist who works for the Cape Girardeau newspaper.

Tragedy strikes, and Lucas finds himself no longer able to remain in Cape Girardeau. He begins a western drift, rambling without a specific destination. He becomes a bounty hunter, and is very successful at it, eventually finding an opportunity to settle accounts with an old enemy.

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A Rambling Man
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