Captain of the Tides Gunner Morgan

Fiction - Military
246 Pages
Reviewed on 12/29/2020
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Author Biography

Charlie Morgan grew up in Somerville, Tennessee and worked in banking throughout his 45-year professional career retiring from JP Morgan Chase in 2014. He has a B.S. in Management of Technology and is a Certified information Systems Auditor and Certified Information Security Manager. After retiring, he and his wife began second careers. They own and operate two private pre-school franchises located in Texas. Morgan said, "For years, I heard the stories and read the newspaper accounts of the US Navy exploits of my grandfather Charles Gunner Morgan. Originally, I had only his detailed scrapbook with hundreds of newspaper clippings. Then, I discovered in the bottom of his old sea chest many more documents, and two of those were signed by American presidents. This led me to begin researching his story and searching for a writer to help me tell the story. Eventually, I found my childhood friend Jacque Hillman, author and publisher, and we began the project to tell the story of Gunner Morgan." Charlie and Paula have four children and three grandchildren.

Jacque Hillman, of Jackson, Tennessee, is senior editor and partner in The HillHelen Group Publishers. A top writer and editor at The Jackson Sun for 23 years, now she has co-authored Captain of the Tides Gunner Morgan, an historical novel about US Navy hero, Charles Gunner Morgan, 1865-1959. A graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy of Delta Regional Authority, Jacque is a Sterling Award Winner: 20 Most Influential Women in West Tennessee.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan is a work of military historical fiction, based on the letters and journals of Charles Morgan and re-imagined as historical fiction by his grandson, author Charles D. Morgan with fellow author Jacque Hillman. The book tells the extraordinary real-life story of Charles “Gunner” Morgan, spanning from his shipping out with the Navy in 1882 at the age of 17 across the eventful 93 years of his life in which he was present for and had a key hand in major moments in American history. From working under Teddy Roosevelt to laying the ground for Pan Am Airways, Charles Morgan’s eventful life is laid out in this book.

Author team Charles D. Morgan and Jacque Hillman have crafted a beautifully told story based on amazing real events, and one which will be sure to captivate readers across the generations. One of the things which I really enjoyed about the work was the attention to detail in the historical setting, including the way of life and attitudes and values at the time. This level of immersion really captivates the reader and adds to our understanding and emotional connection to Gunner throughout a truly incredible life story. American history fans will also be amazed by the impact of the times and Gunner’s involvement in such pivotal events. Overall, I would definitely recommend Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan to readers who are fascinated by true-life stories but also want a high-quality reading experience with all the nuances and atmosphere of historical fiction.

Clabe Polk

Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan by Charles D. Morgan and Jacque Hillman is the biography of a man living at the right time, in the right place, with the drive, talent, and contacts to achieve his destiny. A historic novel seen through the eyes of Navy Gunner Charles Morgan, Captain of the Tides, is a story of Morgan’s life from the days before the Spanish-American War until his death at ninety-four. Morgan is an American hero, a man whose life is defined by the period when the U.S. Navy was becoming a world power, and Cuba, Key West, and Miami were becoming trade centers. Morgan was the first enlisted man to ever become a naval officer, the man leading navy divers to recover documents and bodies from the sunken USS Maine. He worked with Thomas Edison, with Henry Flagler, with Pan American Airlines, with the “King of Cuban sugar”, and developed the Key West Naval Air Station.

I was fascinated with Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan because it is an excellent, historically accurate description of the changing times and conditions in Cuba and South Florida at the turn of the century. For me, having written a historic novel focused somewhat on the yellow fever scourge, the true accounts of the suffering caused by yellow fever were as important as Morgan’s professional achievements. The personal letters, original news clips, photos, and other documents left to Charles D. Morgan by his grandfather, Gunner Morgan, ensures a book that is historically informative, readable, and impressive.

Vincent Dublado

Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan by Charles D. Morgan and Jacque Hillman is a military biography written in the form of a historical novel. This book chronicles the life and times of Charles “Gunner” Morgan. This real-life story came to fruition when his grandson and this book’s co-author, Charles D. Morgan, discovered his grandfather’s old sea chest that contained valuable documents - from letters to scrapbooks that attest to the legacy of the heroic seaman. Gunner Morgan’s military career is no ordinary feat, and the anatomy of his patriotism runs deep in his veins. He loved spaghetti, baseball, and the sea. Since his enlistment in the New Orleans docks in 1882, his distinguished career begins to skyrocket when his first ship, the USS Kearsarge, sinks the CSS Alabama, and he became known as “The Man Who Started the Spanish-American War.”

Captain of the Tides: Gunner Morgan is written from the first-person point of view. Here we read Gunner Morgan narrate his humble beginnings and rise to fame. The writing style of Morgan and Hillman has resurrected the famous Gunner, as he seems to leap right out of the page. He lived in a time when the United States was surrounded by threats—a tumultuous period that is a far cry from the comforts of our modern times. Yet Gunner’s time also tested men’s loyalties, bravery, and love for country. It is important that today’s generation learn about the story of great men and women who helped shaped America and cemented her rightful place in the free world. Gunner’s story will grab you and if it does not inspire you, then no story ever will.