Peter Bramfield lives in Gettysburg, PA circa the American Civil War. His mother died when he was 12 or 13. He has a younger sister, Charlotte. Their father is Robert Bramfield. Peter and Robert clash regularly and their issues with one another stem largely from Peter’s mother’s death.
Kate Vernon (née Phillips) is about the same age as Peter. She is longtime friends with Sam Wills, (who also happens to be Peter’s best friend). They both lost parents as children and relate on those grounds…
[Now that I think about it, wouldn’t Peter fit into this “gang” of single parent children? Perhaps Kate and Sam had much healthier grieving processes, thus Peter doesn’t feel he gets anything out of being part of the gang. Peter doesn’t feel his experience with losing a parent relates to Kate and Sam’s.]
…Kate marries Jospeh Vernon at 17 or 18 and immediately gets pregnant with twins – Angela and Miles. However, as soon as Jospeh catches the scent of war and adventure, he unceremoniously deserts Kate and the twins to join the army, with no promise of return or future involvement.
Sam Wills is Peter’s and Kate’s best friend. His family is prominent in Gettysburg. His elder brother David Wills will eventually organize the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery after the famous 3 day Battle at Gettysburg in 1863. David has always carried a torch for Kate, though he’s not a scoundrel! He doesn’t try and steal her away from her husband! Sam is a well respected figure in town and works with David to organize the cemetery dedication. Sam never marries because he’s totally secret-Dumbledore-gay. BOOSH! But that’s only for me to know.
I THIIIIIINK that’s all I’m gonna reveal right now.
[Note: I do work around some historical events. For instance, David Wills really DID help purchase the land and subsequently organize the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, including inviting and housing Abraham Lincoln before he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. But some personal details have been tweaked to fit in with the fictional aspects of the story.]