“With us of the younger generation in the South since the war, pretty much the whole of life has been merely not dying.” -Sidney Lanier
Gifted Sid Lanier of Macon plays flute easy as breathing but there is no money in it. The 19-year-old is busy pursuing an academic career when Secession comes down. Sid and his friends head off in ecstasy to join the brief frolic for Southern independence but find it quite different from what they had envisioned. When Lanier’s musical talent gains the notice of Confederate brass, he and his band win transfer to lighter duty. With the War winding down, however, Lanier’s overpowering love for a Virginia beauty pushes the cash-strapped idealist into the blunder of his life.
Lanier winds up in a windswept federal prison just in time for winter. When peace and recovery come and he’s ready to marry, Sid finds that his heart’s desire has made other plans. Later, after his job goes bust and writing falls flat in Reconstruction Era Alabama, Lanier heads home to Macon. But being a title lawyer seems to Sid like prison again. At 30, with a young family and death to consider, Lanier sticks his neck out once again.
Brother Sid is a fictional account of how the hard luck poet handles failed love, consumption, debt, regret and the Lost Cause with unshakable faith in the gifts God gave him.
And about a woman in her final days who sees Sidney Lanier as a man worth remembering not necessarily for his work, or what they later named after him, but for his steadfast pursuit of long-held and improbable dreams, some of which even came true.