The Pipes Of A Distant Clansman begins with an overview of the Celtic history and traditions. Historical accounts gradually melt into story telling just as the Irish poets and bards have done for centuries. The adventures and exploits of the characters are historically correct in every way, but are told in the words of those experiencing the events as they happened. In the third chapter we meet the American Long Hunters. We join them in their fights against Indians, British Tories and sometimes each other as they stretch out toward the western sunset. These hardy pioneers tell their accounts as part of elite Revolutionary War units such as Morgans Riflemen. We join them in celebration of the British surrender at Saratoga and Kings Mountain. From tender youth to the rocking chairs of old age we march with them through life as the first Americans.
Through the continuing chapters the pioneers and their children move over the mountains into the Dark and Bloody Land, Kentucky. We experience with the pioneers bear hunts, making salt and cattle raids. Their lives are then torn by a bitter civil war. Their children join Union and Confederate armies to fight bloody battles against former family and friend. After the war lives are changed forever, some for the good, others not. Spies become lawyers, others head west, some return to their farms to forget what they have seen. Some go in search of treasure, others go off to school, and the rest choose sides once more in the ranks of the feudists. Life in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains moves on slow and separate, as it always has, until two world wars force the mountaineers from their homes. Differences are forgotten as the mountain people once more give their sons to the fight for freedom. America becomes a mass of industry to support the war effort. As veterans survive or die on distant battlefields, their wives learn how to work as independent leaders of the household. Here we see the power and resilience of the mountain women, their undying love of family and of their welcome knowledge of their own worth. The last chapters reflect on all that has been passed to the children of America through these forefathers: our strength, our love and our long forgotten Celtic ideas. The characters gave birth to a nation, freed it from its European ties, and reached out to touch the Pacific Ocean. It is the story of the individual, of the single soldier and of the unheard of farmer, the story of the common man and where we came from. It is the story of the long hunter, the spy and the treasure hunter in all of us.