The story cannot escape from its time, which was the middle of the Civil War. The characters in Rambles after Land Shells go to see soldiers off to war:
“Four o’clock came, and with it a great cloud of dust rolling down the main street. The cloud had warlike music in it, and presently a mass of men in dark blue uniform, and with red, dusty faces, came marching into sight. Close to the ranks were many women, keeping as near as possible to the loved ones whose faces they might never see after that day. The sun poured hotly down, and the new soldiers, with their full and awkwardly packed knapsacks, looked tired already. But cheer after cheer ascended around them, flags waved from many windows, and the drum and trumpet aided to raise their patriotic feelings above the home yearnings. But for all that, many tears were shed by stout men, and many a heart was almost ready to faint at the awful picture that lay before them. Then the beautiful flag was unfurled, and presented with due ceremony and speeches, and carried to the head of the column, amid deafening cheers for the good old Stars and Stripes. Tears were forgotten, every head was uplifted with devoted enthusiasm, ready to obey the final order to march. A “double quick” movement sent the whole regiment fleeing past friends and strangers alike. But a thousand voices said “Good by” as they went. How those words thrilled along the lines! A thousand uttering them, and a thousand mothers and sisters answering back with hearts almost breaking. What an indescribable sound! A myriad of farewells spoken for eternity–the cries of Love laid on the alter of Liberty!
Fan and her sister Annie leaned back in the carriage and wept. Their mother’s face glowed with the spirit of ’76, as she tried to speak comfort to a poor sobbing girl who stood near. It was not to be long before she would herself need the same patriotic words and trust in Providence to sustain her in yielding up two of her heart’s treasures. But she foresaw this.”
Who says books about snails are boring and unemotional?