Set For Release Through Eternal Press, January 2011.
The aftermath of the Civil War was one of financial depression, giving leave to unscrupulous men and women to prey upon the desperate and displaced, as well as land owners and farmers just trying to make ends meet. They used crime and wanton destruction as their weapon of choice. The, so called ‘Reconstruction’ was never meant to be a cure all in the southern states. It’s primary purpose was to replace rebellious politicians and seize so much wealth and land from the upper class, that never again would the South have the where-with-all to wage war upon the ruling North.
Roving gangs of spoilers, murderers, thieves and rapists skulked along the back trails of the Mississippi Delta, from Vicksburg to New Orleans, taking everything they desired from unarmed and disheartened repatriated citizens of the reformed Republic of the United States.
Some had begun early in the war; using their service in the Federal Army as cover for their nefarious activities. Many were quickly caught and made the short walk up the stairs of the nearest gallows. Others, however, had support from highly placed individuals and land owners and continued their operations long after the surrender at Appomattox.
Nate Parker saw these activities from both ends. His family was murdered, and his home burned to the ground shortly after the fall of New Orleans and the reinforcement of the Federal garrison at Fort Adams a short distance south of Templetown, Mississippi. That event, coupled with the new found love of his neighbor’s youngest daughter, propelled him into the war to fight for vengeance, the Southern Cause, and a promise to return and make good on his marriage proposal to the young lady. What he found upon his return was that his future father-in-law had been murdered in the same manner as his parents and that the girl, Lydia Compton, had been abducted for reasons unknown.
Shawn Kelly joined the Confederacy for very different reasons. He and his father had journeyed to America after the invasion of his homeland of Ireland by the ruling British to quell an uprising triggered by the infamous Potato Famine of the mid 1800’s. Living in New Orleans, he watched the fall and invasion of his new found home in much the same manner and anger caused him to take up the cause of the South.
Together, the two men stood shoulder to shoulder through three long years fighting one battle after another. During the month of Lee’s surrender in Virginia, a final pair of battles only days apart, saw the two men both the victors and the defeated. Paroled in the field, they were set on the road home. Neither knew what awaited them, but both were anxious to return to lives of a more normal nature.
What they found along their Delta Trail was far from normal. One turned to the gun to see justice done and his one true love returned to his side. The other found success beyond his wildest dreams before joining his old comrade in the search for justice; finding love of his own along the way.
I'm A.C. Croom and I Write!