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Thread: What are you reading currently?

  1. #241
    Super Moderator PawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond reputePawDawg has a reputation beyond repute PawDawg's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading currently?

    Thanks. Cool story!
    "eye fo an eye and toof fo a toof" - Idiot in Missouri

  2. #242
    Champ skilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond reputeskilldawg has a reputation beyond repute skilldawg's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading currently?


  3. #243
    Champ dawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond repute dawg80's Avatar
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    Re: What are you reading currently?

    As mentioned before I don't read much fiction on the whole "Civil War" era because the truth is so much more interesting. Recently I read the biography of John Shaw. Absolutely fascinating and riveting accounting of an interesting life. A few highlights:

    Shaw was born in Scotland and served in the British Army in India. He did not take to soldiering so when his enlistment was up he immigrated to America, entering at Mobile, Alabama. Eventually he made his way to Louisiana where he bought a small farm...one that came with an added treasure: SALT! His land was just north and west of Alexandria in what is now Rapides Parish, near Bayou Rapides. Actually near the Town of Boyce. He made a bunch of money selling his salt, as well as his crops. In 1861 he was 38 years old, so when the "Civil War" broke out he did not join the rush to enlist. He had had his fill of being a soldier anyway. In March 1864 the Yankees entered the area, part of the Red River Campaign. Now at 41, he watched in disgust as the Yankees burned plantations, "stole slaves" (that's how plantation owners viewed it), and generally harassed the local white population. His plantation, Elmira, sat several miles up a road, off of the main road. The Yankee cavalry, in a hurry and also being harassed by Confederate cavalry, skipped his place. By late April the Yanks were in full retreat, after the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. They did more destruction and this time, Yank cavalry did go up his road and appeared at his place. Shaw's slaves told him to go hide in the woods and let them handle it. Armed with shotguns and pitch forks a group of slaves met the Yanks on the road. The Yanks urged the slaves to go with them. But they refused. With General Taylor's Confederate Army closing in, the Yank cavalry didn't have time to argue about it.

    Disturbed by the wanton destruction wrought by the Yanks, John Shaw decided he needed to join the Confederate Army. At age 41 he enlisted in a battalion of cavalry being raised in Alexandria. This unit was folded into the remnants of the depleted 3rd and 4th Louisiana Cavalry Regiments and joined Colonel John Scott's 1st Louisiana Cavalry Brigade. This brigade was sent across the Mississippi River to support Confederate operations there, and eventually joined the army of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. By May, 1865, the war lost, Forrest joined others and surrendered his army. But not all Confederate soldiers were ready to quit yet. John Shaw joined a small group who planned to travel to East Texas where Confederate forces were still holding out, specifically in "The Thicket." Shaw and a friend wanted to check on their families and their homes first. While he was at his plantation Elmira, someone gave him up. The next morning a Yankee cavalry patrol arrived and arrested him. They took him to the jail in Alexandria. He was asked to simply sign the surrender papers, swear allegiance to the United States, and he could go home. Shaw refused. Weeks later a new Yankee general arrived in Alexandria. This general was forming an army to march into Texas and put an end to the on-going resistance there. By now it was late June, 1865. This general visited the jail where Shaw, and several dozen others, were being held and still refusing to surrender. This general? One Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer. Yes, that Custer. While Custer and his army was still in Alexandria gathering supplies, word came the last of the Confederates had agreed to surrender in Texas. Custer showed the documentation to Shaw and the others...who now realized it was futile. Shaw signed the papers and returned to Elmira the next day.

    In the months after the war, central Louisiana, like the rest of the South was devastated. Shaw's salt was in demand and he got richer selling it. He lived to the ripe old age of 91, dying in 1914.

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