Texas During Reconstruction
There are few good things to be said of the North’s Reconstruction of the South. To illustrate the distress and victimization of the South after the War, I chose a quotation of Robert E. Lee. He had surrendered his army in hope of healing and peace for the South. Instead, the South received the punitive and wicked policies of Reconstruction. In August of 1870, Mr. Lee said to Governor Stockdale of Texas:
“Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand.”
Reconstruction was time of political and economic turmoil. It was also during Reconstruction that much of the violence that characterized our view of the West developed, even in our section of the State. Much research is available in which one can find many interesting outlaw vignettes.
For example, according to this site, “The Corners,” a was wild ticket located where four counties meet–Fannin, Grayson, Collin, and Hunt—[and it] became the hideout for desperados of many persuasions. The principal fugitives were ex-Confederates who claimed to have been driven to a life outside the law by the unfairness of military rule. The gang leader was Bob Lee, a Captain in Forrest’s Raiders.”
The outlaws also gathered in “Wildcat Thicket: The strip of land in Fannin and Hunt lying just east of ‘The corners,’ a solid mass of undergrowth–trees, briar brushes, thorn vines, and grass. Wildcat Thicket had served as a bandit refuge during the War. Its inhabitants included army deserts and draft evaders of both North and South.
“Bob Lee built his hideout of timber and black oilcloth in the densest part of the Wildcat Thicket. It was closer to the ground than a regular army tent, making it necessary for Bob and his followers to crawl into the shelter.”
For a thorough and balanced look at Reconstruction in Texas, read this article, “The World Turned Upside Down: Reconstruction in Texas” on this website:
For Women Writers:
I stumbled on a great site devoted to helping women writers. It’s called Women’s Writer Block.net There is a wonderful summary of Western TV movies with a section called, “Our Favorite Westerns.” Here you will find the history and details of many series. I found it by searching for information on the old series, Johnny Yuma, the Rebel (Nick Adams starred in the series). The site also has great tips on writing. The site says about itself: “The Women Writers Block is a place for women to post their writing — fanfic, poems, and non-fiction stories . . . No password, library card, shirts or shoes required.”
You can read more about Women’s Writer’s Block here:
Today, I’ll be in Ruston, LA, performing Irish and Scottish songs, then on to Bellmead. (See yesterday’s blog).