Hot off the press! Advance copies of James Babb’s newest installment in The Devil’s Backbone series! Fans of Brody and Ames don’t have to wait much longer! You can place prepublication orders at plumstreetpublishers.com.
Looking forward to reading your books – and curious; was “The Devil’s Backbone” partly inspired by the published accounts of my great uncle Rufus Patton, who was 14 at the time of the Battle of Backbone Mountain, who with his 17 year old brother James Orville Patton helped bury the dead and assist the wounded immediately afterwards, and who later hunted for game on Backbone Mountain, half a mile from his family’s farm at the foot of the mountain, to put food on the table after both armies and bushwhackers had raided the family’s crops, taking corn, wheat, cattle, etc.? Or are the similarities just coincidences?
When I last visited Greenwood and drove out to the location of the old Patton farm, the old stone well was still intact, as was a log barn. Jonquils, iris, wisteria and other flowers planted by my g-grandmother had naturalized. I understand a new house has been built on the property since then, and I have no idea if the well, barn, and flowers are still present. I hope so…
Uncle Rufus wrote about his experiences in the Greenwood paper long after the war, signing his articles “Eagle #2” – the first “Eagle” was the famous Asheville, NC hotel owned by relative James Patton. I have also posted online about his experiences, and some of what I wrote was published in the local history organization’s newsletter a number of years ago. The Patton family is pretty well documented – my grandmother, Susie Alice Patton Bassett, was the youngest child of the large Patton family.
I will read your books as soon as I can obtain copies. Glad historic fiction is still being written and well-received.
Thanks for the very interesting information! There are some similarities for sure. The books are set in 1880 and Brody is fourteen. He happens upon a man who has been hiding on the backbone since the battle many years ago. This man is certain the war is still going and suffers from what we now know is PTSD. He’s a very interesting and loveable character. I really wish I would have came across your family stories when writing this. It would have been wonderful to work some of it into the first book. You mentioned posting about uncle Rufus online. Is there somewhere I could read this? I’d love to take a look. Thanks!
Thanks for your quick response. I posted to some genealogical sites years ago and no longer have them bookmarked – probably checking with the Sebastian County Historical Society (which may not be called exactly that) in the old jail in Greenwood would be productive, as they published some material I had sent them in their journal – unedited, unfortunately; I had not intended for it to be published in that form. But it did include the essence of my family’s stories about their experiences. This was around 15 or so years ago, as best I can recall.
My great grandmother, Mary Caroline Hunter Patton, and other women from the neighborhood nursed the wounded in a log cabin at the base of the mountain for a couple of weeks following the battle, bringing them garden produce, etc., according to Uncle Rufus’s accounts. There are many other family stories from around this time. I have considered writing a children’s book based on them myself, which is why I was interested in seeing your account, which seemed to deal with very similar material.
Thanks again for responding.
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