During the Civil War, twelve-year-old Dillon Childs's father joins the Confederacy and asks Reverend Jeremiah Culpepper to take Dillon and his six-year-old sister, Jenny, to St. Louis to live with their uncle. The uncle has also joined the Confederacy, leaving the two children alone and destitute in the huge city, where orphaned and abandoned children roam the streets. Dillon, scared for his little sister and what could happen to her, comes to the conclusion they would be better off alone, and sets out to walk back to their home on Current River. Along the way, they run into Lucifer Deal, who Dillon calls Ol'Slantface because of a disfigurement. Deal, a slave trader, has expanded his business to include young boys he can sell to ship's captains for free labor. Dillon learns Reverend Culpepper and Ol' Slantface are in cahoots and are holding the boys at Dillon's home. He finds a way to get Jenny to safety, but Culpepper, determined to be rid of Dillon and Ol'Slantface, ambush them as they come back from buying supplies. Dillon escapes, but from that point on, his life becomes a fight to survive. Knowing he'll never be safe until the Reverend is captured or dead, Dillon and Ol' Slantface join forces and along with a troop of soldiers, journey to a tropical island, brave the arid desert lands to bring a man to justice, if only Dillon can stay alive long enough to accomplish his goal. From 1861 - 1865 a storm rolled through our nation and in its wake left behind a path of death and destruction. Over 100,000 children lost everything they had come to know including both parents. This tragedy took place during the Civil War and sadly for years after; during a period known as Reconstruction. What became of those children? How were they instrumental in shaping the future of our society? These questions are answered in my series of books called, "The Gaslight Boys." Charles Dickens is credited with being the original Gaslight Boy, but there were many other Gaslight Children created by the war. The Gaslight Boys series brings to life the hardships, the conditions and individual struggles buried and/or forgotten by time.
Blood Once Spilled
Orphaned as a child, Le Roy Ware returns from the war to the home he grew up in. The couple that took him in died while he was away and the land and house is the only thing Le Roy has left in the world.
Reconstruction is in full swing and the Yankees are taking every piece of land they can. Although Le Roy left the area with bad blood between him and people of the small town, Le Roy realizes the enemy is not those he left behind, but the Yankees and carpetbaggers. Along with the same men who treated him poorly as a child, he is determined Yankees will not get his land, nor his friend’s neighboring Belle Grove Plantation.
With new friends and old, a new wife who may be into Voodoo, and a totally unexpected ally, he sets out to fight the Yankees, determined to keep what’s theirs.
From the swamps of Louisiana to New Orleans, Le Roy and his compatriots work to undermine the new Federal Government’s decrees to save a small portion of the south.
BELLE GROVE PLANTATION Belle Grove was constructed as a Greek Revival & Italianate mansion built near White Castle, Louisiana in Iberville Parish. When completed in 1857 she was one of the largest homes ever built in the south, with seventy fi ve rooms spread over four stories there was nothing else like her south of the Mason Dixon. Known as Th e Queen of the South, John Andrews sold her to James Ware in 1867 just after the Civil War had ended for the incredible sum of $50.000. On March 17th 1952, exactly 100 years after construction began Belle Grove Plantation burned to the ground. Within these pages you will find a one of a kind story concerning Belle Grove, a story which has never been told. THE NEW STANDARD IN WESTERN FOLKLORE!
Mark Twain! Here is an icon of American literature, a national monument if you count all the national forests in Missouri which are dedicated to him, yet to date there is little written until now of his Civil War escapades with the Ralls County Rangers, or his career as a riverboat pilot from Hannibal. Saddled with a war nobody wanted except for a few powerful and wealthy families, two characters did not mature one bit and that is what makes Captain Grimes Unreconstructed such a treasure. From spying to stealing river boats and blowing up ironclads, the career of Captain Grimes would be considered a valiant one if you were fighting for the south. The Yankee's wanted his head on a platter, and in 1864 they captured the Confederate mail runner for a sixth time, but fate intervened and the Union was forced to release him. Several more attempts were made on his life, but he lived to be old and seasoned. He retired as a park ranger from Missouri and well, you know what happened.
During the Civil War, hundreds of boys were orphaned or abandoned, most ending up on the streets of St. Louis, where they became known as The Gaslight Boys.
Duke John Robinson was such a boy. Kidnapped off the streets of St. Louis by Ol' Slantface, Duke makes his way home after a daring escape, initiated by Captain Grimes, to find as much or more trouble awaiting him there. His mother was dead, his father apparently abandoned them and his siblings were scattered. For a boy, not quite a man, the odds were insurmountable.
Captain Franklin Starr, a neighbor started the trouble when he stole Duke's saddle and gear. Determined to get his belongings back, Duke begins an odyssey that finds him riding with Nathaniel Bowlin, better known as The Swamp Fox to defend their corner of the world from the encroaching Yankees and to stop Captain Starr.
With no choice, Duke has to grow up fast as he eludes death on more than one occasion. When his father, mortally wounded, appears at the home place and accuses Captain Starr of an ambush, Duke, with the help of friends, searches for justice and retribution for his family.
Life can change without warning. Waking up on a westbound train headed for New Mexico, Gaslight Boy from St. Louis, Missouri, Rastus (Rassie) Cohen had no idea how drastic that change would be. After being tossed from the train, he walked into a train station and into a situation he didn't understand. In the blink of an eye, Rassie finds himself the guardian of a young lady and a saddlebag filled with gold.
Catfish John, a notorious outlaw wants that gold and will stop at nothing to get it. Young and inexperienced, Rassie might be, but he was smart enough to take on the U. S. Marshal's job when it was offered. And he was smart enough to hire an Apache warrior for his deputy. Rassie had a lot to learn about the west and Catfish John was going to make sure he didn't live long enough to learn anything.
Falling in love, Rassie and the young lady he's sworn to protect, race against time to rid the west of Catfish John. From Santa Fe to a train station in the middle of nowhere, Rassie and Emma will do whatever it takes to put Catfish John behind bars before the man puts Rassie in the grave.
Bobby Joe’s life takes an unexpected turn when he witnesses a murder.
While searching for the lost treasure del Diablo, Bobby Joe is stranded in an unforgiving desert environment when his last mule dies. With no alternative, he begins the grueling walk to water and safety.
Saved by the dead man’s horse, and finding a letter from an uncle to the murdered man, Bobby Joe makes the life-changing decision to assume the identity of the look-alike dead man. Taking over someone’s life is never easy, but Bobby Joe’s situation is even more perilous as he avoids attempts on his life, a hostile takeover, an Arizona Ranger, determined to get answers, and the wife of the murdered man who knows Bobby Joe isn’t who he says he is.
Not giving up on his dream of finding the lost treasure del Diablo, he enlists the help of a ranch hand while he takes over as the new owner of the Slash M.
Can he earn the love of the woman who sees through his facade and save the ranch before his deception is exposed?