Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Earlier this week, I received another email from Mark, telling me that his book had been published, and he asked if I was still interested in reviewing the book on my blog site. I readily agreed to do so, and that review appears here today.
Celestial Reflections in the Tallahatchie River, written by Mark Adkins and categorized by the author as “historical fiction,” is an exciting tale of adventure and romance during the Civil War in The book focuses on events surrounding the Battle of Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood, Mississippi, and the efforts of Confederate forces to prevent access by Union troops to the Port of Vicksburg. In the book, Adkins tells the story of a fictional character, Joshua Thompson, his life in the South, and his fateful encounter near Greenwood with the Star of the West. The Star of the West was a side-wheel steamer, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt, that was on loan to the U. S. Government to transport Union supplies south after South Carolina seceded from the Union. Confederate forces captured the Star of the West at Fort Sumter and put it into service for the South during the war. In a successful effort to prevent Union troops from making their way down river to the Port of Vicksburg, Thompson and others scuttled the vessel, sinking it sideways in the Tallahatchie River. Joshua Thompson, the book's central character who was serving on board the vessel at the time, lost a treasure during the scuttling activity that would re-surface more than a century in the future. To identify the treasure and to tell more about its discovery would be taking away from the intrigue that surrounds this portion of the book's plot.
Whether you are a Civil War enthusiast or a reader of adventure, action or romance novels, you will enjoy this book by Mark Adkins. His ability to create period characters and weave fact into fiction has produced a book that has something for all readers.
Turnrow Book Company in Greenwood is sponsoring a book-signing event sometime soon. For additional information about this event or about purchasing a copy of Celestial Reflections in the Tallahatchie River, by Mark Adkins, contact Turnrow Book Company, 304 Howard St., Greenwood, MS.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
There was a graveside service Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 10 am at Kosciusko City Cemetery. Rev. Marty Fields, Jim Truesdell and Lane Townsend officiated the service. Jordan Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Ava is survived by her parents, Mark and Julie Thornton, and sister, Annelise, all of Laurel; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Wiley C. (Chuck) Thornton of Madison, Mr. and Mrs. Dwayne Breedlove of Conehatta and Ann Townsend Breedlove of Kosciusko; great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Townsend of Kosciusko; numerous aunts, uncles and other relatives.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
According to unsubstantiated sources, the Garrard family's origins had its origins in America through the French Huguenot, Peter Garrard. Although the surname today is most commonly spelled "Garrard," other versions, including two French versions, "Girard" and "Gerard," as well as as the Italian "Ghirardi" and "Girardi," have been used throughout time.
The availability of much historical information about the Garrard family is due in large part, to the fact that James Garrard was well-known for his service as the second Governor of the State of Kentucky. Garrard, born on January 14, 1749 and who died on January 9, 1822, was further immortalized when Garrard County, Kentucky, formed during his first term as governor, was named for him.
According to the book, Governor Garrard of Kentucky, written by Anna Russell des Cognets and published in 1898, three brothers named John, Robert and Jacob, allegedly the grandsons of Peter the Huguenot, settled in Stafford County, Virginia about 1750. It is said that Jacob Garrard was married in Virginia, first to Sarah Waters, a daughter of John Waters and Mary Elizabeth Hack, and later to Mildred (last name unknown.)
According to the book by des Cognets, records of Overwharton Parish in Stafford County shows that Anthony, one of the two sons born to Jacob Garrard and his second wife, Mildred, was christened on October 12, 1756. According to all accounts, Jacob Garrard moved his family to North Carolina sometime after that date, where another son, named Jacob for his father, was born in 1763. Jacob Garrard, Sr. is said to have been killed in North Carolina during the American Revolution.
Anthony Garrard, born September 6, 1756, married Elizabeth Green in Caswell County, North Carolina, around 1811, and it is from these two people that I descend. Anthony and his family later moved to Georgia, where he had received land from his service in the Revolutionary War. It was in Wilkes County that Anthony died in 1807.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The last stop on our Mississippi Delta tour was the town of Greenville, located on the Mississippi River. Although Greenville is still an important river port located about halfway between Memphis and New Orleans, one can only imagine the river traffic it once saw when cotton was still "king."
The historical marker pictured here stands in front of the building that housed the former headquarters of the Delta Democrat Times, Greenville's newspaper. Listed now on the National Register of Historic Places, this building was memorialized in "Where Main Street Meets the River," the memoirs of the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, Hodding Carter.
Pictured below is the Greenville Inn & Suites, a small boutique-type hotel, located at 211 South Walnut Street, where we stayed on the last night of our trip. The hotel is located near the foot of the levee where Main Street begins and was once the river port's U. S. Customs House. This historic building is worthy of its own story, one that I plan to write in another post.
From the hotel, we could walk anywhere that we chose in downtown Greenville, including the casino riverboats docked on the other side of the levee. Not being casino-goers, we decided instead to take a walking tour of Greenville's Historic Main Street. Before we started up Main Street, we walked to an area of blues clubs on Walnut Street just a few blocks from our hotel. Finding that most of the clubs were not yet open, we took the opportunity to photograph stars, imbedded in the sidewalks with the names of well-known Delta Blues musicians, before we headed back toward Main Street.
Greenville is the county seat of Washington County, and the historic courthouse can be seen below. The courthouse would have been a very long walk from the hotel, so I snapped a photo of it as we were driving into town earlier in the afternoon. As the Mississippi Department of Archives and History marker pictured below states, the courthouse was built in 1891 in the Richardson Romanesque style of architecture.
Another marker stands on the courthouse lawn marking the location of the Courthouse Arboretum. It tells the story of how Dr. Orville Blanton, son of Harriet Blanton Theobald, "The Mother of Greenville," planted a garden of native trees there in 1895. Interestingly, the Greenville Garden Club is recognized as the first of such clubs in the State of Mississippi.
Located on Main Street, just a few blocks from our hotel, was the historic Hebrew Union Congregation, pictured below. According to the marker, the congregation was organized in 1880, and was once the state's largest Jewish temple. Worshipping there over the years were two of Greenville's mayors, its first merchant, public officials, and many of the city's leaders in education, law, literature, business and civic affairs.
Greenville, Mississippi, like many other old, historic cities that line the banks of the Mississippi River, was a melting pot of emigrants who arrived at their destinations on riverboats carrying passengers from their ports of entry into the United States. Early settlers in the Mississippi Territory often arrived first in the Port of New Orleans and embarked on the long journey up river, where many of them settled in Natchez, Vicksburg, and Greenville. A large number of these European settlers already embraced the Catholic faith, and in 1858, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was organized in its present location at 504 Main Street.
In 1907, the Gothic Revival styled church, pictured above, was built. As the historical marker below states, the building was designed and financed by Father P. J. Korstenbroek, who served as the parish's priest for 33 years. Later, Father Korstenbroek was immortalized by one of Greenville's better citizens, William Alexander Percy, in his well-known work, Lanterns on the Levee. The marker also states that many of the stained glass windows in the church came from the Munich studio of Emil Frei.
After our walk down Greenville's Main Street, we drove out to the Chinese Cemetery, where I took a picture for my blog about Mississippi cemeteries, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
The next day, as we drove across the Mississippi River Bridge, headed for Lake Village, Arkansas, I couldn't help but think of the Great Flood of 1927 that took so many lives of those who lived in or near the town of Greenville. The impact of that flood, similar in many ways to the flooding of the Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Katrina, resulted in the loss of much property and the lives of many people.
But our walk down Greenville's Walnut Street and Main Street the afternoon before had reminded us that in spite of the toll that history sometimes takes, this small Mississippi Delta town's rich and diverse cultural heritage has survived it all.