By Jeff Salter
This week, 152 years ago, a local skirmish likely unknown to many outside Kentucky occurred hardly two miles from where I live. The Battle of Dutton’s Hill occurred on Mar. 30, 1863 on and around a knoll which is now near the junior high school.
One or two Confederate soldiers – either escaped the bloody aftermath of the Union victory here, or possibly abandoned or forgotten by their comrades – made their way to the cabin of elderly William Bishop and his young second wife, Mary Taylor Bishop, Nancy Catherine Bishop – my wife’s great-grandmother – was a child in that cabin.
In Yankee-Occupied Pulaski County, it would have been treason to harbor an enemy fugitive, but the Bishops took in the mortally wounded Reb and did what they could to ease his suffering. He died during the night and his body was concealed/covered in the woods (some relatives say) or buried shallow in the frozen ground of that harsh winter.
The burial spot of that unnamed Reb is some 600 feet from where I sit as I’m writing this. It was the beginning of Bishop Cemetery, which later came to include family, friends, and neighbors of the Bishop Family and now numbers several hundred graves and sites.
I guess you can see why this true story of the kindness my wife’s ancestors inspired me to write my novel, “Hid Wounded Reb.”
It was my second novel drafted and became my fifth to be published.
It’s available for $4.99 in digital formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other sites. In additional to the fictionalized story – using characters, dialog, and correspondence I fabricated – this book has, as end notes, some actual accounts of the battle and many other interesting history.
Cold secrets are finally warming up… and Kelly can feel the heat.
Kelly is haunted by the mysterious involvement of her landlord’s ancestor with a wounded soldier in 1863, while her boyfriend researches the unsolved murder of an unidentified horseman in that same Kentucky community a few years after the Civil War. As Kelly and Mitch assist each other’s research, tantalizing discoveries seem to connect their subjects.
Kelly’s initial assignment is to research the cemetery which started 152 years ago with the death of a battle-wounded Rebel hidden briefly in the Butler family cabin. But the actual facts are clouded with hazy family legends, including possible involvement of a second soldier — the dead man’s cavalry buddy. Mitch’s belated study of the stranger murdered at the church yard has also hit baffling snags.
When surprising old documents surface and rekindle fading memories, the uncovered secrets could help solve both cold cases. But those investigations are hampered when Kelly harbors a terrified girl (with her own complicated secrets) who brings danger close behind.
The exciting prequel to “Called to Arms Again”