This is what 15 years of research looks like…
… But I have to confess that until recently it wasn’t quite so organized. So why is this important? Well, let me explain…
If you read my recent release, Reaping Trouble (The Lynlee Lincoln Series Book 4) you might have read the following Trivia from Olivia spot:
Many of you know that my husband, Danny Sessums, is a historian. We’re in the process of working towards publication of his research thesis about Granbury’s Texas Infantry Brigade during the U.S. Civil War (or as he calls it, The War of Northern Aggression—what can I say? He’s a Southerner through and through.)
Eight regiments of approximately 11, 000 men from Texas made up what would become Granbury’s brigade. They would, for the most part, begin their service as somewhat mediocre organizations but would eventually be forged into the “premier brigade in the finest division of the Army of Tennessee.”
After years of fighting, of dying side by side, these brothers-in-arms finally arrived at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. Granbury’s men had marched eighteen miles in just over six hours to reach the field and were given a few moments to recover their breath before engaging. Instead of resting, some of the men began to pull out scraps of paper and pencils and writing “This is the body of . . .” then pinning the notes to their lapels.
These Confederates were seasoned soldiers, and as they looked out across the flat land over which they were expected to attack, they knew their chances of survival were almost none. In the end, the division commander Patrick Cleburne as well as the Brigadier Hiram Granbury would lay dead. In addition, every field commander and every officer save one would be killed, wounded or missing. One survivor recounted that over fifty-two percent of the brigade was lost in a single bayonet assault.
Although the brigade was all but decimated, the remaining men would continue until April 1865, when they received the order to “stack arms.” At the start of the war, their numbers had been in excess of 11,000, but at their official surrender, the rolls would list only about 345 men.
The paymaster distributed to them one Mexican silver dollar and a US. Dime as their final payment, then the men began their long journey home, some of them boarding trains heading west. It was noted that some of the engineers appeared intoxicated, but one must imagine that the men were so elated to head home that they would have overlooked even that.
So it was, that just northeast of Knoxville and near Strawberry Fields, the lead engine descended into a valley and picked up such speed that it jumped the tracks. The rear train ran into the back of it, causing a terrible accident which claimed the lives of fifteen more of the men and wounded over thirty.
The story of the men of Granbury’s is truly one of the most heartbreaking I have ever heard, and no matter how many times my husband talks about “his boys,” I always find myself shedding tears for them.
I know this was a longer bit of “trivia” for you, but I’m sure you can see why it is one that is so near and dear to my heart.
And now I’m so proud to announce that Danny and I are going to be working together to bring his research to print. He’s worked very hard all of these years to keep the boys of Granbury’s alive and their story, and his, deserve to be told. So if any of you are super seriously into history like I am or if you know someone who is, then you’ll want to keep an eye on Danny.
Check him out here: