The first novel, Novel NO. 1, The ROSE of Brays Bayou, is the first book in the Faith Chronicles by Sidney St. James. It is based on a true story from the actual memoirs given to the author and handwritten by Dilue Rose Harris at the turn of the 20th Century. From these, the following Creative Nonfiction novel had its beginning. This novel is one of three that are on the author’s speaking tour. A great read for Texas History buffs. Follow Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna as he chases the brave women of Texas closer and closer to the Sabine River!
“God Bless the Women of Texas!”— General Thomas Jefferson Rusk
This novel, written in the Creative Nonfiction genre, is factually accurate. As the author, James’ primary goal in writing in this style was to communicate the truthful information, just like a seasoned journalist, but to shape it in such a way that it reads like fiction.
The rush to the Louisiana border was known to the Texans as the Runaway Scrape, the Great Runaway or the Sabine Shoot. Whatever one calls it, the wild exodus was a nightmare of terror and suffering for women and children across the Lone Star State. It was only their burning desire for retribution, which made it possible for them to keep going.
Dilue Rose Harris told her story for the Eagle Lake Headlight in the early 1900s. William Kell gave a copy of the manuscript to Sidney St. James in an edited form. Her story now comes forth and is told through the perspective of a creative nonfiction genre.
Delicate women trudged from day to day until their shoes wore completely out and continued their journey to the east with bare feet, lacerated, and bleeding at almost every step. Their clothes were scant and provided no means of shelter from frequent drenching downpours and bitterly cold winds.— A soldier from the Battle of San Jacinto
Constant exposure to the elements caused measles, whooping cough, and other unknown diseases. Many died from along the Sabine Shoot! One woman and her two children rode a horse that bolted into a swollen bayou and plummeted into the torrent. Horrified refugees on the other bank could only watch as a horse, mother and children swept under, never to be seen again, by the swift current.
The cries of the women were distressing. They raised their hands to Heaven and declared they lost it all. They knew not where to go. Many said they preferred to die on the road rather than die at the hand of the Mexicans or Indians. — Dilue Rose Harris
“I would like to make a very special toast for our Second Anniversary ball. The men of Texas deserved much of the credit, but more was due to the many women across Texas. Armed men facing a foe couldn’t but be brave. But, my friends, the women, with their little children around them, without means of defense or power to resist, faced danger and death with unflinching courage.
God bless the women of Texas!”— General Thomas Jefferson Rusk
Not wishing the women and children to see their homes put to the torch in Gonzales, Texas, Sam Houston led the civilians out of the small community. Then he ordered every roof large enough to shelter a Mexican’s head burned to the ground. Captain John Sharpe and his torch crew stayed behind and burned every building in site to the ground. Houston’s efforts to spare their feelings were in vain. That night, however, they turned and saw the orange glow on the horizon as Gonzales burned to the ground. Everything!
Finally, the women of the Runaway Scrape justifiably regarded themselves as Veterans of the Texas Revolution. They endured dangers and hardships as harsh as those faced by their soldier-husbands. Not as commonly lauded over the last almost two hundred years, their efforts were just as important.
Santa Anna had no secret of his objective. He wanted to drink a cup of coffee from the waters of the Sabine River and on the way, rid Texas of all disloyal foreigners. His campaign ended on April 21, 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto.