Crossing the Trinity River Prairies Where Cold and Flooded Waters Caused Many Lives to be Lost – 1836
In my recently released creative non-fiction novel, The Rose of Bray’s Bayou, Dilue Rose Harris and thousands of other elderly men, women, and children rush across the “wilderness” trying to reach the Sabine River before Santa Anna and his army catch up to them and kill them all! Read More
This blog is being written four days before Thanksgiving Day while I am lying here with a Continuous Passive Motion machine attached to my leg twice a day for about five hours. I just had my knee replacement done and I am not having a very pleasant experience to say the least.
Even though we are at least four days away from the official Thursday for Thanksgiving, I am bored, to say the least, as the CPM machine goes up and down. I stare out the back window at our Koi pond and begin to look forward to all that turkey in a few days.
Thanksgiving dinner is getting closer as another day takes us to within three days of the most over-the-top meals of any single day at one sitting of the entire year! But, no matter the grandeur of our Thanksgiving meal within days, I sit here day after day, not able to get out of bed and ride this cotton-pickin’ CPM machine again and again giving more than just one day, but several days, to be thankful for my health and my family’s health.
I’m going to my brother’s home in Burnet, Texas for our family gathering. My oldest brother is still misplaced from Hurricane Harvey and lives in a hotel in Houston. He and his wife will be dining with all of us. After all, for me, the heart of my Thanksgiving holiday isn’t going to be parades or eating lavish meals. It is about sharing a day with the family, laughing and telling old memories and all patting each other on the back and being thankful I went through surgery without a hitch and my brother’s family from Houston was blessed to have survived the terrible storm, although losing his home and my nephew reaching another milestone in his down syndrome life celebrating his 30th birthday. Truly, there is so much to be thankful about!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Every day is considered thanksgiving to me as each one passes, but not without me looking to the heavens and being thankful to God for his many blessings. Oh, and yes, after returning in the evening, I will jump back up on that ole CPM machine and ride, ride, ride!
To kick off a complete revision of my website incorporating many new 2nd editions, one of my favorites, The Yellow Rose has been refreshed with many points throughout with more exciting creative non-fiction style of narrative.
The one subject matter that continued in my mind throughout was what many Texans thought, was Sam Houston a coward.
During the writing of THE YELLOW ROSE – The Runaway Scrape, my studies of Texas history at Texas A&M University taught me that Sam Houston was not a coward. At least, shame on me if I dare write that he was, right? If I had, I would not have scored as high as I did taking history as one of my many chosen minors.
One hundred and seventy-eight years ago, General Sam Houston fled from a large army commanded by General Antonio de Padua Maria Severino Lopez de Santa Anna y Perez. The government of Texas, the Texian soldiers, and the people of Texas were shouting that he was a coward the entire time he fled in the direction of the Sabine River. A lot of thought and research goes into writing creative historical nonfiction. I had to ask myself, “Was the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto a result of military genius or was General Houston’s victory an accident?
One piece after another in the puzzle in answering this question continued to pop up in my writing of the women and children trying to reach the Sabine ahead of Santa Anna. When I started writing this third novel in the Faith Chronicles, I must be honest, I didn’t know how to characterize Sam Houston whatsoever. But after a comprehensive study of his escape and the adversities he faced, I began to really understand what Sam Houston experienced those several weeks during the runaway scrape.
General Sam Houston lacked the support from most of the Texas people. Many did not want to fight. Many deserted. Many did not follow orders (they were, after all, volunteers). Sam Houston only had seven hundred men, and just a few days before the Battle of San Jacinto, one of his not so ardent supporters left Houston’s army and took four hundred men with him!
I firmly believe that it was fate and not military genius, with later planning on Houston’s part, that led to the success of the Battle of San Jacinto. I need to paint a picture for you here. How many are familiar with the Treaty Oak in Austin, Texas? How many are familiar with the numerous tanker trucks full of spring water trucked in from west Texas that parked under the tree and intravenously fed the water to the poisoned oak under the supervision of Warren Struss, Parks and Recreaton Director of Austin. Did you ever stand under the massive oak and stare at its majestic and magnificent arms reaching out? I did!
A tree just like this stood outside Tomball, Texas in a small community called New Kentucky. Sam Houston and his army pulled up to the tree and two massive arms of the tree were held up as if two hands were pointing in two different directions. One of the arms pointed to the east leading by the Trinity and to the Sabine River where US forces would be waiting for him to help, if he were to get that far. The other long drawn out arm of the oak tree pointed in the direction of Harrisburgh. Where does fate come into the equation? Sam Houston, with his officers stood under the tree, backed up a few steps, and looked at the massive oak. “Men, this old oak tree has been standing here for two hundred years. It continues to stand here proud!” One of the arms is longer and larger than the other and pointing in the direction of Harrisburg. “Men, we go thataway!” One of the volunteers turned and faced his fellow Texian. “Do you believe that? The General just looked at that tree, asked himself “whichaway’ and decided to go to Harrisburgh, just because one of those limbs were larger than the other.
This tree, which not much is written, has been referred to as the Whichaway Tree in history writings. It still stands today outside of Tomball, Texas and is every bit as majestic as it was one hundred and eighty years ago.
I honestly believe that Sam Houston deserves the credit for the Battle of San Jacinto as being one of the top ten most decisive battles in the world’s history. Some have it in the eight position.
Another whodunnit from St. James!
Even the passage of the light slowed, and the sounds became as if they were muffled from a heavy blanket over someone’s face. Aside from the beating of his heart, not one muscle moved. The pounding inside beat a rhythm to the words of his execution, the cold steel from the blunt end of a heavy steel hammer had killed his nephew. Richard Dawson became white as chalk. His eyes and mouth were frozen wide open in an expression of stunned surprise. His mind was sent spinning, unable to comprehend or process the images before him.
The fifth novel in the Gideon Detective Series introducing the sexy and smart Bridget Flynn.
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