It isn't often that our history authors make personal contact with descendants of the individuals they research.
So imagine Moss Bluff Rebel: A Texas Pioneer in the Civil War author Phil Caudill's surprise when he heard recently from the great-great grandson of Texas pioneer cattle drover turned reluctant Civil War commanding officer William Berry Duncan.
In his book (Texas A&M University Press, 2009), Caudill draws from Duncan's previously untapped diaries and letters written by candlelight on the Gulf Coast cattle trail to New Orleans, in Confederate Army camps, and on his southeast Texas farm after the war, to paint a picture of Texas life the Republic's early citizens. Caudill's carefully crafted narrative reveals Duncan's wartime emotions and his postwar struggle to reinvent the lifestyle he knew before the war.
John Urban had the following to say:
". . . enjoyable and informative. . . my wife and I were thoroughly captivated by your story and style of writing. We feel that because of your writing, we were able to get a lot of insight into my family."
For more on Moss Bluff Rebel, visit the author's Web site.