What Rises from the Pee Dee Wins Awards
August 25, 2018
The story of what happens in the life of a young man caught off-guard less than a decade after his Irish family landed in the colonies.
You may be asking: what rises from the Pee Dee? Well, you would just need to read the book for the full impact, but that which rises is not pretty, and also downright creepy. What could entice a person to read this historical novel? Please review a sample of some of the scenes.
If you knew the sad tale of her life, it would be easy to feel sorry for Hattie Mae Crumpter. Hattie Mae had such an internal store of gumption, that your pity would be wasted.
Hattie Mae, a serving maid at the Blue Boar Inn, was a young woman that John McBride and his comrade, Reason Martins, would cajole into doing some creative spy-work for the Patriot cause in Guilford County, North Carolina, and spy-work she did…
* * *
“When called out into service the Regiment of Militia, called Minutemen, repeatedly went down into Randolph, Moore’s End, and other places down the country and sometimes upon the Yadkin River, and frequently about the home to extend said protection of the Whig inhabitants. I have served under his command.”
–John McBride, in a testimony for Major John McDonnell’s pension.
* * *
When the British were attacked they had to turn 180 degrees to fire back on the schooner. The Rattlesnake, which had been slithering down the Stono River, fired back. It hissed a rain of hot lead and the British and Hessians were repulsed, their losses great.
* * *
After the threatening and bloody men had left, Dr. Francis McBride got a clean bottle of whiskey and poured himself a tall drink. When the drink had its effect, he went to retrieve his wife from the hiding cupboard. He announced, “I saw some signs that the man I was just forced to operate on was a Loyalist. I am starting to even think he was a British officer.”
* * *
As a British unit wandered about looking for a good place to cross Moore’s Creek, they lucked upon a wandering vagabond. They could tell he was well-versed in the lay of the land. The vagabond’s clothing was blousy and mismatched, the pants legs tattered. His black hair was tucked under an oversized, dented and battered bill cap. They asked the vagabond directions. He seemed reluctant. His speech was halting and hard to understand. He was frightened, for sure. A slave on the run! This was what underlings whispered to their superior officer. When they convinced the vagabond that they meant no harm, he gave them directions, accompanied by wild gestures, then, he scampered into the woods and disappeared. The slave had told the band of Scotsmen, marching for the Crown, that Moore’s Creek Bridge was the only safe place to cross. All other crossings were being guarded by large groups of Patriot soldiers.
The Scotsmen soon found out that Patriot soldiers were hiding in wait at that very bridge and ambushed them. The slave—was he really a slave or a Patriot plant in a clever disguise? Did he have any idea the soldiers were waiting to ambush at the bridge? Was it a set-up, or was it all an eerie coincidence?
* * *
Poor, disliked, Major General Baron Johann DeKalb would give up his life for the American Colonies in a gruesome way. He led bayonet charge after bayonet charge against the British Royal North Carolina Regiment. He received a horrible saber cut to his head and his horse was shot out from under him. Still, he continued. On his last charge, he went down as his bayonet and bullet wounds weakened him—he was in bad shape but still alive when an odd event commenced. Britain’s Lord Cornwallis took DeKalb to his own personal physician in an effort to save him. How unusual for the enemy commander to try to save his foe’s life—perhaps it was some unwritten code of officers having mutual respect.
* * *
So here they came by the hundreds, wonderful fighters…known from then on as Overmountain Men. They swarmed over the western mountains of North Carolina, then Tennessee, to participate in the fighting. They joined Patriots from Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. After these groups of militiamen had done serious damage to the British and Loyalist at The Battle of King’s Mountain, the Patriots disbanded and went back over the Blue Ridge Mountains to their homes again.
* * *
The Patriot militiamen who had arrived at Tarrant’s Tavern were being fortified with pails of rum to combat the awful cold and damp. When Bloody Ban Tarleton arrived with Loyalists at the Tavern area, Captain Salathiel Martin ordered the rum-filled Patriots to stand ground—instead the Patriots ran off with their beloved buckets of rum clutched to their mid-sections.
* * *
Major General Nathaneal Greene stopped at Steele’s Tavern in Salisbury. He told a friend that he encountered there that he was alone, tired, hungry, and penniless. The inn owner, Mrs. Steele overheard this and brought him a hearty country breakfast and two bags of coins.
These two bags of chickenfeed-change were, at the moment, the entire military chest of the Continental Army’s Southern Department.
* * *
“Surrender or be blown up by a large gun!” This was the threat directed at the Loyalists. “We had no cannon, so we had cut a pine log, blackened it, and put wheels on it to represent a cannon. We succeeded and took the enemy without firing a gun. We built a house to confine them.” —a Patriot pensioner describes the Battle of Rugeley Mills.
* * *
These are just some of the odd occurrences described in It Rises from the Pee Dee. It is the story of what happens in the life of a young man caught off-guard less than a decade after his Irish family landed in the colonies—he enlists in the North Carolina Regiment of Militia as a ranger, scout, and spy. The American Revolution had just arrived in the Carolinas. What will happen to John McBride and his friend, Reason Martins, as they weave their dangerous spy craft and also serve as sensitive-message couriers for their officers? Every stealthy move they make tempts death at the hands of British, Loyalists, or native peoples.
On August 13, It Rises From The Pee Dee received the First Place Gold Medal Award in Global eBook Awards, 2018, in the category Historical Fiction Literature, 1500-1940.
Other books by this author that have won Global eBook Awards are (2011) two Silver Awards, Illustration and Short Fiction for the same volume, Blade Chatter, (2012) Gold, for Multiple Exposures, a volume of poetry, (2016) Bronze, for Dark Continent Continental, Mystery-Thriller, and (2017) Bronze, for Quite Curious, Short Fiction (based on unexplained mysteries).
It Rises From The Pee Dee also won a first place award in the East Texas Writers Guild First Chapter Awards, 2016. Thank you, readers.
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