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To Live Forever Tour Stop: The Battle of Raymond

natchez trace, battle of raymond

Lots of Civil War battles were fought along the Natchez Trace. Including the Battle of Raymond, just south of Jackson, Mississippi. When I parted the scrub and stepped onto the battlefield, I didn’t hear Union and Confederate cannon fire, didn’t watch the Southern army fail to repel US Grant’s Yankee troops.

I was interested in a different war. The one the United States lost (as any Canadian will tell you.)

The Natchez Trace was used as a supply line in the Southern theater during the War of 1812. I remember reading about Andrew Jackson‘s brazen defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. I never heard about the crushing losses along the northern border. The one we share with Canada.

The War of 1812 gave me a forgotten piece of Trace history to highlight.

natchez trace, battle of raymond

I took the liberties of a novelist and moved the Raymond Battlefield about 75 miles north, to Kosciusko. When Merry and Em heard cannon fire, it was possible that it was a War of 1812 muster. They still occur along the Natchez Trace today. The tactics. The uniforms. The weaponry. All would have been familiar to Meriwether Lewis, who died a short three years before.

Click here to see the best photos from Day 13 of my Natchez Trace walk: Andra Watkins Tumblr

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You know you can read faster than I can walk. To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

Thanks for your great questions, Dear Readers. Keep them coming to mystories(at)andrawatkins(d0t)com.

38 Comments Post a comment
  1. Andra, I love your Tumblog. Your photos are great and evoke all that you see, from the tiny details to the grand views…to the mysterious curved dirt road which leads off into the trees.

    Thinking of you every day. Mentally urging you on.

    March 14, 2014
  2. All of Mississippi is the middle of nowhere! (Now they will be mad at me.) I have driven through Mississippi once. It was … odd.

    March 14, 2014
  3. A bit of history to go with this mystery of the muster! Thanks. I was wondering about the details of the enactment.

    March 14, 2014
    • This whole scene was initially very different, Penny. I rewrote it several times to arrive at what I felt was right.

      March 14, 2014
  4. I really liked the video clip – Yes, I am in Mississippi. In.The.Middle.of.Nowhere!

    March 14, 2014
  5. I love the questions readers ask!!! And I love how much history you know about and record in your writing.

    March 14, 2014
    • I didn’t want to pound people over the head with it in the story. I hoped for layers. Some people get the layers, and some don’t.

      March 14, 2014
  6. Yes, we had to sing that blasted song all through grade school — IN CANADA!!! What were we thinking? Yes, we’re quite proud of our little 200 year old victory.

    March 14, 2014
  7. It would be well for history teachers to take note of your walk and your style; they could make class so much more fun for their students! 🙂 Ah, that following shadow . . . in Nowhere.

    March 14, 2014
    • I’m glad you got that from the shadow pic, Karen. I was going for that.

      March 14, 2014
    • Well, I’m such a literal sort; symbolism is frequently lost on me, but that jumped right out! 🙂

      March 14, 2014
  8. Of all the states in our United States, Mississippi is the most fun to spell.

    March 14, 2014
    • It is. I hope I haven’t misspelled it, but I probably did once or twice.

      March 14, 2014
  9. omtatjuan #

    Millions of rounds were fired.. Lead rounds. Have you found any in your journey?

    March 14, 2014
    • I’ve found lots of things, but no lead rounds. Did your video question today.

      March 14, 2014
      • omtatjuan #

        Cool… Hey if you find an extra one could you send it to me… Sounds weird but think of the history of that round.. Great writing inspiration… Have fun!

        March 14, 2014
  10. I appreciate the history of the muster. I know there are civil war enactments but I didn’t know folks did the war of 1812, and certainly wouldn’t have expected a battle there. Had no notion of the Trace as a supply line, but of course that’s exactly what it was! (Most American’s who even know there was a war of 1812 think it must have taken place in Russia because of Tchaikovsky. Go Canada!)

    March 14, 2014
  11. tarakianwarrior #

    I’m looking forward to reading your next novel and seeing how Merry and Em continue their journey…I’m assuming Merry is in it. You had me on the edge of my seat throughout the book Andra. There are some books that I’ve read wherein the characters didn’t grab me, All of your characters in your book grabbed me (and some of them, the Judge, I wanted to kick in the nuts…seriously). Thank you for writing this book and walking the Trace. It’s alive.

    March 14, 2014
    • I am excited about the next one. 🙂 Thanks for saying these things, Lori. I’ve got to get a bookstore in Boise so I can meet you.

      March 14, 2014
  12. Oooh. Cool! Canadian content. Who knew?

    March 14, 2014
    • I met Canadians yesterday, too. Driving the Trace from South to North.

      March 14, 2014
  13. That you can still smile through your videos this many days in, with that many blisters… Wow!

    March 14, 2014
  14. At first I thought you were referring to the ROY-mond Battle and wondered what Roy had done now. Hee,hee. On a serious note, I love all the facts you give us and how you tie them in to your story. Happy Feet!

    March 14, 2014
    • I hoped readers would enjoy an inside peek. Thanks, Maria.

      March 14, 2014
  15. i love the pics and the history both )

    March 14, 2014
  16. Amazing how you get taught what’s regional. I didn’t know there WAS a Southern theater in the War of 1812 until a few years ago when I was researching some stuff for a short story set in the mountains of Upstate New York and along Lake Champlain.

    March 14, 2014
  17. Most Americans know nothing of the War of 1812. And they know even less about Mississippi. I am enjoying the trip along with you, Andra. I still have family living in Vardaman–Sweet Potato Capital of the World. 🙂 Woo-hoo!

    March 15, 2014
  18. One time when my husband had to spell out Tallahassee for a clerk, he said, “Good thing it’s not in Mississippi.” Sometimes the places in the middle of nowhere are the most beautiful 🙂 I’m enjoying your walk, Andra, albeit vicariously.

    March 15, 2014

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