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Painting and Novel About Milliken's Bend

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  • Painting and Novel About Milliken's Bend

    With Might & Main, my historical novel about the 17th Texas Infantry campaigning in Louisiana before and during the Red River Campaign is now for sale on Amazon.
    Click image for larger version

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    The cover image of With Might & Main is a remarkable small painting that is also an unusual primary source. The painting is a rendition of the Battle of Milliken’s Bend, a small engagement, almost lost to history. Milliken’s Bend was a landing on the west side of the Mississippi River, a few miles upriver of Vicksburg. There, on June 7, 1863, while the siege of Vicksburg was ongoing, an all-Texan force of Confederates assaulted a similar-sized garrison of Union soldiers who had fortified a section of flood control levees.

    The painting is the work of a 19-year-old Texas soldier, Private David Batey, who was wounded in the hip during the Texans’ attack. After he fell, he sat and watched the hand-to-hand fighting on top of the levee. After the battle, he was taken to a field hospital where he created the painting while a patient. He died in the field hospital of his battle wound, probably from infection, which is a slow and painful way to go. Someone saved his painting and somehow it was returned to his family.

    While the painting is primitive, it also is chock-full of clearly defined details. Batey portrays many of the Rebel soldiers wearing red shirts and suspenders rather than gray jackets. Muskets are upended being swung as clubs. There are ‘bombs bursting in air’ and billowing smoke from two steamboats behind the levee in the river. A Confederate soldier is waving a captured Union flag. The bloody dead and wounded litter the ground. All in all, the image is a fairly spectacular painting of the small vicious battle at a location that has since been covered over by a course change of the Mississippi River. You can’t walk the ground or climb the levee where 1,400 white Texans and a like number of black freedmen from Louisiana went at each with ‘hammer and tongs’ in the first battle for all of them. But you can look at the battle in color from the viewpoint of gallant Private Batey and imagine being there.

    Please check out With Might & Main on Amazon as either a Kindle ebook or paperback.Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Phil McBride; 09-15-2019, 12:57 PM.
    Phil McBride
    Author:
    Whittled Away-A Civil War Novel of the Alamo Rifles
    Tangled Honor 1862: A Novel of the 5th Texas Infantry
    Redeeming Honor 1863: The 5th Texas Gettysburg and Chickamauga
    Defiant Honor 1864: The 5th Texas at the Wilderness and the 22nd USCT at New Market Heights
    Link to My Blog and My Books on Amazon:
    Blog: http://mcbridenovels.blogspot.com/http://www.amazon.com/Philip-McBride...ne_cont_book_1
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