TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Features : Columns : All Things Historical

The Devilís Triangle

by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman
In Texas, as in the rest of the Confederacy, the Reconstruction Era between 1865 and 1877 saw little more than a continuation of the Civil War in a new guise. The Union won the first phase of the war that pitted professional armies against each other between 1861 and 1865, but the South won the second phase that developed into guerrilla warfare.

In Texas, terrorist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, operated in at least seventy-seven counties, including much of East Texas. The number of men belonging to such groups were legion.

Returning Confederate veterans organized outlaw gangs that functioned much like the terrorist groups, their goal being to continue the war and to take the battle to Yankee occupiers, native white Unionists, and their allies, the slaves freed by Abraham Lincolnís Emancipation Proclamation.

The proclamation was applied to Texas on June 19, 1865, at Galveston, a day still celebrated as ďJuneteenth

In Texas, the Democratic Party, the party of secession and war, used the terrorist groups to retake power and defeat the process of Reconstruction.

ďThe Devilís Triangle,Ē a new book by James M. Smallwood, Kenneth W. Howell and Carol C. Taylor, provides a fascinating look at this turbulent era.

Ben Bickerstaff, a Confederate soldier who spent time in a Union prison camp, founded terrorist Klan groups in at least two northern East Texas counties and led a gang of raiders who, at times, numbered up to 500 men.

He joined the ranks of guerrilla fighters like Cullen Baker and Bob Lee and, with their gangs often riding together, they brought chaos and death to the ďDevilís Triangle,Ē the northern East Texas region where they created one disaster after another.

The incessant violence spelled the defeat of Reconstruction policies that might have transformed the South into a progressive region.

Instead, the racist, violent South remained the nationís number one political, social and economic problem for the next hundred years.

ďThe Devilís TriangleĒ can be purchased from the East Texas Historical Association in Nacogdoches at 936-468-2407 or via e-mail from amcdonald@sfasu.edu. Proceeds from the bookís sales will help fund new East Texas books.
All Things Historical
September 17, 2007 Column.
Published with permission
A weekly column syndicated in 70 East Texas newspapers

Distributed by the East Texas Historical Association. Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 30 books about East Texas.

More Texas | TE Online Magazine | Features | Texas Books | Columns | All Things Historical |

Bob Bowman's East Texas
A timely gift for any East Texan. Sample a little of East Texas here, a little there--and come away with a good helping of stories you might not know if you didnít read this book.
Order Here
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: September 17, 2007