TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Columns
History/Opinion


Counties
Texas Counties


Texas Towns
A - Z

Texas | 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 Books
Columns
East Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Cotton
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved