TexasEscapes.com Texas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1600 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
  Texas : Features : Columns : All Things Historical

KAISER'S BURNOUT and
Other Big Thicket Adventures

by Archie P. McDonald, PhD
Archie McDonald, PhD

The Big Thicket has provided southeast Texans with a bucket full of political controversy.

That statement likely will remind greybeards of the struggles of Maxine Johnston, Archer Fulingim, Pete Gunter, even Senator Ralph Yarborough, and many others to preserve this natural wonder from those who, in their view, were exploiters and despoilers.

But a previous political controversy is the subject of this tale. The teller is Francis Abernethy, who knows more than most about the flora, fauna, and folklore of the Thicket. Ab presented Dean Tevis' "The Battle At Bad Luck Creek" in his Tales From The Big Thicket, published by the University of Texas Press. It is a story about political dissent and intolerance of such by the faithful during the American Civil War. Ab's introduction to the article weaves several legends of this confrontation. Confederate Texans, as with all embattled people, were in no mood to suffer some residents of the Thicket who would not volunteer for Confederate military service or even allow themselves to be drafted. Known as Jayhawkers, they hid out in the Thicket when government types showed up. Since this was home ground, they made themselves impossible to find in the tighteye country.

If they ran out of staples, they robbed bee hives and stashed the honey in a pine grove, and helpers would take the honey and leave needed supplies. A town located there, says Ab, is still known as Honey Island. Captain Charlie Bullock captured a band of Jayhawkers and locked them up in Woodville in a wooden shack, doubtless the only kind available. One of them, Warren Collins, had his pocket knife hidden in his boot. So while the guards were distracted, Jayhawkers whittled away on their wooden jail until they had a hole through which they could escape. Even Collins, evidently the chief distractor, escaped during the confusion that resulted when the absence of the others was discovered.

And the Burnout?

This occurred when Captain James Kaiser set fire to a canebrake to flush out Jayhawkers. The heat was so intense that the cane never grew back, and its ugly scar became a perpetual witness to the high emotional temperature of those who fought, and those who refused to fight, for the Confederacy.


All Things Historical

December 10-16, 2000
Published by permission.
A syndicated column in over 40 East Texas newspapers
(Archie P. McDonald is Director of the East Texas Historical Association and author or editor of more than 20 books on Texas)


Area Hotels -Book Here & Save
Beaumont Hotels > Lufkin Hotels > Livingston Hotels >
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 | MEXICO
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 | Corner Stones | Pitted Dates |
Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us
Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2007. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: July 23, 2006