Charlotte Corbin Barnes
the author of
The Tom Dooley Files
Dooley! – A New Novel That Doesn’t Fiddle Around Telling The Truth Behind the Legend of Tom Dooley.
≈ Release Date Winter 2017 ≈
My new novel Dooley! is now well underway. While it took me nearly three decades to finally complete the research phase for The Tom Dooley Files, writing Dooley! is going much faster. Rather than my voice, the person searching for the truth this time is a reporter covering Tom’s trial and hanging. His article subsequently runs in the New York Herald the day following Tom’s May 1, 1868 hanging.
Dooley! begins on a dark night in the spring of 1863. A large paddlewheel steamboat pushing a barge loaded with hay bales is making its way down the Mississippi River toward Vicksburg. Hiding amongst the bales are six reporters representing various newspapers trying to make their way to Sherman’s camp to cover the siege at Vicksburg. Suddenly, they’re fired upon by Confederate troops, killing the steamboat pilot, setting the bales ablaze and forcing them to abandon ship. Consequently, they are taken prisoner by the Rebels. Two of the reporters with Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune wind up twenty months later at Salisbury Prison in North Carolina. In December of 1864, a guard who was a member of the Red Strings, an underground Unionist movement, helps them escape. They slowly make their way westward in freezing temperatures with few clothes on their backs. Once in Wilkes County, North Carolina, they pass through Happy Valley where Tom Dooley lives. There, they are assisted by a young girl named Lucy. As a result of Lucy’s help, they’re able to make their way toward the northern lines where they hookup with Dan Ellis. Within two weeks the reporters are meeting with President Lincoln discussing the worsening conditions of the POW camps caused by the refusal to exchange prisoners. Stay tuned to learn what happens when one of the reporters gets sent to Statesville, NC to cover the hanging of Tom Dooley!