Becky and Jim Drake have
pooled their talents and produced a book, The Battle of
Raymond and Other Collected Stories. The book is scheduled
to go on sale at the Country Fair on May 1st. All proceeds from
the sale of the book, now as well as in the future, will be
donated to Friends of Raymond to help with the purchase of the
battlefield and historic preservation.
Many of the stories have been
published in the Hinds County Gazette during the last ten years.
Jim and Becky took most of the photographs used to illustrate
the stories during the May 8-10, 1998, re-enactment of the
Battle of Raymond and Battle of Jackson. The photographs
beautifully illustrate the real events that happened in Raymond
135 years ago. Other photographs in the book were taken from the
personal library of Mrs. Hermon Adams, the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History, and the Library of Congress.
Art work for the cover page was done by Bob Allen Dunaway,
former art instructor at Hinds Community College and one of
Mississippi's leading watercolor artists.
Attempts to save the Raymond
Battlefield began in 1997 when a group of citizens incorporated
Friends of the Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail. The
objective of the group is to preserve and develop all of the
battlefields associated with Grant's campaign. The "Preservation
through Tourism" effort will include the Port Gibson
Battlefield, the Raymond Battlefield, and hopefully, the
Champion Hill Battlefield. In order for the Campaign Trial to be
successful, it is important that all sites be preserved.
With the idea that Raymond will
be a featured tourist stop on the Campaign Trial, Friends of
Raymond is working toward developing the battlefield property
.The Drakes' book, The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected
Stories, is designed to accommodate tourists who wish to
learn mote about antebellum Raymond and the Battle of Raymond.
The book will also be a keepsake for anyone interested in the
history of Raymond and Civil War history.
While meeting with Friends of
Raymond, Becky commented, "It's always been a dream of
mine to write a book about Raymond and the Civil War years;
however, in the past there was never a real need for the book
and I couldn't stand the thought of dealing with copyright laws.
The 1998 purchase of the battlefield arid the town's inclusion
on the Campaign Trail inspired me to action. I wanted to author
a book that would be interesting to tourists. I've lived in
Raymond for thirty years and know that there has never been a
book on the market for tourists to purchase and take home as a
souvenir. Jim and I hope that The Battle of Raymond and Other
Collected Stories will become a permanent source of revenue for
the Friends of Raymond. Creating the book has been a time
consuming project. Literally speaking, the book took three
months of our lives, but it will be well worth the effort if we
can in any way help to promote our town and the
Friends of Raymond will have a
booth at the Country Fair on May lst. They will be selling the
book, The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected Stories,
as well as other items. They encourage everyone to come by the
booth and visit with the author and support this effort.