Follow The River, is a two-part, sweeping historical
novel set in east-central Alabama, spanning a period of nearly a century. Book One is presented here, replete with true-to-life historical detail, supported by a long list of interesting characters, many of whom are deeply developed. A story of life, love,
tragedy and death along the banks of the storied Tallapoosa River. From its upper reaches, above the site of a noted battle in the early Indian wars, Horseshoe Bend, down to a place called Okfuskee, capitol of the Upper Creek Confederacy. Southwestward, toward
Talisi-Town, then, nearby, Tuckabachi, capitol of the Lower Creeks. Once the largest city on the North American continent, Tuckabachi lay on both sides of the river, running downstream toward what eventually became Macon County. While going far beyond, the
central focus of Follow The River is a ferry service, established across the river in the 1830s by a man named William Sanders. Building on his early life, a move to Alabama from North Carolina, Sanders relentlessly pursued his dream of a ferry crossing the
Tallapoosa, just downstream from perhaps the most noted geographic landmark in the entire area, Cherokee Bluffs. Tallapoosa County was a new entity at the time, having just been established by the Alabama legislature in 1832. It was comprised of land newly-wrested
from the Creeks, who were banished to Oklahoma Territory. Through a succession of ferry owners, the hot-button issue of slavery is explored. Travel along with members of the Sanders family as they purchase several slaves at an auction on Market Street in Montgomery,
including one with only half his right foot. The slaves become an integral part of the story. Ranging at times far away from the river and Alabama, parts of the Civil War are addressed. One battle in Henrico County, Virginia is presented in vivid, first-person
detail through the eyes of a man named James Asbury Burson, the author's great grandfather. There, on the early morning of October 7, 1864, he was wounded twice in the same leg, and sent to a Confederate hospital called Howard's Grove in Richmond for treatment.
Many horrors of the War are brought to life in that place. Book Two will delve deeper into the war, especially Sherman's March To The Sea in 1864. For those who enjoy reading about nineteenth century life and adventure in the American south, Book One of Follow
The River presents an unforgettable journey through several decades during that remarkable period in our history. A Few Words From The Author The general idea of a book along the lines of Follow The River had been building off and on with me for several years.
I have an abiding interest in the area around what is today the location of Martin Dam, northeast of Montgomery, on the Tallapoosa River. My historical family members lived and prospered there for many years, beginning in 1853. Once I started writing, the
story just exploded on me, and there was no practical way to publish it in one volume. I love historical fiction, making the characters come to life as revenant beings, and speak as if they were still with us today. In one of my earlier books, Red Hill - A
Novel Of Alabama, I brought my great great grandparents, David Lawson and Celia Ann McInish Burson "back to life," so to speak. That effort only served to whet my appetite. I deal with them in greater depth in this, Book One, and even more so in what will
eventually be published as Book Two of Follow The River. With this book, the same depth of view is applied to my great grandparents, James Asbury and Martha Jane Vinyard Burson. Considering both books One and Two, I have penned a virtual biography on James
A. Burson, although some of it, by necessity, is lightly-documented fiction. Enjoy a step-back in time, when America was still a new and emerging nation, filled with intrepid, adventurous people, as we Follow The River. Michael K. Burson February 2016