Friday, February 3, 2012

Star-Telegram News Article

The following was posted on the Bud Kennedy Column, Fort Worth Star-Telegram 
Mobs don't lynch people - 'tensions of the times' lynch people

Mobs don't lynch people - 'tensions of the times' lynch people

Posted Thursday, Feb. 02, 2012
By Bud Kennedy

"It remains the worst mob violence in American history: 14 men lynched, all here in North Texas.
Now, 150 years later, a Rebel-flag-waving movie will tell the mob's "side of the story."
Even by Civil War standards, the Great Hanging is an atrocity.

After a Confederate military tribunal convicted seven men of treason, a vigilante mob set out on the streets of Gainesville and Cooke County, rounding up and hanging 14 more men without regard for trials or the young Confederate nation's constitution.

"The whole town went crazy," said Gary D. Bray, 60, of Forney, a Sons of Confederate Veterans commander lining up extras for the SCV promotional movie Black October.
Bray said the Confederate ancestry group will "tell both sides."
"Everything you read on the Internet says the Confederates were just crazy people lynching folks in a big mob," Bray said.

Well, yes.

But Bray said the movie will blame the lynchings on the "tensions of the time."
By the time the bloodshed ended, 42 men had been lynched, shot or hanged by a tribunal, including five in Wise County and one in Denton.
Bray said the movie's director, David Moore of Parker County-based Southern Legacy Films, has talked with descendants.
"By no means would we want to portray the victims as horrible people," Bray said.

How kind.

The screenplay is based on records compiled by a Confederate soldier who was also an East Texas newspaper editor, Bray said. Scenes have been shot near Tyler, at the Frontier Village park in Denison and at Dexter in Cooke County.
Movie scenes posted online include re-enactments of hangings.
The Sons plan to show the movie in Gainesville to mark the October anniversary, he said.

Some graves there remain unmarked to this day.
One in a Cooke County cemetery is inscribed "Murdered by a Mob."

University of North Texas history professor Richard McCaslin told the story fairly in his 1997 book, Tainted Breeze.
"There's only one book that tries to tell the true story, and I wrote it," McCaslin wrote by e-mail.
"They have made no effort to include me, and the pictures online reflect their lack of knowledge about what really happened."

This movie will be more story than history."

Bud Kennedy's column appears in the Star-Telegram Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Anonymous said...

This article is 98% false. Usual Bud trash.

Anonymous said...

What is the motive behind the SCV movie? Are they trying to change history? Innocent men were killed in the Great Hanging -- Nothing can change that!

Anonymous said...

Whats behaind the movie? They are trying to portray an all around veiw from both sides, and not just the victims side veiw as portrayed by McCaslin. Yes innocent men were hanged as well as innocent men were murdered in cold blood on the other side. The threat from the Union league was a real and very serious one and people were afraid for their very lives. The Union league would be veiwed as terrorist by todays standards, and spys in a military veiwpoint, after all we were at war!!!

Anonymous said...

Why is Gainesville letting the Confederate Veteran group take part in the commemoration with a film? Is this group trying to unjustly convict and hang the Union men all over again? It sounds like the families and descendants of the men who were hanged suffered enough without this group repeating the injustice of the hanging. Are they trying to vindicate what happened? It appears that the Diamond fellow already did that by destroying the actual records and just leaving his and the citizens court version. Who is going to tell the victims side of this tragedy?

Anonymous said...

McCaslin told the victims side in his book

Anonymous said...

My family is dismayed with the Gainesville event; that war was so hateful and still seems to go subtly on. Geneology research finds can be so very sad as well as exhillerating.

Anonymous said...

There may have been "tensions of the times" BUT it took PEOPLE to do the actual hanging. The people of Gainesville could have taken a higher road and chosen differently. Shame on them for killing innocent men.