"Sense of Place"

I was elated when I learned I would be getting an endorsement for JOAB.

 I met Jack Lamar Mayfield last year in Oxford, Mississippi. My friend from high school days, Emmie Lou Mooney Greene, a prominent Oxonian herself, introduced me to him and we spent several hours getting a grand tour from an historical perspective. I fell in love with the beautiful university town situated in the rolling hill country of northeast Mississippi. Of course, I had been to Oxford many times, but never having known such things as Jack Mayfield shared that day.

Jackie, as known by his friends, is a fifth generation Oxonian. His family came to Oxford shortly after the Chickasaw Cession of 1832. He is a former history instructor and writes a weekly column for the local newspaper The Oxford Eagle. His column is entitled "Sense of Place" and is solely about the history of Oxford and Ole Miss. He is the author of a book in the "Images of America" series entitled Oxford and Ole Miss published in 1997 for the Oxford Lafayette County Heritage Foundation of which he is a board member. The Foundation is responsible for restoring the post-Civil War home of famed Mississippi statesman, L.Q.C. Lamar, who, from reading my books, you know is one of my Confederate heroes. The foundation's current project is the restoration of the first African-American Church founded and constructed in 1869 on the edge of the area known as Freedmen's Town.

Thank you, Jackie, for reading the manuscript and for your much-sought-after approval of the way I depicted your town, Oxford. Thanks for the suggestions you made, the corrections where I missed it, and for your encouragement to write yet another sequel of the Old South. Thank you for sharing that wealth of knowledge about the history of Oxford and Ole Miss and the gently rolling countryside of Northeast Mississippi. But most of all, thank you for your grand endorsement of JOAB! I am honored.


 JOAB is set in Oxford in 1870, still in ruins from the Union burning in 1864 and with little heart for Reconstruction as the Radical Republicans would have it. Twenty-year-old Joab rides through on his way to Brice's Crossroads and Corinth and Shiloh to see where Mississippians fought some cruel battles with the North, and as a result, he is never the same. Just one of many southerners who gave heart and hope to a fallen and crushed people, Joab takes up the pick and shovel and, with passion and pride, begins to help bring back the lovely antebellum town of Oxford.

JOAB is fiction based on the history of my forebears who died at Gettysburg. Live the passion and perseverance of a young man as his dreams play out. Laugh and cry with him as he falls in love with a young southern beauty only to find that . . . well, there is someone else in her life. A Shiloh battle hero. But that's not all . . . and I'll not give away any more secrets of JOAB—

Now in Publication! Coming Soon!

Jane Bennett Gaddy
Trinity, FLA

Photograph of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in an ice storm by Dewey Davidson, New Albany, MS. Photograph of Jack Lamar Mayfield by Mike Bennett, New Albany, MS.


  1. Can't wait! I know when I just finish "reading" a good book, I feel as though I have said goodby to a best friend. How must you feel being finished writing one?
    I know we'll love it.
    Ric & Jacqui

  2. Ric and Jacqui, You have been such an encouragement to me through the years. I look forward to seeing you at the New Albany signing! It's time! Best to you both, my friends!
    Jane BG


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