Lieutenant to Chief of
Staff, ANV 3rd Corps
in four unforgettable
Massive cattle drive
and good cotton
wealth as Texas
rejoins the Union
Jim builds a major
oil company while
|Book 1: Heritage
The story of America through the lives of Jim and Missy Cobb’s ancestors, their in-laws, and
1720 – 1730, last days of piracy in America and the Caribbean Sea
1731 – 1755, America’s eastern seaboard settled
1756 – 1774, French Indian War followed by unrest
1775 – 1783, American Revolutionary War
1784 – 1810, expansion beyond the Appalachian Mountains, Haitians expel French
1811 – 1815, Creek War, War with Britain, and Battle of New Orleans
1816 – 1836, Erie Canal, settlement and Texas independence, illegal slave smuggling
1837 – 1845, Great Awakening, Texas struggles as an independent nation
1846 – 1848, Mexican American War, rapid expansion into newly acquired territories
1849 – 1854, California Gold Rush
1854 - 1860, Bleeding Kansas leading to John Brown’s Raid and civil war
Two Welsh brothers, Owen and James Morgan, flee to America and escape prison. Owen joins
a pirate crew and later forms a shipping company. James settles in New Jersey. His sons
migrate to the Pennsylvania frontier and one, Daniel, goes on to become America’s best field
general of the Revolutionary War. Randal Morgan, Owen’s son, builds Morgan & Sons Shipping
Company based on the triangle trade of American agriculture, European manufacture, and
African slaves. Grandson of the ‘Black Sheep’ Morgan family, Missy Morgan’s father, restores
family honor only to lose all he holds dear. James Morgan’s descendants build the Erie Canal, join
the Shakers, and travel with John Brown to ‘Bleeding Kansas’.
Ernst Gerlach, a member of the Unity Church, comes to the new Moravian Colony in Piedmont
North Carolina with his bride, a Catholic convert. Anne Gerlach loses her husband and all her
children except youngest, Franz. Franz’s oldest daughter, Anne, named for her grandmother,
works as bookkeeper in her father’s shop dreaming of life outside of Salem. She meets John
Cobb, youngest son of Elisha Cobb, and marries him. John and Anne Cobb are Jim Cobb’s
Benjamin Cobb, a teenage Gloucester blacksmith, joins a North Carolina Piedmont colony. By
using his earnings as a smith, Benjamin Cobb slowly buys farms of failed settlers to increase his
estate which comes to include saw and grist mills. Benjamin’s son, at age fourteen, joins a militia
and fights under Daniel Morgan in the decisive battle at Cowpens. Elisha joins a Maryland
Regiment of the Continental Army and goes on to the final battle at York, Virginia. Elisha returns
home with a grant for Tennessee land which he gives to his nephews. Silas Cobb joins the West
Tennessee Militia to escape an unhappy marriage. He advances to chief scout and finally chief
of staff to Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans. Silas divorces his wife and marries
Louisa Marguez, the beautiful governess of the Pierre Broussard family, after serving in the
Battle of New Orleans. Silas and Louisa Cobb purchase ten leagues of Texas land south of the
Austin Colony and build an integrated, diversified estate.
Pierre Broussard, serves as militia company captain and hangs on to his sugar plantation to the
end when Haiti’s oppressed slaves evict all French from their island. Broussard relocates to
Louisiana and is aided by his friend and banker, Jeremy Southerland. Southerland reenlists in the
British Army and comes to New Orleans, where Broussard heads the Louisiana Militia, as a
Major in the Highland Scot 93rd Foot Regiment.
Ben Cobb, Silas Cobb’s son, serves as a scout and aide to General Sam Houston in the Texas
War of Independence. He later serves as a Ranger and Ranger Captain in Texas’ ongoing war
with the Comanche. With other Ranger companies, Ben Cobb is called to serve with Zachary
Taylor’s army during the Mexican War. Granville Calvert hires on as a muleskinner, journeys to St
Louis, and is drafted into General Stephen Kearney’s army ordered to take New Mexico and
California. Henry Wilkins joins General Winfield Scott’s army in Southern Mexico. Like his cousin,
Granville Calvert, Henry Wilkins ‘sees the elephant’ and is content to return to Catawba County.
Both Calvert and Wilkins serve with Jim Cobb in the coming Civil War.
Jonathan Morgan joins the First New York Volunteer Regiment and musters out in California. With
a mountain man and former scout, Morgan scoops out a fortune in gold from mountain streams.
Meanwhile, a distant cousin, Gerald Morgan, journeys to Kansas as part of John Brown’s
abolitionist party. John Brown moves on to assault a federal armory in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in
hope of leading a massive slave rebellion. Sam Payne, a New York Tribune beat reporter, gets a
career changing opportunity to report events in Harper’s Ferry.
Book 2: War
Jim Cobb understands what many do not. The South is severely overmatched in the coming
struggle with the North. Nevertheless, when his home state, North Carolina, secedes, Jim enlists
and is elected 2nd Lieutenant in the Catawba County Militia. With a solid work ethic and quick
grasp of battlefield tactics, Jim rises as a staff aide in the Army of Northern Virginia. First as aide
to his new regimental commander, Dorsey Pender, who himself is promoted to command a
brigade in the Light Division commanded by General Lee's gamecock, Ambrose Powell (A P) Hill.
In distinguishing himself at the brigade level, Jim is passed on to A P Hill and Division staff.
Almost killed at Sharpsburg, Jim survives and escapes a Union hospital to rejoin the Light
Division. After a gun fight with a Union patrol, Jim is wounded and takes shelter with the Blaylock
family whose middle son, Andy, is home recuperating from wounds received in defending the
Gosport Shipyard. As they prepare to return to service with the Army of Northern Virginia,
Andy's father, John Blaylock, receives a surprise visit from Major John Mosby who is building an
army behind Union lines. John Blaylock enlists as Faquier County spy master; Jim and Andy as
Rangers. A stunning victory at Chancellorsville is followed by a crippling defeat at Gettysburg.
Jim sees a drop off in A P Hill's effectiveness. During a period when Jubal Early commands Third
Corps, Jim applies for line command, receives the newly formed 78th North Carolina Regiment,
and brings Andy along as Regimental First Sergeant. Bloody battles in The Wilderness, Cold
Harbor, and Petersburg follow with a final battle at Peebles' Farm where the 78th North Carolina
is captured and sent north to prison.
Jim, Andy, and a third of the 78th North Carolina are incarcerated in overcrowded Fort Delaware
Prison where food, clothing, and hope are scarce. Their low point is Christmas 1864 when Jim
learns his college roommate, Pete Morgan, has come to join him. Jim had hoped to become part of
the Morgan family in marrying Pete's sister, Sissy, until she broke their engagement before
Gettysburg. Jim is saddened to learn that the younger sister, Missy, had been brutally raped by
Yankee bummers. The war effectively ends April 12, 1865 when General Lee surrenders the
Army of Northern Virginia. Jim survives a cholera epidemic that takes Pete Morgan and many
others. He leaves Fort Delaware with Andy and five soldiers of the 78th. Jim is delirious during
most of the trip. A beloved Negro servant, Scipio, is hanged and mutilated by a scalawag farmer
who also seizes their wagon and supplies. Andy takes charge and they arrive at the Blaylock
Farm where Jim recuperates. Their future is set when John Blaylock mentions that the Yankees
still carry payroll along a route Jim and Andy planned and carried out a robbery as Mosby
Rangers. They decide to engage a group of former Rangers as a diversion.
The robbery comes off perfectly. Jim, Andy, and accomplices are pleased with the take. Joy
turns to concern when they learn the leader of the Ranger diversion is talking with Union Provost
marshals. After settling with the scalawag who hanged Scipio, the traveling party moves on to
Jim's home in Newton, North Carolina by way of the Morgan Plantation in the Shenandoah Valley.
Jim wants to drop off Pete's effects and bring Scipio's wife to the Cobb Farm. He is stunned to
learn that the awkward, precocious teenage girl he remembered from cadet days is now an
attractive young woman who loves him and needs to leave the Shenandoah Valley. After a brief
courtship, where Andy counsels both, Jim and Missy marry. Hoping to settle on the Cobb Farm,
the traveling party learns, from Jim's mother, Anne Cobb, that a Provost office circular letter lists
Jim and Andy as suspects in a payroll robbery. She recommends they move on to her brother's
sprawling, underdeveloped estate near Beaumont, Texas to build a new life and escape Union
Provost marshals. They finally reach Texas after a betrayal in Mississippi and near capture and
shoot out in Louisiana.
Book 3: Redemption
Many come to post-war Texas. Carpetbaggers to profit from the misery of a defeated South.
Renegades to escape capture and arrest in more civilized areas of the newly restored United
States. Some, like Missy Cobb, to flee from shame back home. Many, like Jim Cobb and Andy
Blaylock, to slip the long arm of Federal marshals. Speculators and scratch farmers seek what
Texas had in abundance - land. All come to reinvent themselves and start a new life in the raw
frontier state. From broken antebellum Planters to the humblest immigrants, poverty is the
common denominator for nearly all post-war Texans. But not, Jim, Andy, and Robert Savage
who become wealthy and powerful in the loose, free for all Texas economy. Robert Savage
rode on cattle drives and remembers a nice spread between Texas and Missouri cattle prices.
They decide to convert their tainted payroll currency in purchasing Mexican cattle and driving
them to Kansas.
Jim and Robert go on the massive cattle drive while Andy works with the Gerlach Estate. Robert
and Jim survive the 120 day, undermanned massive drive from Brownsville, Texas to Kansas
City, Missouri and are richly rewarded - $5 Mexican cattle are sold for $30 in Kansas City - and
in clean, non-traceable money. After the first cattle drive, Jim drops out to become an investor
and cotton broker and pursue other business opportunities. The Savage brothers, Robert and
Charles, continue cattle drives, with Jim and Andy as investors, until the profit plays out in the
late 1870s. Fortunes of the Cobbs, Blaylocks, and Savages grow with each drive. Andy works
as overseer of the Gerlach Estate and dedicates 1,000 acres to the new long strand cotton
seed they purchased in Georgia on the journey to Texas.
Cotton is also in short supply after the war and prices very good. They form a consortium; send
four shiploads of baled cotton to Massachusetts where Sissy's husband, Union Colonel
Jonathan Curtis, owns a textile mill. They purchase a cotton gin for the consortium and continue
production until cotton prices fall. Jim agrees to help fund the shipping company his brother, Tom,
started and is pleased when Jonathan Curtis invests with him. Jim also agrees to fund a new
wood processing company and renews his love of milling gained on the Cobb Farm. Missy
delivers their first child, Meg, shortly after Jim's return from the cattle drive.
In developing the cotton consortium, Jim comes on an attractive young widow, Martha Ballard,
with a young son and small farm and introduces her to Missy. Under Missy's tutelage, Andy
courts and marries Martha and Andy becomes an instant father to her son, Toby. Carpetbaggers
and scalawags conspire, with help from a corrupt judicial system, to steal farms, ranches, and
businesses throughout Texas. They find a willing dupe in Rene Gerlach, Uncle Gus's and Aunt
Pansy's worthless son. When his father loses mental capacity, Rene foolishly defaults on a
small bank loan and back taxes and then conspires with the group working to steal the Gerlach
Estate. Jim and Andy intercede, murder the front man, and earn the harted of the evil cabal and
their attorney, Otis Wilson.
The past comes back to Jim Cobb as he and Missy visit her sister, Sissy, and brother-in-law,
Jonathan Curtis, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Jim is spat upon by a distraught widow and insulted
by a Harvard student. At the same time, Jim is treated to a New England lunch by a tavern owner
who served with the Union Army at Cold Harbor. He remembered Jim sending out orderlies under
white flag to relieve Union wounded after the massacre and Jim bringing letters from dead Union
soldiers to Union lines. One of the letters was written by Ken Johnson, a favored VMI roommate.
Jean LeBlanc, Secret Service Agent, who took over investigation of the payroll robbery, knows
the crime was committed by Cobb, Blaylock, Savage, and accomplices. He lacks proof. When
stolen currency shows up from Matamoros, Mexico, LeBlanc travels to Brownsville, Texas to
find witnesses who saw Major Cobb with the tainted currency. He is frustrated first by Ramon
Alaniz and then other Mexicans who cannot identify one gringo from another. Finally, Jean
LeBlanc finds the perfect witness to convict Jim Cobb and the other conspirators - John Jeffers,
the Union Lieutenant who led the patrol that accompanied the payroll wagon. After giving
depositions to the Marshals, Jeffers went back to acting and disappeared in Europe before
reappearing in New York where LeBlanc finds him. However, Jeffers' testimony at the trial is
compromised. The newly formed Texas Fine Arts Council headed by the wives of the
defendants offers Jeffers directorship provided his testimony does not convict their husbands.
Throughout, Jim battles populists who dominate Texas politics and the bulldog Federal Secret
Service agent who takes over the payroll robbery case when the Washington Provost Office is
closed. Missy dies and Jim takes a long trip back home, Virginia, and New York to ease his grief.
Book 4: Empire
Reluctantly, Jim remarries to provide a mother for his children. The new wife brings a young son
to their marriage who cannot compete with his stepbrother and chooses another course for his
life. Jim sponsors his stepson and intercedes to get him an assignment with the volunteer Rough
Riders for the Spanish-American War. In an ongoing quest to bring good government to Texas,
Jim makes a compromise and backs a populist he suspects may place public over self interest.
He is pleased when James Hogg becomes Texas' best governor and is succeeded by a capable
successor, Charles Culbertson, a fellow VMI graduate. Instrumental in his work for both
governors is Edward House, an advisor who goes on to national importance as President
Wilson's chief of staff.
Jim's and Andy's willful granddaughter, nicknamed Sunshine, is caught in the 1900 Galveston
Hurricane and changed for life. Shortly after, an unexpected, huge oil discovery near Beaumont
forever changes the Texas economy. Jim is brought into an oil investment group and is appalled
with the waste and greed predominant in the industry. With support from his brother-in-law,
Jonathan Curtis, and reliable partners Andy Blaylock, Robert and Charles Savage, and others,
Jim forms an integrated oil company that becomes one of the industry giants. Andy, with Jim's
active backing, forms a partnership with Ramon Alaniz to develop the Rio Grande Valley for
citrus production. Development of refrigerated shipping and opening of New York and New
England markets for Texas red grapefruit open. Again, Jim's partnership with Jonathan Curtis is
instrumental in developing the new business.
In a showdown, Jim Cobb pits wealth and influence against the corrupt Galveston based State
Senator Otis Wilson. Jim's son, John Peter, is soundly defeated by an incumbent populist ally of
State Senator Otis Wilson. Wilson uses his influence with the press to print lies and innuendo to
not only defeat John Peter but discredit his father.
Despite surface traces of oil and gas and the wild claims of Patillo Higgins, no one in the federal
and state geographic departments nor anyone of consequence in Beaumont believes the Texas
Gulf Coast has significant oil deposits. January 10, 1901 a wildcat well on Spindletop Hill erupts
and Texas changes forever. Every low-life and hustler with the price of a ticket floods to
Beaumont. Jim joins an investment group headed by former Governor Hogg and is appalled with
what he learns - waste, inefficiency, and corruption. He decides to emulate the hated Standard
Oil company and build a Texas based integrated company and control the vital distribution
segment. A difficult task, with state law favoring the free for all chaos of the early oil industry
and set against Standard Oil and integrated companies.
The family becomes involved in World War I. First with Trish Blaylock who escapes a pointless
life in Galveston for the adventure of Paris as a volunteer nurse and then as owner of Cafe
Americaine. Trish's cousin, John Blaylock, graduates from The Rice Institute, accepts a
commission in the Marine Corps, and becomes involved in the bloody warfare in the series of
Argonne-Meuse battles. Joaquin Alaniz, Ramon's grandson, joins the American pilots fighting for
France. Joaquin becomes a ace in the Lafayette Escadrille. Jim and Andy's friendship with
Edward House culminates in House's ascension to chief counsel to Woodrow Wilson. Jim is
briefly involved in national politics and finds he is neither Progressive nor Conservative and falls
back on his own independent thinking. House asks Jim to join the American delegation to the
Paris Peace Conference.
Book 5: Descendants
Jim, Missy, Caroline, Andy, Martha, Robert, Pearl, and others in the saga leave descendants who
must contend, as they did, with the great issues of their times. Following Jim Cobb’s death in
1923, America is confronted and shaped by
Prohibition – a grand experiment to impose a more virtuous culture in America ends with the hard
reality of bootlegging, organized crime, and open flaunting of national law and, finally, repeal of
the noble Prohibition Amendment.
West Texas and, later East Texas, oil discoveries opens opportunity for great wealth among
Texans who live in hard scrabble subsistence otherwise.
Commercial aviation emerges from America’s delayed and clumsy effort to become
aeronautically strong in the future.
An American generated world economic depression drags down living standards leaving most
Americans poorer and many destitute.
As a prelude to the coming catastrophic second world war, the Spanish Civil War erupts in
bloody conflict with Fascist and Communist sponsors.
Descendants are caught in a war America was reluctant to join but had to win with
- Volunteers to fly P-40 fighters to slow down Japan’s seemingly unstoppable.Japanese
advance through southeast Asia,
- Americans, including Marines and construction workers, are sacrificed on Wake Island as
an ill prepared America cannot defend them;
- With help from a crime boss who controls northeastern US cargo shipments, US Naval
Intelligence identifies Fascist spies sinking American ships and establishes resistance
organizations in Sicily and Italy to aid Allied conquest,
- Scout planes find Japanese carriers in a task force to take Midway Island and Navy dive
bombers sink 4 Japanese carriers effectively ending Japanese naval supremacy,
- Marines and later soldiers take Guadalcanal and key airfield turning the Pacific War,
- US Air Force engages in a modern war where slaughter in trenches in World War I is
transferred to the skies in World War II,
- Japanese take the two westernmost Aleutian Islands as the northern prong of a three part
attack on the Allies and are repulsed by the Alaska Defense Command,
- An American task force assigned to protect a landing finds itself in the US Navy’s most
desperate and courageous battle,
- American Negro recruits are reluctantly allowed to form a fighter group, distinguish
themselves, and remain second class citizens at home, and
- Raw American troops brutally learn war in the Ardennes Forest in the German Army’s last
America rapidly demobilizes after World War II and confronts the Soviet Union in defeating a
Berlin blockade and fighting Chinese Communists to a standstill in Korea.
America is gradually drawn into Vietnam and futilely tries to defeat a native enemy.
Fundamentalist Islamism forces America to interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan..
|Ashbel Smith Building,
University of Texas
Galveston, Texas 1900
|Major General "Uncle"
John Sedgwick, USA,
Army of the Potomac.
Killed by sharp-
shooters while demon-
strating to his troops
they were out of range.
|Lucas Well Gusher,
Beaumont, Texas 1900
|Patillo Higgins, Spin-
dletop Hill Visionary,
Beaumont, Texas 1900
|Gerlach Estate, Lum-
berton, Texas 1874
Galveston, Texas 1900
|Curtis & Cobb Screw
Steam Sloop 1868
|Nicolaus von Zindendor
1700 - 1760
founded the Moravian
|Cattle Drive 1866
|Lt General Jubal A
Early, CSA, Army of
Northern Virginia 1863.
After losing Stonewall
Jackson, General Lee's
best field general.
burg, Virginia 1863
|Major General William
Dorsey Pender, CSA,
Light Division, Army of
Northern Virginia 1864.
historians to be the
best officer in either
|Democratic Party Con-
Maryland, June 25 -
July 2, 1912. First and
only national conven-
tion Jim Cobb attended
|Louis Moreau Gott-
schalk, Creole Ameri-
can pianist and com-
poser. Meets Jim &
Missy Cobb on a train
ride to New Orleans.
|Texas Cattle Drive
Trails - Shawnee
(Central), and Western
|William Marsh Rice,
Texas 1912 -
|Texas Oil Field 1910
|Ashbel Smith, Legen-
dary Texas Statesman,
officer, and University of
|James S Hogg, Texas
Governor 1891 - 95.
most effective governor.
|Lt General Ambrose
Powell Hill, CSA, Third
Corps, Army of
Northern Virginia 1864.
As a division comman-
der, Lee's gamecock.
|1848 Clipper Ship
Francisco to New York
City voyage from six to
|Major John Singleton
Mosby, CSA, Army of
Northern Virginia 1863.
The Gray Ghost.
|W E B Du Bois
NAACP Founder and
early American civil
American history 1720
- 1859 through
connected stories of
families and friends.
1742 - 1786
general who won the
|George Washington as
a Colonel in the
Virginia Militia during
the French and Indian
|British 93rd Foot
Regiment at the Battle
of New Orleans
|British Major Patrick
Ferguson slain by
American Patriot militia
at the Battle of Kings
1817 - 1876
rate General in the
West. Confidant of CSA
Davis. Despised by his
|Emperor Maximilian of
1864 - 1867
|1916 Curtiss JN-4
1809 - 1877
Famed CSS Alabama
|Dynamited the Crater at
|Billy Sunday at the
fails a noble experi-
ment in prohibiting
|Gen William F Dean
too rapidly after WWII
nearly loses Korea
to the Communists
|Symbolized by Paul
Carr, Gunner Mate 3rd
Class, USS Samuel B
Roberts, Siver Star
Reciipient,. US Navy
won a remarkable
victory off Samar Island
|A-10 Warthog provided
support for US troops
in Afghanistan and Iraq
|Lt Gail Halvorsen,
Berlin Airlift's "Candy
|Juan Negrin Lopez, last
Minister with fascist
Jackson, a US Navy
submarine which kept
aggression at bay
New generations face
wars, and communist
|Memoirs of a Texan
Five Part Historic Fiction