J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Funding Successful!

I want to thank each and every one of you for funding my Kickstarter project. We are completely funded! That means I will now have money, thanks to your generous donations, to film one or two book trailers for my “Renegade Series.”The series includes two novels: A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire

This is so exciting! I never expected to reach this goal, but now that I have, I intend to use your funding to assist with expenses incurred by traveling to Gettysburg. I have secured a production company to make the book trailers, and I will be contacting several people to assist in performing, adding music, etc.

Once again, thank you all very much for your support. It means so much to me! I will keep you posted as to the book trailers’ progress.


Battle of Hernando Reenactment


Last weekend, the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Hernando reenactment took place in Hernando, Mississippi. The reenactment takes place once every ten years at the Mussacuna Plantation just outside of town.

At last weekend’s reenactment, approximately 3000 people attended during the two-day event. It was a great turnout, and gave people the chance to see what it was like in 1863. Members of the Varina Howell Davis Chapter #2559 United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as the Samuel A. Hughey Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Bonnie Blue Brigade, the 17th Mississippi Reenactors Group, the DeSoto County Museum, and the Masonic Order helped sponsor the event.

New Twist on an Old Story

I’ve seen several examples where a writer or producer changes history by retelling the story. Several recent examples include “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Little Women and Werewolves.” Granted, these are both Sci Fi examples, but there have been a lot of others over the course of the years. What if Hitler won WWII? What if aliens attacked cowboys? What if?

Here’s another example of a “what if” situation. Devin Nuhfer has directed and co-produced ‘The Confederation,’ a future web series set during the 1960’s in a world where the South won the American Civil War. The series will follow a squad of Confederate female snipers and a group of former slaves.

I checked out the Kickstarter campaign Devin has launched, and it’s pretty fascinating. He is trying to raise enough money to pay for the first season of episodes. See for yourself at:


The Cavalry to the Rescue!

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the largest, most famous cavalry battle to ever take place on North American soil, which happened during the War Between the States at Brandy Station, Virginia in 1863. The flamboyant J.E.B. Stuart and his boys were confronted by the enemy in a surprise attack. After clashing, capturing several Union guns, and chasing their adversaries off, the Rebels came out victorious, although they were greatly surprised and outnumbered. This event lead up to the great battle of Gettysburg. In my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, I discuss the Battle of Brandy Station at length, and explain the events the happened before and after, such as three Grand Reviews that General Stuart staged prior to the attack.


Another cavalry battle took place at Brice’s Crossroads, Mississippi, on June 10, 1864, where the infamous General Nathan Bedford Forrest outflanked and outmaneuvered (as usual) his foe. The battle marked another significant achievement in the Western Theatre, as General Forrest outfoxed nearly twice as many opponents. His genius has been a subject of study ever since, and was used by the German’s during WWII.

Gettysburg Campaign by J.D.R Hawkins

Gettysburg Campaign by J.D.R Hawkins.

The Grand Review

A very noteworthy occasion happened 150 years ago. On June 5, 1863, General J.E.B. Stuart held a Grand Review of his cavalry troops in Virginia. Always the flamboyant cavalier, General Stuart transported ladies from Richmond via the Orange and Alexandria railroad. The review, complete with fancy maneuvers by the troopers, a floral-strewn grandstand, and trumpeters, also featured artillery that blasted at the horse soldiers with mock ammo.That evening, a ball was held, and General Stuart’s own musicians entertained while the ladies danced with Confederate cavalry officers.

Two days later, another review was held for General Robert E. Lee. It is believed that the Union cavalry, which was close by, saw dust rising over the ridge, kicked up by horses during the review, which gave away their location. The Yankees poised for attack. (For more information, please read my book, A Beckoning Hellfire, which describes these events in detail.)

On June 6, 1862, Memphis surrendered to Union forces. This marked a significant victory for Union troops in that they were able to seize partial control of the Mississippi River, a major waterway used for transport during that time. A year later, Vicksburg would also fall, enabling the Union to contain the entire length of the river. And on June 8, 1861, Tennessee formally seceded from the Union.

Happy Birthday Jefferson Davis

Today is the birthday of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. He was born in Christian County, Kentucky, not far from where Abraham Lincoln was born one year later. The tenth youngest child of a plantation owner, Davis rose to become one of the most celebrated, and yet controversial, American statesmen.


His illustrious career began with the military, where he served as an officer. He was elected to the House of Representatives and later to Congress, married twice, and had six children, but only one survived to adulthood. He saw much pain and sadness in his lifetime, but still maintained his firm belief in the Confederate cause. Following the War Between the States, he became somewhat of a recluse, penning his memoirs at Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi. After his death at age 81, his wife, Varina, had his body moved to Richmond, where it remains today.


Bertram Hayes-Davis, who is the great-great grandson of Jefferson Davis, frequently tours the country speaking on behalf of his infamous ancestor. Sadly, he has encountered obstacles in regard to having Jefferson Davis receive the honor he so greatly deserves. In fact, there is talk about removing his statue from the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building. Instead of dismissing Jefferson Davis as being politically incorrect, we should honor him for the sacrifices he made for his country and what he believed to be right. Let us celebrate him as a true patriot and the American icon that he was.

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