This article lists the various minor fictional characters who appear in The Guns of the South. These characters play at best a peripheral role in the novel. Most were simply mentioned or had a very brief, unimportant speaking role that impacted the plot minimally, if at all, and never appeared again. Some were not even given a name.
Anderson, a bricklayer and mason, was sold by Josiah A. Beard at an 1865 slave auction in Nashville, North Carolina. Raeford Liles was one of the bidders but dropped out early. A man from Mississippi or Alabama competed against one of the Rivington Men, and was stuck buying him for $2700 when the Rivington Man abruptly dropped out. A heckler then called out, "Hellfire, you can buy yourself a Congressman for cheaper'n $2700."
Josiah A. BeardEdit
Josiah A. Beard was a slave merchant who visited Nashville, North Carolina one day in 1865. He made a large amount of money selling Columbus, Dock, Westly, Anderson, Louisa, Josephine, and many others. The prices Beard received were especially high because three Rivington Men, who had an unusual access to gold, raised their bids beyond that which any other bidder could afford.
Barbara Bissett, whose husband Jackson Bissett was killed in the Second American Revolution, was Nate Caudell's landlady in Nashville, North Carolina. She was large and plump and inclined to burst into tears for any reason or none. Some thought this was grief, but Caudell knew she'd been like that before the war too. She shed plenty of tears at Caudell's wedding to Mollie Bean, among other occasions.
Eugen Blankaard is a literal Afrikaans translation of Eugene Terre'Blanche (1941-2010), historical founder of the AWB. It was purely coincidental that his ancestral French name translates as "white earth;" it was not an assumed name based on his racial views.
Columbus (b. ca. 1833) was a black man sold at Josiah A. Beard's slave auction in Nashville, North Carolina in 1865. A skilled field hand and laborer, Columbus was bought by a man from Texas for $1450. The Texan planned to resell Columbus in Houston for $1850.
Fred Darby was a reporter for the Louisville Journal. Upon Robert E. Lee's arrival in Louisville, Darby peppered him with questions about Negroes and slavery. Lee deflected Darby's questions as best he could.
Dock (b. ca. 1839) was a black man sold at Josiah A. Beard's slave auction in Nashville, North Carolina in 1865. His skills were as a field hand and laborer. In 1864 he had taken part in a guerrilla uprising and been captured by General Forrest's men in Louisiana. He was purchased by one of the Rivington Men, who told him he would regret any disobedience. Dock's acknowledgement of this, while respectful, nevertheless showed a small hint of pride.
First Lieutenant Asbury Finch was with the 21st Georgia regiment during the Second American Revolution.
During the winter of 1863-4 Lt. Finch served with the quartermaster's corp. As part of his duties, he accompanied supply trains to the winter quarters of the Army of Northern Virginia. Prior to one such trip, he received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee ordering him to stop at the small town of Rivington, North Carolina to allow some supplies to be loaded and some civilians to board the train.
Lt. Finch followed orders and had a large number of crates of two types loaded on the train. After this was done, he opened two crates, one of each type and found carbines of a curious manufacture and metal cartridges. He also allowed about a dozen men in "all-over-spots" clothing to board. Prior to the train leaving, he telegraphed a report to General Lee.
Although a Confederate soldier named Asbury Finch is listed in historical records, he was from the 5th North Carolina Infantry rather than a Georgian regiment, and never reached a higher rank than Private.
Wilhelm Gebhard was a colleague of Andries Rhoodie's and was part of the contingent that arrived at Orange Court House with the first shipment of AK-47s. He helped train Jeb Stuart's cavalry in the use of the new rifle.
Avram Goldfarb (b. 1810s) was a merchant in Richmond. A Jewish native of Aachen, Prussia, he was able to read the mysterious written language of the Rivington Men, which seemed to be a "mishmash" of German "Deutsch" and Netherlands "Dutch." He successfully translated the important parts of a book by Eugen Blankaard. The book seemed to him like nonsense, proofread by a drunk who misprinted the year as 2004. President Lee advised him not to talk about the "error"-ridden book with anyone else, and neither man was able to deduce the purpose of a machine called a qwerty.
Richard Ingom was a captain in the Confederate Army. On March 14, 1865, he sent a telegram to General Robert E. Lee informing him that Union Army Lt. Adam Slemmer had arrested two Rivington Men for smuggling AK-47s into Tompkinsville, Kentucky. Lee met with Union General U.S. Grant to interview the prisoners, and reflected that, had Ingom not happened to see the prisoners being brought in, the matter would never have come to Confederate attention.
Israel (b. ca. 1815) was a free Negro hired as a shop-clerk by Raeford Liles, the owner the of Nashville, North Carolina general store. Israel was one of thousands of newly literate Negroes in the Confederacy, taught during Federal occupation.
Israel soon left Liles' employ and took a job on Henry Pleasants' farm, as Pleasants' attitude toward Negroes was much more enlightened than Liles'. When Nate Caudell refused to be hired on as Pleasants' bookkeeper, he considered teaching Israel arithmetic and then bookkeeping. Israel realized he had a talent for it but Pleasants proved to be a poor teacher so Israel hired Caudell to teach him the finer points of arithmetic.
Josephine (c. 1846-1865) was a "mulatto wench" sold at Josiah A. Beard's slave auction in Nashville, North Carolina. Piet Hardie, a member of America Will Break, purchased her for $3150. Her new owner's sexual brutality toward her was unendurable, and she soon ran away into the nearby swamp. Hardie and his hired men soon recaptured her, and she hanged herself in despair shortly afterward.
Louisa (b. ca. 1841) was a slave who worked as a cook. She was also very fertile, having had four children by 1865, and could be expected to breed more. Josiah A. Beard hawked these qualities when he sold her at a Nashville, North Carolina auction to a man who planned to resell her in Texas.
Hendrik Nieuwoudt (d. 1868) was a Rivington Man captured after the final defeat of AWB by General Forrest's men. Condemned to reverse engineer future technology at Virginia Military Institute, he despaired and hanged himself, leaving behind a note saying "I can't stand being watched any more." He was the second suicide among the group.
Jonas Perry was a Nash County farmer who owned three slaves. He was constantly complaining that the three were lazy and did no work, yet he expressed fear that Robert E. Lee, if elected President, would take away everyone's slaves. George Lewis corrected him on two matters; first, Lee did not intend to do that, and second, slave-owning was becoming dangerous and unprofitable, as the risk of insurrection was outweighing the benefits. Nate Caudell didn't think Perry's silent response indicated acceptance of this, but he was likely thinking it over.
This character, like several other Nash County residents in the novel, may be an obscure historical figure.
James Porter was a lieutenant in the Union Army. On March 14, 1865, he and Adam Slemmer arrested Konrad de Buys and Willem van Pelt in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, for smuggling AK-47s over the CS-US border with intent to sell.
While there were several soldiers named James Porter in the Union Army, there is no particular reason to think that this character is meant to be a historical figure.
Shadrach was a slave of the America Will Break men in Rivington. During the battle of Rivington, he hailed the 47th North Carolina as liberators. Sergeant Nate Caudell was appalled at Shadrach's emaciated condition.
Adam Slemmer was a lieutenant in the Union Army. On March 14, 1865, he and James Porter arrested Konrad de Buys and Willem van Pelt in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, for smuggling AK-47s over the CS-US border with intent to sell.
Although there was a historical Union officer named Adam Slemmer, who eventually became a Brigadier General, this character does not seem to be him.
Willem van PeltEdit
Willem van Pelt was a member of America Will Break. On March 14, 1865, he and Konrad de Buys were arrested by Union soldiers in Tompkinsville, Kentucky for smuggling AK-47s across the Tennessee border with intent to sell. Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Union counterpart Ulysses Grant interviewed the captives, and Lee presented them with an offer. General Grant would buy their entire stock for a silver dollar, and they would be set free and allowed to return to the CSA rather than being sent to a prison further North. Van Pelt and de Buys angrily accepted the offer, as no better options were presented.
Afterwards, Lee explained to his aide Charles Marshall that the Federals surely already had AK-47s retrieved from battlefields and prisoners of war, so they would not be receiving any technology they didn't have already. Furthermore, it was important that all the AWB men be kept safely in the CSA where the right people could keep an eye on them and they would not be questioned further by the North.
Westly (b. ca. 1841), a tanner and bricklayer, was sold in Nashville, North Carolina at Josiah A. Beard's slave auction for $1950 to one of the Rivington Men. Westly hoped he would be rented out so he might have a chance to earn money to buy his freedom, but his new owner flatly declared that this was out of the question.
- ↑ The Guns of the South, p. 319.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 336.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 316-321.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 274-275.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 274-275.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 463-464.
- ↑ Ibid., 316-317.
- ↑ Ibid., 296-297.
- ↑ Ibid., 317-318.
- ↑ Ibid., pgs. 17-21.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 462.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 21.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 462-466.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 21.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 194.
- ↑ Ibid., 304-305.
- ↑ Ibid., 342-344.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 354-355
- ↑ Ibid., p. 392-397.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 319-321.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 326-327.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 343-344.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 319.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 342.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 551.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 390-392.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 304.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 303-304.
- ↑ Ibid., 515-516.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 304.
- ↑ Ibid., p. 305-308.
- ↑ Ibid, p. 318-319.