Drakes Donate Book to Friends of Raymond
Hinds County Gazette
April 22, 1999


Becky and Jim Drake have pooled their talents and produced a book, The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected Stories. The book is scheduled to go on sale at the Country Fair on May 1st. All proceeds from the sale of the book, now as well as in the future, will be donated to Friends of Raymond to help with the purchase of the battlefield and historic preservation.

Many of the stories have been published in the Hinds County Gazette during the last ten years. Jim and Becky took most of the photographs used to illustrate the stories during the May 8-10, 1998, re-enactment of the Battle of Raymond and Battle of Jackson. The photographs beautifully illustrate the real events that happened in Raymond 135 years ago. Other photographs in the book were taken from the personal library of Mrs. Hermon Adams, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Library of Congress. Art work for the cover page was done by Bob Allen Dunaway, former art instructor at Hinds Community College and one of Mississippi's leading watercolor artists.

Attempts to save the Raymond Battlefield began in 1997 when a group of citizens incorporated Friends of the Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail. The objective of the group is to preserve and develop all of the battlefields associated with Grant's campaign. The "Preservation through Tourism" effort will include the Port Gibson Battlefield, the Raymond Battlefield, and hopefully, the Champion Hill Battlefield. In order for the Campaign Trial to be successful, it is important that all sites be preserved.

With the idea that Raymond will be a featured tourist stop on the Campaign Trial, Friends of Raymond is working toward developing the battlefield property .The Drakes' book, The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected Stories, is designed to accommodate tourists who wish to learn mote about antebellum Raymond and the Battle of Raymond. The book will also be a keepsake for anyone interested in the history of Raymond and Civil War history.

While meeting with Friends of Raymond, Becky commented, "It's always been a dream of mine to write a book about Raymond and the Civil War years; however, in the past there was never a real need for the book and I couldn't stand the thought of dealing with copyright laws. The 1998 purchase of the battlefield arid the town's inclusion on the Campaign Trail inspired me to action. I wanted to author a book that would be interesting to tourists. I've lived in Raymond for thirty years and know that there has never been a book on the market for tourists to purchase and take home as a souvenir. Jim and I hope that The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected Stories will become a permanent source of revenue for the Friends of Raymond. Creating the book has been a time consuming project. Literally speaking, the book took three months of our lives, but it will be well worth the effort if we can in any way help to promote our town and the battlefield."

Friends of Raymond will have a booth at the Country Fair on May lst. They will be selling the book, The Battle of Raymond and Other Collected Stories, as well as other items. They encourage everyone to come by the booth and visit with the author and support this effort.



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