Golden Thread East Texas Grave of Confederate Heroine Emma Sansom

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Diane, I don't know exactly were you are in the Northwest but as you know large parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho are covered with basalt. Before 15-17 million years ago the Cascade volcanoes were doing what they do now, exploding periodically and spewing out ash and lava. Suddenly they changed to shield volcanoes, like those in Hawaii, pouring out copious amounts of lava that in some places is greater than 6000 ft. thick, which cooled to become basalt.

Here's the neat part and it's called Hot Spot theory. Around the globe there are a number of these spots, mantle plumes which act like blowtorches punching holes in the overlying crust. Hawaii is over one. As the Pacific Plate moves northwest over the stationary plume new volcanoes form southeast of the older ones. The relative motion of the plate makes it seem that the plume southeast is moving but it's actually the crust moving above it. The Hawaiian chain can be traced to Midway Is. and beyond, eventually becoming old worn down sea mounts to the northwest. A new shield volcano is currently building below sea level southeast of the big island of Hawaii, which will extend the island chain in that direction.

Here's how that relates to your part of the world. As the North American Plate moved westward at a few centimeters a year over one of these hot spots the old strato-volcanoes of the Cascades were transformed into shield volcanoes and became gigantic lava flowing engines. When the hot spot moved (relatively speaking) eastward the Cascades reverted to their old, and present form, and the lava flows became increasingly younger in that direction. That Hot Spot is now located under Yellowstone National Park and that's why there is the potential for some really serious volcanic activity in the area.
View attachment 13893

View attachment 13892

Very good! Thanks! I don't know a lot about geology, but I do know we have some unique stuff in the far north of California and southern Oregon. There are a lot of basalt formations and the area from about the Tule Lakes up through Chiloquin is one giant batholith. Bubble! There are hot springs and mineral springs all over this particular area - Little Bear Valley - and that's why the city of Ashland has become famous for its lithia water. For over 100 years people, including famous ones like Teddy Roosevelt and his shirttail cousin FDR, have been coming to the various springs around here. There are more, and better, back in them thar hills but so far only mountain goats and us Indians can get in there! It's all the volcanic activity. Mt Shasta is the main one but there is Crater Lake, a caldera, and Mt Mazuma, a collapsed caldera. Pilot Rock is a cinder cone and so named because small planes kept running into it. (The Indian name has been sanitized to Standing Stone but the real name is a certain part of male anatomy which the cinder cone resembles almost exactly!) The showpiece of the Rogue Valley is the two massive table rocks - Upper and Lower Table Rock - which are basalt formations. Mt Shasta was long considered dormant but ever since St Helens blew out, Mt Shasta has been listed as active. All the landscape around here has been formed by its eruptions. There are lumpy little hills all over the Shasta Valley to the north and northwest - that is an ancient slump. The mountain was once about three times as high as it is at present. Shastina, the smaller cone, is actually the top of the mountain. The last eruption was in the 1700s and she literally flipped her lid! It landed beside her - and legend has it, on top of a Shasta village. The area to the east, McCloud, is peculiar because it's made from floods caused by glaciers on the mountain melting during eruptions. Weed and Mt Shasta, towns toward the south, tended to get the gas and ashes. Sure a lot of ways to be killed by a volcano! :smoke:
 

RobertP

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
Very good! Thanks! I don't know a lot about geology, but I do know we have some unique stuff in the far north of California and southern Oregon. There are a lot of basalt formations and the area from about the Tule Lakes up through Chiloquin is one giant batholith. Bubble! There are hot springs and mineral springs all over this particular area - Little Bear Valley - and that's why the city of Ashland has become famous for its lithia water. For over 100 years people, including famous ones like Teddy Roosevelt and his shirttail cousin FDR, have been coming to the various springs around here. There are more, and better, back in them thar hills but so far only mountain goats and us Indians can get in there! It's all the volcanic activity. Mt Shasta is the main one but there is Crater Lake, a caldera, and Mt Mazuma, a collapsed caldera. Pilot Rock is a cinder cone and so named because small planes kept running into it. (The Indian name has been sanitized to Standing Stone but the real name is a certain part of male anatomy which the cinder cone resembles almost exactly!) The showpiece of the Rogue Valley is the two massive table rocks - Upper and Lower Table Rock - which are basalt formations. Mt Shasta was long considered dormant but ever since St Helens blew out, Mt Shasta has been listed as active. All the landscape around here has been formed by its eruptions. There are lumpy little hills all over the Shasta Valley to the north and northwest - that is an ancient slump. The mountain was once about three times as high as it is at present. Shastina, the smaller cone, is actually the top of the mountain. The last eruption was in the 1700s and she literally flipped her lid! It landed beside her - and legend has it, on top of a Shasta village. The area to the east, McCloud, is peculiar because it's made from floods caused by glaciers on the mountain melting during eruptions. Weed and Mt Shasta, towns toward the south, tended to get the gas and ashes. Sure a lot of ways to be killed by a volcano! :smoke:
You'd make a great geologist, so observant and close to the earth and nature. That reminds me that some thirty five years ago I was living in Midland TX and sitting a drilling well in southeast New Mexico. My company sent another young geologist from their Farmington, NM office in the four corners region to observe. He was native American and from that part of the country but don't know what tribe. Anyway he was one of the best in the field I was ever around and also one of the nicest. I never saw him again and hope he did well.
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
Aha! Another thread I needed! My 8th graders chose people to represent for a living history program, and Miss Sure Shot chose Emma. I SWEAR I didn't encourage her...she remembered her all on her own....which proves to me she's A) exceptionally smart, and B) kinda scary.


10268427_10202543151279111_5102463888635853095_n.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Kristen Target.jpg
    Kristen Target.jpg
    103.2 KB · Views: 383
Last edited:

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
What exactly is that stereotype anyway? says this former Texan. Those photos look very Texas to me!

Yeah, you and I know there are trees. :smile: But I suspect the stereotypical vision is from all those western movies--you know....sort of like McCamey. Or Winkler County!

Expired Image Removed
winklersandhills.jpg
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
That gun, GenDeb. is worth a great deal of money. It has to be like your Dad buying you a new car for your 8th-grade graduation.

Maybe that's an exaggeration. Just googled it and they run from $4000 and up.

I suspect it will help get her some 4-H scholarships....the least of which will be the $10,000 Houston Stock Show scholarship. She's going to be an Aggie. :smile:
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
What exactly is that stereotype anyway? says this former Texan. Those photos look very Texas to me!

Yeah, you and I know there are trees. :smile: But I suspect the stereotypical vision is from all those western movies--you know....sort of like McCamey. Or Winkler County!

One of the places I visited in January on my trip to Arizona was Old Tuscon, a movie studio dating from 1940 where MANY famous westerns were filmed over the years. It accounts for much of the "Texas" stereotype, including the saguaro cactus!
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Aha! Another thread I needed! My 8th graders chose people to represent for a living history program, and Miss Sure Shot chose Emma. I SWEAR I didn't encourage her...she remembered her all on her own....which proves to me she's A) exceptionally smart, and B) kinda scary.


View attachment 36416 View attachment 36417
That young lady might be small in stature, but she is HUGE in rifle accuracy. I don't know whether Forrest would have recruited her, but I sure would have.

Getting back to Miss Emma, I had never heard her story until I stumbled into the Forrest Art thread and saw her depicted there. It is such a wonderful story. I'm glad to know where Miss Emma finished out her days on earth, and that she is honored in this way. When I saw these pictures, they represented to me a very fine closure to a story that peaked my interest in the art thread. I wondered what happened to her and where she came to rest. Now I know.

Depending on one's point of view, there were several young lady heroines out here in the far western theater of Missouri during the war (or they were traitors, depending once again on your personal orientation). I'm not judging them by anyone's standards but my own. When young women supported either side at the risk of prison, banishment, or even their lives, I think they were heroines. So many times, women have taught me very important lessons in personal and moral courage. That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it!
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
One of the places I visited in January on my trip to Arizona was Old Tuscon, a movie studio dating from 1940 where MANY famous westerns were filmed over the years. It accounts for much of the "Texas" stereotype, including the saguaro cactus!

Exactly. :smile: Either that or Monument Valley......"back to chopping cotton" my rear (Even the kids roll their eyes when they hear that line in The Searchers).
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Exactly. :smile: Either that or Monument Valley......"back to chopping cotton" my rear (Even the kids roll their eyes when they hear that line in The Searchers).

After my trip which combined the real west ( Tombstone ) with the reel west ( Old Tuscon ) I think I watched ( or re-watched ) ALL the different versions of the Gunfight at OK Corral, including that one, filmed in part at Old Tuscon, Wyatt Earp, Tombstone, and My Darling Clementine, which was definitely the worst. Filmed by John Ford in Monument Valley it featured a single saguaro cactus prominently displayed to no doubt "prove" it was really in Arizona - though there are NO saguaro anywhere near Tombstone! It's sole "saving grace" is the performance of Walter Brennan as "Old Man" Clanton, though the real Clanton was dead by the time of the gunfight where he's "killed".
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
After my trip which combined the real west ( Tombstone ) with the reel west ( Old Tuscon ) I think I watched ( or re-watched ) ALL the different versions of the Gunfight at OK Corral, including that one, filmed in part at Old Tuscon, Wyatt Earp, Tombstone, and My Darling Clementine, which was definitely the worst. Filmed by John Ford in Monument Valley it featured a single saguaro cactus prominently displayed to no doubt "prove" it was really in Arizona - though there are NO saguaro anywhere near Tombstone!

Oh, you missed Day of the Gun, which the 7th graders annually vote as the absolute worst (Clementine is second) gunfight.
 

lelliott19

Brigadier General
Moderator
* OFFICIAL *
CWT PRESENTER
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Chickamauga 2018
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Great post! A couple of issues though. I know Gadsden, Alabama and go through there from time to time. It's in NE Alabama, which was dubious of the Confederacy. They went along, eventually, but these are the Appalachian foothills where slavery did not take root very well. And I can not imagine an Antebellum parent allowing a daughter to ride off on a horse, with a soldier! Forrest or not. Complete break with protocol for a young woman in that time and place. But maybe an exception was made.

Being a local, maybe I can shed some additional light. You are correct in your assessment that the NE Alabama area was not rooted in slavery nor was it a hotbed for secession. Still, once the vote for secession was official, and when Union forces invaded, I believe the folks in Gadsden were "all in." There was indeed, a substantial Unionist presence, mostly in the more rural, mountainous areas, that was not as prevalent in developed areas of commerce like Gadsden. The City of Gadsden was on the Coosa River and the steamboats ran back and forth from Gadsden to Rome several times a day carrying cotton, crops, goods, and passengers. The citizens were likely impacted financially by the war long before Streight's men arrived.

Also important to note that Emma Sansom's family was not wealthy. They were not part of the "high society" so perhaps the "rules of conduct for proper young ladies" were not quite as strict. Her mother was a Vann. Emma's maternal grandfather was Joseph Vann, probably nephew of Chief James "Joseph" Vann of the Cherokee Vanns. Her father had died the year before the Forrest incident and, with her brothers away fighting in the Confederate Army, it is fair to assume that Emma and her mother would have been struggling. Emma was likely wearing a simple work dress of homespun material, not the fancy one depicted in the romanticized painting. They lived in a 2 room log cabin, not a fancy antebellum home. They scratched out a living on their little plot of land with a few cows, a handful of chickens, and a garden for family use.
 
Last edited:
Top