The 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre: Blood in the Cane Fields by C. Dier

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Pat Young

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The 1868 St. Bernard Parish Massacre: Blood in the Cane Fields by C. Dier published by History Press (2017) 147 pages Harcover $23.99, Paperback $20.16, Kindle $6.04.
This thin book describes a little known massacre of African Americans by white Democrats in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The killing of dozens of blacks took place just weeks before the election of Grant in 1868. The massacre followed a confrontation between black Republicans and white conservatives at a campaign rally.

The author is an 8th grade history teacher and he found out about the massacre while researching local history projects for his students. The book provides a good overview of its subject, but also of the limitations of studying the period. While the massacre led to investigations and reports, many of the documents generated in the wake of the killings have been lost to hurricanes and floods. And while St. Bernard Parish is the next parish down from New Orleans, it was an isolated backwater.
 
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