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Crossroads: The Early Years of Monroe County

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Crossroads: The Early Years of Monroe County

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Author Kathy McCoy has a special place in her heart for Monroe County, Alabama. Crossroads is  one of three works devoted to this historically rich area. McCoy begins with the earliest native inhabitants then moves all the way to the Reformation and Restoration of the south. The book is broken into seven chapters, each with a different historical period as the main focus. Crossroads also includes period letters, pictorials, and news articles that add depth and dimension to its historic story. McCoy herself stated that Crossroads would make an excellent companion for students taking Alabama history, but it is an enjoyable standalone account of a county older than the State itself. It is a quick and excellent read for those interested in the background of the area that has produced some of the most notable authors in modern history.  



Kathy McCoy tells the tale of a county older than the state. What you hold in your hands is not just another book, but in fact, a colorful tour through the history of one of the South's most storied counties, Monroe County, which originally covered roughly one-half of the entire state, and thereby a claimant to motherhood of a number of counties which followed.

To hear Kathy McCoy tell her story, you'll have to agree to its truth. Her tedious and extensive research has borne the fruit of facts which dispel previous myths and legends. 

So, come take a ride with Kathy as you travel with her and early settlers down the Old Federal Road to the thriving inland community of Burnt Corn, on the Eastern edge of the County, with the Alabama River to the river-port town of old Claiborne on the West side.

Mount a horse alongside Gen. Andrew Jackson as he leads Federal troops from Fort Claiborne to defeat the Creek Indian Nation that has homesteaded these lands form the beginning.

Sit-in at the treaty council after the conclusive Battle of Horseshoe Bend and sense the emotions of William Weatherford, the half-breed fondly called "Red Eagle," who chose to fight in defense of his Indian brothers and lost.

Visit with the new settlers and endure the hardships of these hearty pioneers as they literally carved new lives in new territories and made time for their voices to be known and respected in affairs of State.

Thrill at the send-off rallies of the volunteers as they proudly marched off to join troops for the Confederacy, fully confident that one Southern country boy could easily whip twenty city-bred Northerners. Then, weep with them in their despair when they taste defeat, never because of a lack of valor, just overwhelmed by superior weaponry and numbers of both men and supplies.

Finally, experience inside the harsh realities of one of the most cruel reconstruction eras in all of history. A period following the end of the Civil War that lasted twelve long, brutal years, in which the Yankee boot was placed firmly on the necks of the South with the full intentions for making them pay dearly for their misdeeds. Believe me, you will cringe as Kathy bluntly tells it like it was, for their suffering physically, mentally, and economically, and because their pride and self respect was injured beyond recovery.

Perhaps the late A. V. "Shorty" Culpepper, former journalist for the county newspaper The Monroe Journal offered the best explanation of the history when he said, "When the white man first came into the lands of the Indians, he found a lifestyle where the men hunted and fished every day while the women performed all of the work in the villages. The white man was foolish enough to think that he could improve on that lifestyle."

George T. Jones
Columnist for The Monroe Journal
Author of Happenings In Old Monroeville:
                                 Volumes 1 and 2

Additional Information

Additional Information

Publisher Bolton Newspapers, Inc. ( The Monroe Journal )
Publish Date Jul 1, 2006
Copyright Date Jul 1, 2006
Binding Paperback

Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

Check out the history of “one of the South’s most storied counties!”
Kathy McCoy’s Crossroads tells the history of Monroe County—a county “older than the state” (Alabama became a state in 1819, Monroe was established as a county by European Americans in 1815).The history of the home of the literary capital of Alabama does not disappoint, and was filled with rich stories even before it produced great storytellers.

McCoy herself is an experienced historian and storyteller, having written a history of Monroeville and a biography of historic figure Captain Thomas Mercer Riley. She’s good at blending anecdotes, facts, letters and images to piece together an engaging, historically accurate tale.

Crossroads doesn’t disappoint—it’s a great read for school, for study or for fun. It’s for the serious history lover, the Southern history enthusiast or the traveller looking to pass the time.

McCoy begins with the first inhabitants of Monroe County, the Native Americans, and discusses their struggles and fall from power at the hands of white men. She moves on to the Civil War and ends with Reconstruction. Her stories are filled with interesting facts, but they’re also populated with real people, and their strife, pain, struggles, victories, defeats and passions.

This history of “one of the South’s most storied counties” is definitely worth a read! Review by MK Earnest / (Posted on 5/20/2015)
An Excellent and Easily Read Resource
For history buffs, especially those who grew up with a fondness of the Deep South, Crossroads, by Kathy McCoy , offers up some compelling content that not only makes a great resource, but a good read. Educators and historians will be pleased with the book, rich in information, well organized, and easy for even young readers to understand.

Kathy speaks knowledgably about the original inhabitants of Monroe County, AL, the Creek ,and then goes on to weave a narrative about the inhabitants that come and go throughout the history of the area, finishing her work with the regaling of tales from twelve years of Southern Reconstruction, the result of War Between the States.

The stories are peppered with names that history aficionados will know: DeSoto, Andrew Jackson, and others play critical roles in South Alabama’s history. There are also mentions of lesser known figures that played important roles in what the region has become today: William Weatherford, the Marshall and Johnson families, and others make appearances-- and we learn more about the real lives that shaped the communities both then and now.

McCoy’s work is worthwhile for historians, and overall, gives us some thoughtful insight about the relationships and dynamics of Monroe County throughout the ages—making it an excellent resource for those who hold Monroe County close to their hearts, and all of those who will certainly be better informed about the place once they’ve read this work.
Review by Ashley Burnette / (Posted on 4/12/2015)