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Having survived over twenty years of almost constant fighting, Taylor then enlisted in the Confederate Army in and served with distinction in Colonel John Ford's command. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, he was one of the patriarchs of the Taylor faction of the notorious Sutton-Taylor Feud that plagued DeWitt County and the surrounding area. He died in Kimble County on December 26, , at the ripe old age of 86 and is buried in the Noxville Cemetery just southeast of Junction, Texas.

These are all facts that can be substantiated from military records, letters and other official documents. There is also no doubt that Creed Taylor was a wealth of information concerning the volatile events of mid-nineteenth century Texas, but he left few, if any, written accounts of those years. He did, however, relate the details of his experiences to a gentleman named John Warren Hunter Hunter, who lived near Brady, Texas some 50 miles north of Noxville , was an avid, amateur Texas Historian who published many articles and magazines on the subject.

Hunter's research included interviewing the participants involved in the historical events and then massaging their recollections into something that would be more palatable to readers.

Down Here In Texas | Creed Fisher and The Redneck Nation

For the time period and his level of training, Hunter seems to have been fairly competent at recording these stories and wrote some interesting articles from them, however, as is often the case with historians, he was never successful at making a great deal of money from his writings and his correspondence reveals that he was often in monetary straits. Enter James T. DeShields DeShields was another avid amateur historian from Farmersville, Texas near Dallas , who collected manuscripts and articles on Texas history and wrote extensively on the subject 1.

The only problem with these reminiscences is that there is no evidence that DeShields ever talked to Taylor and there is ample circumstantial evidence that Taylor and DeShields never communicated or even met.

Mission & Creed

For lack of money or stringent constraints by publishers, Hunter was unable to have the manuscript published. Then comes the pitch: "Being unable to have the work gotten out in book form I offer the MSS for sale at a price that will enable the purchaser to make a handsome profit. The DeShields Papers are full of correspondence between Hunter and DeShields discussing a myriad of subjects, but on July 1st, , Hunter signed a contract which states, in part, "I have this day sold transferred and delivered to the said J.


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DeShields a certain MSS. DeShields with privilege of using said MSS in any manner he may deem proper or [unintelligible] All copyright privileges are to be transferred to James T. It is also interesting that in Hunter's original manuscript, DeShields marked through, by hand, all third person references and replaced them with first person references, so that a sentence that might have originally read "Creed Taylor fought in the Battle of San Jacinto" would read "I fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. Neither is the case.


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  4. This very confusing style of editing in itself, causes a great many problems for the researcher, however DeShields compounds the confusion by adding details to Taylor's story that were not included in the original manuscript. A good example of this is found in one portion of the final book. DeShields has Taylor recalling very detailed descriptions of the "Come and Take It" [Gonzales] flag and the Dawson [Dodson] flag and their origins, however in Hunter's original manuscript, no flags are mentioned at all.

    If the flag descriptions were not in Hunter's original manuscript and DeShields never communicated with Taylor, where did the descriptions come from? The descriptions were inserted by DeShields.

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    It was very common for writers of DeShields' era to borrow heavily from previous works without giving proper credit to the previous authors. The intent was to provide the reader with a better story, not a more accurate story.

    In Search of Creed Taylor

    Many passages of Tall Men With Long Rifles resemble, in wording and spelling, works that were published prior to its compilation. The only conclusion one can draw from this is that Hunter interviewed Creed Taylor and wrote Taylor's story so that readers of that age would enjoy it. To that end, embellishments were added to the original interview material to obtain a readable manuscript.

    DeShields then bought the manuscript and embellished it further adding still more information from previously published accounts and changing the narrative view of the story.


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    5. In both instances the authors, for readability's sake, gave the impression that the words, embellishments and added information came directly from Creed Taylor. The vast majority did not. Tall Men With Long Rifles is indeed a good read, but because it is an embellishment of an embellishment with additions, it cannot be seriously taken as a verbatim historical account of events as recounted by Creed Taylor. In point of fact, the only way we might have some semblance of an idea as to what information Taylor originally provided is to take Hunter's original manuscript and laboriously remove all information that Hunter may have obtained from other sources.

      The type of document deconstruction methodology needed would be similar to the type Biblical scholars have attempted to use on the four Christian gospels in an attempt to reconstruct an earlier work known as the "Q" document. There's an old saying that "God makes history, but only historians can change it". From time to time we get the opportunity to correct our "changes".

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