Robert Hammock had a restless spirit. He grew weary of the quiet life of Colonial Virginia and left his ancestral lands in 1774 in search of a new life on the edge of civilization. He and his wife, Milly, guided their family on a adventurous overland journey to settle in the rugged, untamed Indian lands of Georgia. Frontier life suited the Hammock family. They formed new friendships and hacked a rich and fulfilling life out of Georgia woods.
Then a War of Revolution swept through the colonies, eventually invading their pristine backcountry. Robert and Milly chose to make a stand and fight, side by side, for their security and freedom. But that choice soon cost them their farm, their possessions, and their home. Forced to flee for their lives from revenge-hungry Tories and their British masters, Milly and her children became refugees across the mountains in Tennessee while Robert and his faithful slave, Frank, returned to Georgia to fight a guerrilla war against the British.
Would Robert Hammock and the tenacious Regiment of Refugees be able to drive the British from Georgia? Would Milly ever see her beloved Robert and her distant Georgia home again? Would Frank ever know real love and family or experience true freedom?
Partisans and Refugees is the heartbreaking but victorious story of an early American family torn apart by war but united by loyalty, love, and liberty.
Partisans and Refugees was an amazing story to research. The Hammock/Hammack family is an expansive one throughout the southeastern United States. The repetition of given names among the early generations make the genealogical research a challenge, at best.
I was particularly fascinated by the history of the Regiment of Refugees from Richmond and Wilkes Counties in the Georgia backcountry. And I was disturbed by the cold, bloody way in which the neighbor-against-neighbor was was fought in Georgia during the Revolution. The “side story” of a slave being involved in the war was intentional. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that there were thousands of men of color, even in the south, who fought for Independence. “Frank Hammock” is my homage to their sacrifices.
This is, by far, my favorite cover among all of my books. The subjects were my wife, Kim, and our newborn grandson, Jackson. We caught his mother gone one afternoon and stole him away for a photoshoot back in May of 2016, with every intention of making the image for the cover of this book. So … the poor child is immortalized in my work.
Kim and I had the honor to go to Wilkes County in February of 2017. We took part in several historical events that commemorate the Revolutionary War in Georgia. One of those was the annual commemoration of the Battle of Kettle Creek, which is described in detail in my book. Here is out photo from that day …
It was an amazing experience to actually “walk the ground” where my ancestors once lived, walked, fought, and sacrificed.