For the past few decades, Charlotte Corbin Barnes has been researching and just completed writing her first non-fiction book, “The Tom Dooley Files: My Search for the Truth Behind the Legend.” What started out as a television documentary back in the late 80s, morphed into a 500-page book due to the vast amount of materials she uncovered during her research. For those unfamiliar with the legend of Tom Dooley, a.k.a. Thomas C. Dula, he was made internationally famous back in the late 1950s by The Kingston Trio’s release of the ballad Tom Dooley…”Hang down your head, Tom Dooley; Hang down your head and cry. Hang down your head, Tom Dooley; Poor boy, you’re bound to die.” Thomas C. Dula was hanged May 1, 1868 in Statesville, NC for the murder of his sweetheart, Laura Foster. The story is a love triangle [some say quadrangle] set in Wilkes County, NC. Tom was many things…a musician, a lady’s man, a drinker of the shine, a Civil War veteran [NC 42nd Regiment, Co K], a POW at Point Lookout, MD until after the end of the war in 1865. Following the disappearance of Laura Foster on May 25, 1866, Tom came under suspicion and fled to Tennessee where he worked on the Grayson farm to pay for a pair of new boots, which turned out to be his undoing when the posse discovered him soaking his sore, blistered feet in Doe Creek in Pandora. Tom was returned to Wilkes County to stand trial defended by ex-Confederate Governor of NC, Zebulon Vance. The trial was later moved to Iredell County. Tom was in jail for two years along with his accomplice to the crime, Ann Foster Melton. Ann was released after Tom was hanged and reportedly died a few years later as the result of an ox cart accident. That’s the blog version of the story. The Tom Dooley Files: My Search for the Truth Behind the Legend goes into great detail. It is a bonanza for anyone interested in music, the Civil War, Reconstruction Era, genealogy, history, archeology, etc. Did Tom murder Laura? You’ll just have to read the book. For more information about this hardcover, limited edition book, visit www.thetomdooleyfiles.com or contact Bill Barnes toll free at 888 893 7331 or by email… firstname.lastname@example.org. NOW AVAILABLE!
Portrait by Edith Ferguson Carter