Inspired by the Kingston Trio’s 1958 international hit ballad Tom Dooley plus 30 years of in-depth research into the life and times of Thomas C. Dula, led Charlotte Corbin Barnes to write The Tom Dooley Files: My Search for the Truth Behind the Legend, which she published in 2016. This nearly 500-page memoir, filled with its facts, fables, trial summaries, newspaper articles and invaluable family oral histories, won the prestigious North Carolina Society of Historians Book of the Year Award for 2017.

“Dooley!” is Barnes’ latest literary achievement…a factual novel that deftly chronicles the multiple sides of the Tom Dooley legend from the perspective of the New York Herald newspaper reporter who was assigned to cover the hanging. This time around, she relies on the wealth of information she’s collected about the legend to tell what she believes really happened during that fateful spring of 1866 and in the years before and after the tragedy.

“Edith Carter, my dear friend and founder of the Tom Dooley Museum in Wilkes County, North Carolina, challenged me to first publish the factual book. ‘Its information is priceless!’ She said. ‘Then, write a novel that reveals what you believe, according to what your research and your gut tell you could be the real story behind the murder of Laura Foster.’ So that’s what I’ve done. Thanks Edith!” – Charlotte Corbin Barnes

Who really killed Laura Foster and why?

Was Tom even at the crime scene and if not, where was he?

What was Colonel James Grayson’s role in the tragedy? Was he Laura Foster’s lover, too?

Who was the mysterious Yankee schoolteacher named Bob Cummings?

Why did Confederate North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance agreed to defend Tom and Ann?

What did Tom confess to the  minister that administered his last rights the morning of his hanging?

What happened that fateful day for young Robert Springs Jurney to be forever haunted by Tom’s hanging?

The answers to these questions and a whole lot more await you in:


             A factual novel by Charlotte Corbin Barnes



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