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Keri Leigh Merritt @KeriLeighMerrit
, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
So I spent yesterday in a place I've written about but never really visited (which is always surreal): the Pearl River Swamp on the border of #Louisiana & #Mississippi.
During the Civil War this area (which is very close to the Free State of Jones that @vikki_bynum wrote about) was filled with anti-Confederate white men hiding out, trying to avoid having to fight the slaveholders' war.
I couldn't stop thinking about the WPA slave narratives about the area. The anti-Confederate whites learned how to hide from the enslaved, who learned from Native Americans.
They'd rub onions on the bottom of their feet to throw off the hounds, and use smoke and other signals to alert fellow deserters & draft dodgers to Confederates in the area.
They lived in this swamp so long that they eventually came to be known as "mossbacks" due to the beautiful Spanish moss on the trees which would inevitably end up on their clothing.
The men would eat what they could from the swamp, but they were also brought food from their women - and the enslaved.
It was amazing & haunting & beautiful and I'm so grateful to have finally seen it.
One more of the Blue Heron:
And yes, for those asking, I took these photos (on a crappy Android phone) and manually edited them on Instagram.

For more follow me here:…
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