Bayou Macon Scene of Reconstruction Violence

Our friends over at the Piney Woods Journal have a great historical post about the violence and criminal activity that occurred on the Bayou Macon during the reconstruction era.

As journal correspondent Wesley Harris pens, “During the late 1800’s, the bayou was called “Macon” and “Mason” interchangeably, but the latter name eventually died out, leaving the little river known today exclusively as Bayou Macon.”


“The bayou was wild country in those days. Boats moving up and down the water in the late 19th century might as well as been on the equatorial Amazon for the lack of civilization on its banks.”

Wesley Harris
Piney Woods Journal Correspondent

Harris also references the Cole Younger gang in his column.

The James-Younger Gang – Left to right: Cole” Younger,
Jesse Woodson James, Bob Younger, and Frank James.

In his book, outlaw Cole Younger related several stories about his service in the Civil War and afterwards around Bayou Macon. He describes his guerilla unit as fighting to keep the Yankees out of Northesst Louisiana, especially Union patrols attempting to steal cotton: “Five miles from Tester’s Ferry on Bayou Macon we met a cotton train convoyed by 50 cavalry. We charged them on sight. The convoy got away with ten survivors, but every driver was shot, and four cotton buyers who were close behind in an ambulance were hung in a cotton gin near at hand. They had $180,000 on them, which, with the cotton and wagons, was sent back to Bastrop.”

Wesley Harris, Piney Woods Journal Correspondent

To read more about events that occurred on the Bayou Macon in the late 1800’s, visit the Piney Woods Journal.

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