Anyone with more than a passing knowledge of 19th Century American history will surely have heard of Jackson Speed, veteran of the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. Speed’s exploits are legendary – brevetted for valor in the Mexican-American War by Jefferson Davis, “The Hero of El Teneria” went on to fight at Gettysburg where he won the Medal of Honor. He saved Lincoln’s life in Baltimore and was instrumental in the Confederacy’s victory at Chancellorsville.
But with the recent discovery of his memoirs, Speed’s own words reveal him to be a coward and a rascal, and he confesses that nearly every honor bestowed upon him for bravery was simply a misinterpreted attempt to flee some danger or, often as not, get “belly to belly” with some woman.
In “Jackson Speed: The Hero of El Teneria,” the first volume in the Jackson Speed Memoirs, Ol’ Speedy tells the truth of how he fled his boyhood home of Scull Shoals, Georgia, and was literally chased by an enraged and cuckolded husband into the Mexican-American War. Speed shows that it wasn’t bravery but a desperate flight from Mexican bullets that sent him scampering over the battlements at El Teneria, the Monterrey fort that first made him famous, and he confesses to farting his way into Santa Anna’s camp with Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch. Along the way, Speed introduces readers to his Southern Belle and his Spanish Lady, and explains how Ashley Franks’ peach cobbler led him down a path of trouble and danger.
This picaresque novel is sure to be the best fun you’ve ever had in the Mexican-American War!
What readers are saying:
“Great fun! … Robert Peecher’s Jackson Speed: The Hero of El Teneria is a picaresque romp through the Mexican-American War of 1846. The anti-heroic Speed accidentally becomes a war hero in Mexico as a result of his irresistibility to women and his great fear of dying from a cannon blast.”
-Arthur Wayne Glowka, author of “The Texiad”
“The history is true and the fiction is fun. … If the series continues, I am certain that we will be drawn to (or drug through) more accidental adventures by the hesitant hero. And we will see further evidence that nice guys finish last.”
“Peecher’s humorous style builds a character of questionable integrity that the reader grows to like. Although this is a work of fiction, Peecher does a wonderful job accurately describing the events that occurred while placing his character in the center of the action. I feel like I learned something about history while having fun along the way!”
Targeted Age Group:
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
For historical fiction there is a lot of research followed by a lot more research and then that frustrating day when you realize you misread or misremembered some pertinent fact and you’ve got to go and rewrite an entire chapter.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Particularly when it comes to writing fiction, my advice is to keep your day job. Most people don’t make a living writing books. You should write because you enjoy it. You should publish because you want other people to enjoy it. Likely as not, your books won’t start making a lot of money until your dead.
Robert Peecher is editor and publisher of The Oconee Leader, a weekly newspaper in Oconee County, Georgia. He has spent his career in newspapers, working at both weekly and daily papers throughout Georgia.