Souffrant, Louisiana is a small river town bordering a long expanse of the bayou. Founded in 1819 by an ill-fated logging company, it has a long history of misery and misfortune. During the civil war, the entire defending Southern garrison was stricken by dysentery killing over half its number. A second, reinforcing, garrison bivouacked near Okkam's Creek, a favored alligator spawning site, and suffered casualties to nearly a quarter of its number.
Following the war, like many places in the South, and indeed the entire nation, Souffrant suffered deep racial strife. Yet the lynchings and cross-burnings in the small town outnumbered that of its neighbors. During one infamous night, known locally as the Night of Wailing, there were twelve lynchings including the entire Harrison family. The picture of young Tashya Harrison hanging from a tree finally spurred the authorities to act, and gradually racial violence lessened.
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