In the waning days of the Confederacy, President Jefferson Davis issued an order that the South's gold reserve be moved to a new, safe location, to keep it from falling into Yankee hands. Instead, somewhere between Abbeville, SC and Washington, Ga., it disappeared.
Lander University 1994 graduate D.J. Humphrey imagines where the loot might have been stashed -- and a death-defying quest that results in its recovery -- in his first book, "Jackson's Raiders and the Lost Confederate Gold" (CreateSpace 2011).
Humphrey's book, available in print and online versions through Amazon, is inspired by the fallout from the closing of Riegel Mills, in Ware Shoals, and set in Abbeville. It documents how seven young friends, through determination, courage, good luck and the help of a supernatural friend named Tommy Tyner, solve one of the great unsolved mysteries of history.
Two additional books are in the works, "Jackson's Raiders and the Blood Curse of Montezuma" and "Jackson's Raiders and the Chronicles of Blackbeard." In each, as in Humphrey's first book, the search for one of history's long-lost treasures is the center of interest.
Reviews of "Jackson's Raiders and the Lost Confederate Gold" have been positive. Reviewer Ann Mauren said, "The imaginative and clever story line keeps you guessing and anxious for the young heroes as they work together to find the lost gold and their way out of secret passages that have been sealed since the Civil War -- unlocking secrets of a startling mystery along the way." Adults will enjoy the book just as much, she said, as the middle-grade students for whom it was written.
Humphrey, who described himself as a "late bloomer of sorts," enrolled at Lander as a 30-year-old nontraditional student in 1990. That he was able to graduate cum laude with a B.S. in elementary education, he said, "is a credit to Lander. This could not have been possible without Lander University's being the great school that it is."