By Gene L. Howard
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Extra info for Death at Cross Plains: An Alabama Reconstruction Tragedy
13 The journey to Alabama was long and strenuous but pleasant because of the company the men provided for each other. They shared similar interests, and their conversation was soon filled with the spiritual concerns that ordinary men found boring and uncomfortable. By the time they arrived in Talladega, Brown and Luke were friends. They arrived amid the flurry of activity around the building of the large dormitory. Foster Hall was beginning to assume an imposing size when Brown delivered the materials.
From the north a road from Kentucky and Tennessee passed through the village to southern Alabama and southern Georgia. From the Appalachian Valley to the northeast another important road from Knoxville and Rome crossed the northern route to Montgomery and Mobile. On the south side of the crossroads was a public well, a benevolent gesture to the travelers who plied the thoroughfares. About the distance of a city block north of the crossroads, a railroad ran west to east through the village. The Selma, Rome, and Dalton Railroad Company had completed laying the track two years earlier, building a loading dock to accommodate freight but only a crude office for the agent and passengers.
The carpetbagger, alien to the southern culture, displayed little tolerance for the values he did not understand and consequently brought wrath upon himself with ease. Finally, there were the more noble-minded, who did not fear even though they might vaguely realize the dangers of their mission. The apostles of enlightenment, spirited and zealous, did indeed exist. Beclouded by their idealism, such men saw only the good they expected their ministry to accomplish and were unresponsive to the discomfort that their narrow-minded righteousness stirred in others.