A Louisiana author made the trek to Pineville during the annual Jesse James Days to showcase her previous two books about the legendary outlaw, but also to talk about her new book.
“It is called, ‘Guns, Gold and Good Whisky: The Continuing Saga of Jesse James alias J. Frank Dalton,’” said Reggie Anne Walker-Wyatt. “It is finished, I tried to get out for this festival, but I just didn’t quite get it made.”
The new book showcases what she calls “The other Jesse James,” and features chapters of new information about the man who claimed with his last breath to being born as Jesse James.
Her two other books are “Chasing Rivers, Trains and Jesse James” and “The Back Roads of Jesse James.”
“I have interviewed several elderly, credible people, including a Texas Ranger who knew J. Frank Dalton and believed he was Jesse James,” Walker-Wyatt said in a prepared statement. “You can’t ignore these stories. But the most compelling facts are the old photos. These old photos say a lot more than I can and they are real, I just find the facts to support the pictures.”
Walker-Wyatt said she got interested in the story of Jesse James at an early age.
“I really believe that I was probably pre-destined to do it,” she said. “I was programmed from a child. My grandfather and grandmother reared me. (Grandfather) used to tease my grandmother about all of the outlaws being on her side of the family. I grew up and there were a couple of outlaws on that side of the family. He loved history, he was a railroad union negotiator. J. Frank Dalton was tied in to the railroads and so was Frank James.”
The author also had photographs and wanted posters of James. There was one photo of J. Frank Dalton Walker-Wyatt said went unidentified until the author was given the photo. Two men in the photo, a group of Confederate soldiers, went unidentified for more than 145 years until she received it and immediately saw the one of the men was Dalton.
Pointing to the photograph, she told the Neosho Daily News who was the unidentified solider.
“It is Confederate Col. Colton Green,” she said.
Green rode with James when they were in Louisiana, Walker-Wyatt said.
Walker-Wyatt hopes to have the new book out by Christmas or the beginning of next year. She also plans on being back to next year’s festival.
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