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The Flag on the Hilltop

Mary Tracy Earle

Publication Year: 2013

Early in the Civil War, two young brothers boldly flew the Union flag from a tree atop a hill between Makanda and Cobden. This was a towering act of courage in an area teeming with Copperheads.

Theodore and Al Thompson, 18 and 20 years old at the time, raised the flag in defiance of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secessionist group that operated throughout the Midwest. Controlling its membership through terror, this secret society condemned betrayers to death by torture. The Knights, whose goals included capturing a Union prison and liberating the rebels, triggered the Civil War riot in Charleston, instigated anti-draft movements, and aided Northern deserters.

Theodore Thompson, who later owned much of Makanda, Giant City, and the land that became Southern Illinois University describes the tree as a "tall tulip poplar between 3 and 4 feet in diameter at the trunk and some 60 feet to the first limbs. This noted tree could be seen in some directions 15 or 20 miles away."

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4


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p. 5-5


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pp. 6-7

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pp. vii-xxiv

Mary Tracy Earle occupies an unusual place among southern Illinois fiction writers: the descendent of a family that helped shape the region, she left her hometown of Cobden and made her way to ...

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Chapter I: In Which a Boy Going Uphill Meets Several People Coming Down

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pp. 1-20

THE shadow of a bridge across the railroad track darkened the car windows for a moment ; the engine gave a long, frantic shriek, and ...

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Chapter II: In Which Alec Finds More Than He Is Looking For

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pp. 21-41

"Did you see anybody in the woods?" It was the very question Alec had been dreading, and he felt himself growing embarrassingly red as his uncle looked ...

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Chapter III: Which Throws Alec Somewhat Suddenly Into The Hands Of His Friends

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pp. 42-62

Secret service was taking a form for which Alec was not prepared, and he needed time to think. He drew his face away from the opening through the rocks, for fear of being ...

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Chapter IV: In Which Plenty Of Rope Is Given To Alec

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pp. 63-84

" Boss " Jeemes - whose given name was Boston, no one knew why- was a very tall, thin man with square jaws, hollow cheeks, and a look of having been dipped in a tan ...

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Chapter V

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pp. 85-104

When Doctor Ford and T. D. came home from their fruitless search for meetings of the Golden Circle, on the night after Alec's arrival, the doctor went softly to the door of the room he had assigned ...

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Chapter VI: Which Tells The Fate Of The Golden Circle

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pp. 105-126

Boss Jeemes and Johnson returned to Jeemes's rather early, the evening after they had put Alec into the nook on the side of the clifi. Mrs. Jeemes met them with a frightened face, and told ...

Author Bio

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pp. 126-125

Herbert K. Russell Bio

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p. 127-127

Shawnee Classics Series

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pp. 128-130

Back Cover

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p. 159-159

E-ISBN-13: 9780809387786
E-ISBN-10: 0809387786
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809330515
Print-ISBN-10: 0809330512

Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 4
Publication Year: 2013