Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves


Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves

The Bass Reeves Trilogy, Book One

Sidney Thompson

The Bass Reeves Trilogy Series

240 pages
1 photograph, 1 map

Look inside the Book

March 2020


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2020


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eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2020


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About the Book

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an origin story in the true American tradition. Before Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth-century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty-two-year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave.

After a childhood picking cotton, Reeves became an expert marksman under his master’s tutelage, winning shooting contests throughout the region. His skill had serious implications, however, as the Civil War broke out. Reeves was given to his master’s mercurial, sadistic, Moby-Dick-quoting son in the hopes that Reeves would keep him safe in battle. The ensuing humiliation, love, heroics, war, mind games, and fear solidified Reeves’s determination to gain his freedom and drew him one step further on his fated path to an illustrious career.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an important historical work that places Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates a great man’s exploits amid the near-mythic world of the nineteenth-century frontier.

Author Bio

Sidney Thompson teaches creative writing and African American literature at Texas Christian University. He is the author of You/Wee: Poems from a Father and Sideshow: Stories. Thompson has published his short fiction in numerous literary journals and anthologies.


"Thompson's short novel is a fascinating look at life in northwest Arkansas in the years before and during the Civil War, when the future lawman came of age and ultimately made his break for freedom. The rest of the trilogy is likely to be just as intriguing, especially because that's the way the real Bass Reeves lived his life."—Glen Seeber, Oklahoman

"Thompson . . . is a highly entertaining writer, and his Bass Reeves emerges as an intelligent, reluctantly violent, sympathetic young man. Readers will find the compelling recreations of two important Civil War battles to be a kind of bonus."—John Mort, Mississippi Book Page

“Fearless and unflinching, Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is a magnificent work of historical fiction. The characters and the times in which they lived are intensely and beautifully realized, and every line rings with authenticity. . . . Its truths are ever so urgent.”—Steve Yarbrough, author of The Unmade World: A Novel

“Sidney Thompson has the ability to pull you into the narrative and give you a glimpse of the antebellum life of a young slave destined for greatness as a lawman. . . . Highly recommended.”—Art T. Burton, author of Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves

“This novel, like all the best historical fiction, reminds us that the most memorable events in our history happened in specific minutes, hours, and days to individuals every bit as complicated and contradictory as you or me.”—Susan Perabo, author of The Fall of Lisa Bellow: A Novel

Table of Contents

Note on Language

Part 1. Genesis
1. Bass Reeves    
2. Shoo    
3. Peas in a Pod    
4. Ice         
5. Books    
6. The Pussytoes    
7. The Wallows    
8. Friends    

Part 2. Exodus
9. The Sticks    
10. A Good One    
11. A Sire Mule    
12. The Bottle    
13. Rub    
14. Cracker King    
15. Crumbs and Raindrops    

Part 3. That Heaven Place
16. The Seed    
17. What a N—— Wants    
18. A Revelation    
19. The Quiet Places    
20. Walpurgisnacht    
21. Now That There’s Space    
22. Closer    
23. A Little Red Church    
24. Left    
25. Thataway    


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