Greg Starnes
A Secessionist Christmas Carol by Greg Starnes


A Southern twist on Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story, "A
Secessionist Christmas Carol" transports the reader back to the
momentous Christmas Eve of 1860. Set in Columbia, South
Carolina, fire-eating secessionist orator Eleazor Smitherman is
visited by three spirits that warn of impending ruin if the Palmetto
State leads other cotton-producing sovereigns down a path to war.
Reluctant to change at first, Smitherman is finally convinced of the
error of his ways. His sour attitude and miserly habits are replaced
with happiness and generosity. He pleads with governor-elect
Francis Wilkinson Pickens to nullify the unanimous vote for political
withdrawal from the United States. After much heated debate and
many threats against his life, Smitherman, with the help of the
governor’s wife, convinces enough delegates to change their stance
and remain in the Union. War, poverty and want are averted,
hundreds of thousands of lives are spared and Eleazor Smitherman
becomes the most beloved man in all of South Carolina.
I was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama.  I graduated with honors from
the University of Alabama with a BA in communications in 1991.  Upon
graduation, I started my own video production business from scratch, and
built a client base to include customers in 41 states and 6 foreign countries.  
I moved to Fort Payne, Alabama, in 2009, and began writing professionally in
January of 2011.  I have penned nonfiction articles for several newspapers,
magazines and journals - including an upcoming feature article for "Alabama
Heritage".  Most of my nonfiction work revolves around little-known people
and places that had a big impact on events associated with the Civil War.  For
example, I wrote a feature article about an entire family being captured by
Union forces and being sent north as prisoners of war.  The family survived,
and the husband and wife eventually moved to DeKalb County, AL.  As a
result of my efforts, the woman now has a six-foot granite marker at her grave
- the first of its kind in the world to a female POW of the Civil War.  I have also
written two books:  "A Secessionist Christmas Carol" with Mirror Publishing,
and a collection of ghost stories from DeKalb County titled "Hollers From The
Hollows".  In addition to writing, I am also a professional storyteller, Civil War
historian and award-winning preservationist.