Iron Branch by Kelby Ouchley
A Civil War Tale of a Woman In-Between

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 Iron Branch explores cultural conflicts of the American Civil War era as experienced by those not often elevated to lead roles. Abita Carter, a half-Choctaw woman who describes herself as always "in-between," tells the story of her life and that of the young lawyer/soldier, Minor Barrett, in north Louisiana during the Civil War. The core of the tale involves Abita's journey to find Minor, who is reported to have been wounded during the siege of Vicksburg. Along the way she faces a cast of characters with varying intentions. General Grant's wife, a family of slaves with compassion beyond reason, and a small blind mule are among those encountered in the rich, Deep South setting. None, though, is more distracting than Minor's blue-blooded wife, who seeks her husband for a different purpose. Abita's state of "in-between" takes on new meanings as she is drawn ever deeper into the turmoil of the times. Passion, self-doubt, and malice finally threaten her existence in any condition.

About Kelby Ouchley

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Kelby Ouchley is a naturalist and managed National Wildlife Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 30 years. His first book, Flora and Fauna of the Civil War: An Environmental Reference Guide (, was published by LSU Press in 2010. A collection of his essays, Bayou-Diversity: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country* (, was released by LSU Press in 2011. Since 1995, Kelby has written and narrated a weekly natural history program for KEDM 90.3 FM, the public radio station that serves the Ark-La-Miss area. Kelby and his wife, Amy, live in the woods in Rocky Branch, Louisiana, in a cypress house surrounded by white oaks and black hickories. His website is Signed copies of his books are available through the contact page of this website.
Published June 17, 2011 219 pages
Genres: History, Romance, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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