L.D. Clark: "I can truly say that from the time I made my first attempts at fiction, I anticipated writing A Bright Tragic Thing, even though it turned out to be my fourth novel. The story was not only a fascinating account of a bloody struggle in a small Texas town during the Civil War, it was also a traumatic event which had struck at the heart of my family. My great-grandfather, whose portrait is on the cover of the book, was one of the 44 Union loyalists lynched in Gainsville by a Confederate mob. The oft-repeated account of the tragedy had already achieved the status of legend among my folks when I was a child. I was born in time to hear it first from my grandfather, as he told it with a passion and a bitterness against injustic enthralling to a child. The story was passed on in a like vein by my father and uncles. In his last year, Grandpa put it in writing as best he could for later generations. His penciled scrawl on yellowing pages came eventually to me, and with my editing was published by Texas A&M University Press as Civil War Recollections of James Lemuel Clark."