Matt Draper: From Riverboat Gambler to Frontier Banker -Kindle ebook by John Rayburn

           The lead character is a former riverboat gambler turned banker, using a start-up fund of winnings and discovery of an abandoned Confederate gold cache at the end of the Civil War. As the war neared the end, the gold was intended to bolster the beleaguered southern forces. The funds could have prolonged the embittered battles in the “war between the states,” a term not much used at the time. Instead, northern forces called it the “War of Rebellion,” while southern counterparts termed it the “War for Southern Independence.” Foreign references labeled the conflict “War of Secession.” 

Clashes with drunken cowboys aboard a train, staving off a stagecoach hold-up, a shootout with villainous holdovers from the bloodthirsty Quantrill’s Raiders, saving a child from drowning, thwarting a bank robbery and working in a cattle drive threatened by a coalition of farmers are some of the ingredients that were a part of settling the west as trains and telegraph began replacing stagecoaches and Pony Express counterparts. The ingredients are descriptive of the many problems that faced the country’s pioneers in the rugged “winning of the west.” Once again, the author relies on actual places and things to enhance the overall fictional saga. As the years pass, the story culminates with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

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