FOR PART ONE OF THIS TONGUE IN CHEEK BIOGRAPHY OF DJANGO CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2012/09/18/django-the-definitive-biography/
With Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained coming out soon Balladeer’s Blog has been taking plenty of looks at the original Django movies as well as presenting this fictional biography of the gunslinger.
After Django’s 1862 adventure with the Gatling Gun and Belle Boyd he returned to his unit, the 7th Kansas Cavalry AKA “Jennison’s Jayhawkers”. He arrived shortly before the 7th’s participation in the Battle of Iuka on September 19th. It was a busy autumn for Django and his comrades, as their unit also fought in the Battle of Corinth on October 3rd and 4th, with their pursuit of the retreating Confederates going on until the 12th of the month.
As of October 31st the 7th was formally under General Ulysses S Grant as part of his Central Mississippi Campaign. They participated in the capture of Ripley, MS on November 2nd but then saw mostly just reconnaisance duty throughout the state for the next few months. As of the final week of December Django and his fellows were assigned to safeguard the Memphis & Charleston Railroad and spent the next three and a half months keeping the crucial rail line operating despite the best sabotage efforts of Confederate guerrilla forces.
And so it went through the end of the war in April 1865. Django participated in each of the major battles the 7th was involved in and left the service in June to return home to Rome, Kansas. Unfortunately, his old enemy from the days of Bleeding Kansas, Confederate Major Edward F Jackson, was running rampant with his force of die-hards. Nursing old grudges from the 1850’s fighting in the Jayhawk state, Jackson had been launching bloody hit and run attacks thoughout the area, gleefully killing women and children at every opportunity.
In retaliation for the slaying of his old friend William Clarke Quantrill, Major Jackson enacted his boldest post-war action by virtually occupying the former Jayhawk stronghold of Rome. Jackson and his forces looted and plundered, commandeered all mail and supplies coming into the town and, most horribly, he and his men raped and killed several women of Rome, including Django’s wife Vanessa.
The gunman arrived back in Rome toward the end of this reign of terror and was appalled at the devastation throughout the town. His anger turned to despair when his brother Steve informed him of Vanessa’s fate, including the news that Major Jackson himself had been the man who assaulted and murdered her. Further infuriating Django was the fact that he and Steve’s three step-brothers, who had served in Major Jackson’s forces during the Civil War, remained loyal to him and were participating in the rape of Rome. Django dispatched Steve to take his and Vanessa’s young daughter to Canada to live with their sister while he devoted himself to revenge on the Major and his troops.
Over the next few days Django waged a one-man guerilla war against the remaining Confederate die-hard forces in the area. Major Jackson had headed west with the bulk of his men a few days before Django had returned, leaving his step-brothers in charge of the Rome detachment. In a bitter and brutal conflict which included the Confederate die-hards torturing him on a wagon wheel at one point, our hero miraculously survived and whittled down the numbers of the enemy. By the time the smoke cleared from all the gunplay Django’s step-brothers and the men they commanded were all dead and Django turned his face westward intent on tracking down Major Jackson and killing him.
A very distorted version of these events was depicted in the movie Django’s Great Return aka Keoma. For some unknown reason the filmmakers depicted Django as half-Native American and made other unnecessary changes to the tale. Such liberties are common in films about real-life western figures as evidenced by the films about Django’s contemporaries like Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James and others.
PART THREE COMING SOON!
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