A Twist of Tobacco — Rita Ownby Holcomb

Today I’m happy to welcome author Rita Ownby Holcomb as she shares some history behind her stories.

Since before I was old enough to know the word “genealogist” I have wanted to be one. Always an avid reader and fascinated by history, I wanted to know how my family and ancestors might have fit into the various scenarios I read about.

A true southern girl is taught to be polite and not ask too many questions, but to my grandparent’s dismay, I was always asking the tough questions, “What was your Mama’s name?” and “Where did they come from?”

As an adult I met one of my father’s first (in the south that’s called “own”) cousins who had researched extensively and I knew immediately that I had met a kindred spirit.

Among the dozen notebooks of handwritten letters and notes were two newspaper clippings from 1903; the year my great-grandfather turned 88 years old.

I knew the events he described about his life and family during and after the Civil War were meant to be shared, but the research, to verify and flesh out the brief stories, took time and led me in a different direction from where I started. The one thing that remained consistent was his faith in and dedication to God.

Taking several research trips to Tennessee, at different times of the year, gave me insight to the land and atmosphere where my ancestors were born, lived, fought and died. The battlefields were inspiring; the landscape was comforting but visiting the graves of those relatives who stayed and died was spiritual.

My goal became introducing the world to these common folks who became caught up in a conflict, not of their choosing, that effected not only their lives but the lives of their descendants.

I quickly began to realize that this wasn’t the story of one man’s struggle but the story of two families whose lives intertwined for more than a century.


A family is like A Twist of Tobacco, layered, folded and twisted until each leaf becomes inseparable.

Eli’s three oldest sons were fighting in the Civil War. His wife died from complications after the birth of her eleventh child. When he was arrested by enemy troops his eleven-year-old daughter, Lizzie, was left alone to protect her five younger siblings.

Journey into the war-torn hills of Middle Tennessee, the blood bath that was Chickamauga and the hell hole of Rock Island Prison as Rita Holcomb weaves her fascinating family history into an intriguing family saga that spans 70 years.



About Rita:

Rita Ownby Holcomb is a fourth generation Texan who has always been fascinated by the question, “Where do we come from?” Her genealogy research led to the birth of the A Twist of Tobacco Trilogy. She is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

For thirty years she served on or presided over various civic organizations including, but not limited to, the Sherman Community Players Board, Red River Historical Museum Board, Sherman Preservation League Board, Convention and Visitors Council, Hot Summer Nights Committee, Tri-County Senior Nutrition Board and Texoma Council of Governments. After serving as an elected Sherman, Texas City Council member she retired from civic service to become a buyer and seller of vintage clothing and accessories. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Women in 2000 and Who’s Who in America in 2003. Rita is now a full time author. Married since 1972, she and her husband Darrell, have one son, Stuart.

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/ROHolcombAuthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/RitaOHolcomb

Website http://fountainspringpublishing.com/

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Rita-Ownby-Holcomb/e/B01BMRVENQ/

About historythrutheages

I write stories of His Story Through The Ages that offer tales of hope and redemption.

Posted on July 10, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A Twist of Tobacco — Rita Ownby Holcomb.

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