The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart
By M. Glenn Taylor
(Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780061922978, 276pp.)
Publication Date: June 2009
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Meet Trenchmouth Taggart, a man born and orphaned in 1903, a man nicknamed for his lifelong oral affliction. His boyhood is shaped by the Widow Dorsett, a strong mountain woman who teaches him to hunt and to survive the taunts of others. In the hills of southern West Virginia, a boy grows up fast. Trenchmouth sips moonshine, handles snakes, pleases women, and masters the riflea skill that lands him in the middle of the West Virginia coal wars. A teenaged union sniper, Trenchmouth is exiled to the back-woods of Appalachia's foothills, where he spends his years running from the past. But trouble will sniff a man down, and an outlaw will eventually run home. Here Trenchmouth Taggart's story, like the best ballads, etches its mark deep upon the memory.