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Shane K. Bernard's Teche examines this legendary waterway of the American Deep South. Bernard delves into the bayou's geologic formation as a vestige of the Mississippi and Red Rivers, its prehistoric Native American occupation, and its colonial settlement by French, Spanish, and, eventually, Anglo-American pioneers. He surveys the coming of indigo, cotton, and sugar; steam-powered sugar mills and riverboats; and the brutal institution of slavery. He also examines the impact of the Civil War on the Teche, depicting the running battles up and down the bayou and the sporadic gunboat duels, when ironclads clashed in the narrow confines of the dark, sluggish river.Describing the misery of the postbellum era, Bernard reveals how epic floods, yellow fever, racial violence, and widespread poverty disrupted the lives of those who resided under the sprawling, moss-draped live oaks lining the Teche's banks.

About the Author

Shane K. Bernard

A Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana, Shane K. Bernard holds a Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M University, as well as degrees in History and English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Bernard is often consulted by the media as an expert on south Louisiana history and culture. He has appeared on The History Channel, The Food Network, NPR's "Morning Edition," CNN, CNBC, the CBC, and the BBC, as well as in the pages of National Geographic.

He serves as official historian and curator to McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco brand products since 1868, and to its sister company, Avery Island, Inc., which traces its origin to 1818.

He is the son of 1950s rock 'n' roll (or swamp pop) musician Rod Bernard, whose hit songs include "This Should Go On Forever" and "Colinda."

Bernard lives in New Iberia, Louisiana, a short distance from the historic Bayou Teche.

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