Cothren tackles Van Dorn question in book

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

Former Ole Miss and NFL football player Paige Cothren has written a fictional novel about the alleged massacre of black soldiers at Camp Van Dorn during World War II.

&uot;The Echo of Silence&uot;, a 320-page suspense story, is the second in Cothren’s Patie Corbin Mystery Series. In the book, Corbin is an ex-football player-turned detective whose investigation of the alleged slaughter of rebellious black soldiers at Camp Van Dorn is set in the alligator-infested swamps of Lake Pontchartrain.

In a review of the book, Sixth Circuit Judge Forrest &uot;Al&uot; Johnson described the novel as a &uot;compelling and fast-paced mystery.&uot; Johnson said the involvement of the Camp Van Dorn mystery makes the novel interesting. &uot;The Camp Van Dorn controversy is one of those rare enigmas that has taken on a life of its own and promises to be an unanswered real life mystery for years to come,&uot; Johnson wrote.

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Cothren weighs in on the Camp Van Dorn question in the postscript to his new book.

&uot;From talking to relatives who worked on the post at the exact time, and to others, this writer believes that it did happen. But the times were different then. We were at war,&uot; Cothren wrote.

Cothren, a Natchez native, owned supermarkets and earned a master’s degree in theology before teaching and counseling for 25 years in Oxford.

Cothren, who could not be reached for comment, has written 23 books, including &uot;Let None Deal Treacherously&uot; and &uot;Walk Carefully Around the Dead.&uot;