Tockawah Bottom was a lump of yellow valley below the petered-out hill country, some of the last shrugs of Appalachia before the countryside pancaked down into the old Mississippi floodplain. It was a thankless hole that gave forth a reliably dull harvest of beans and corn and, if growers were so inclined to cast their lot in with the flagging cotton markets, that white gold for which the state’s agriculture was latently famous. These lowlands were the basin for two minor conjoining rivers, the Tockawah and the Bogue Hoka, which dumped out in the Mississippi and then on to the Gulf of Mexico. At their confluence, these two rivers were apt to spill over. – Soil by Jamie Kornegay



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