Gail Hightower I

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Gail Hightower I
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Hightower, Gail I
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In Light in August, Reverend Gail Hightower's grandfather and namesake was a lawyer who owned slaves. Alive he was a "hale, bluff, rednosed man with the moustache of a brigand chief" (471), and a "thorn in his son's side" - because his son was an abolitionist. He is killed during the Civil War while on a cavalry raid against Union stores in Jefferson. Although his death is ignominious - he was trying to steal a chicken - his grandson (who was born "about thirty years" after his death, 62) grows up believing in him as a hero; he becomes the "ghost" that haunts Reverend Hightower throughout his life, "a phantom which would never die" (474, 477).

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