Yes, the characters are real. The Fergusons mentioned are my ancestors. And there was actually a Kimball West Clan that terrorized the good people of the area. It was during Reconstruction when the state of Louisiana was under Federal military authority. To compound that, there was a dispute over the Texas and Louisiana border in northwest Louisiana. Thus, no one had law enforcement authority control because of the border dispute. It was known at that time as "No Man"s Land." It was an ideal place , at the time, for outlaw gangs to freely carry on their activities without any interferrece from law enforcement. The good citizens of the area had no one to protect them, and decided not to be terrorized any longer.