I did it! Ryana Lynn, did you see that! I am actually typing! Y’all, this laptop thing is so interesting! I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m surprised at how easy it is! Oh…I suppose I should introduce myself! My name is Dixianna Mason of Four Tree Springs, N.C. Ryana Lynn told me she has written a series of books about my family, but not all of you have read them yet. She thought perhaps you should meet me and get to know me a little better. Well, I’m nothing special, just, well, me! I just happen to live during a war…just like you!
Oh, Ryana Lynn says I’m rambling -What’s that thing you write when you laugh? Oh! - lol! That looks so cute!
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, you may wonder why I’ve taken over the blog! Well, today is my Birthday! Yes, I am a Valentine’s baby! And as a present to me, Ryana Lynn has sweetly allowed me to fulfill a dream of mine since…well, since I met her…lol! (I’m getting this!) If I lived in your year, I would be 173. But I’m not in your time, I am in mine. The year is 1864 and I just turned 18! And officially an old maid…like I said, there’s a war on, so…I’m waiting patiently.
Huh? Oh, all right, apparently, I need to end this introduction and get into my main topic. So, The End.
My topic today will be…me! I am going to tell you a little bit about myself and hope you find it interesting…
My Favorite Instrument. As you can see on the photograph above…wait, it’s not a photograph?...oh, the “blog graphic” above, I play the fiddle. I play hymns, folk music and patriotic pieces, usually with my brothers. I can play the piano, but fiddle is my passion…how do you…oh, there 😉 I love those little faces!
Okay, back to the fiddle. My fiddle was made in 1812 by my great-grandfather, Richard MacIntyre, for my grandmother, Dixianna Rose MacIntyre Mason, only she wasn’t married at the time. She was named for her parents, Richard (Dixie is a nickname for Richard, don’t ask me how that got started) and Anna. Maw-Maw has always gone by Anna, because she felt, when she was young, that Dixie was too masculine. How things do change!
Maw-Maw gave the fiddle to my father when he was thirteen, and he passed it along to me when I was thirteen, though I was playing it by the time my arms were long enough to hold it.
My Horse. Do any of you like horses? I do! My horse is a slate gray Mustang Stallion named Confederate 😉 My Papa Rains (My mother’s father) bought him for me right before the war began three years ago. Confederate is quite playful, though if you had seen him when I first got him, you wouldn’t have thought so. He had a rough life, poor baby, but now, he gets all the love and attention I give him and plenty of pasture to run in. His favorite treats are apple peels and carrot skins. I know, I’d love to give him the whole thing, but with the war on, we need all the food we can find and there’s no money for extras. Not that I’m complaining.
My Favorite Color. Contrary to what one might think, my favorite color is purple. Many assume it’s green, because of my eyes and my red hair and the fact that green looks the best on me, but purple is my favorite. My favorite dress was purple…my brothers bought me the material for my birthday…sure miss that dress. Ryana Lynn says you should read book 3 if you want to learn more about what happened to it…
My Favorite Sibling…
Just making sure you were paying attention! I don’t have a favorite sibling and Ryana Lynn says I can’t tell you much because of something known as spoilers. But I will tell you this: Growing up in a house full of boys is difficult, but also quite the adventure! I used to loath the slamming of doors, but with the war on now…I kinda miss it.
One more fun fact and then I shall…how did she put it…oh! I shall “Wrap-up” this post. You people of the 21st Century sure have some interesting ways of expressing yourselves! But it’s also quite intriguing!
I’m rambling again.
My Favorite Song. Hymn wise, it would be What Wondrous Love is This? So hauntingly beautiful. Patriotic wise, I like The Homespun Dress and of course, Dixieland 😉 And I was born on a frosty morning! I also love the North Carolina War Song. It’s to the tune of Bonnie Annie Laurie, a Scottish folk song that my Maw-Maw Mason adores. It’s not well known outside my state and Ryana Lynn said that in your time, most people have never heard of it. It’s so pretty though…now I think I’m gonna cry!
I suppose this is where I “wrap-up!” I hope you enjoyed my very first (and probably only) blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed it! But, I must rush back to my world…the troops are still in winter quarters, but soon, the fighting will resume…I encourage you to take a moment to thank God that the war your country is fighting now isn’t being fought on your home soil. I’m not so fortunate…
Have a blessed day,
P.S. Below is my favorite Psalm. I hope you enjoy!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
King James Version
A Note From Ryana Lynn: Here's Dixie's song, The North Carolina War Song. She couldn't figure out how to post it, lol ;)
Welcome to my fourth post of the year! I am so excited to be bringing you another installment of my Soldier Life series…the sixth in this series I found out. So for those who are unfamiliar with this series, I am compiling information that I came across while researching for The Battle for Heritage Series. I am not an expert on the War Between the States, but I thought these posts might be helpful to other authors researching the same time era.
With that out of the way, let’s see what life in the army was like for a private, the lowest ranking member of the army.
Most of the army is made up of privates, even today. They are the boots on the ground, the common soldier you know and love from novels and movies. Back in the old days, the private did not have any insignia on his uniform. And another thing about these fellows that I suppose is common knowledge is that the private never gave orders. He’s not over anyone, he’s at the bottom of the totem pole. But what exactly was expected of him? Let’s take a look.
Drill. If you’ve read any book on soldiering in any time period, I’m sure you’ve read about the incessant amount of drilling they did. This wasn’t just a mundane task they had to complete. This was life and death training. It also helped to fill time in the day that otherwise would have left the men idle…and more prone to get into trouble.
KP. Ah, yes, Kitchen Patrol. While this is more of the WWII name for the job, soldiers did take turns helping the army cooks. Peeling potatoes (when they had them) was one of their jobs, as was washing dishes, stirring pots, serving food and dumping food waste., They would have to do anything food related when their turn came around.
Policing the Grounds. Just as today, this task had to do with keeping their living quarters neat and clean. Clearing debris away from the walking paths, organizing their gear, stacking the wood piles neatly, it all had to do with keeping things tidied up.
Horse Duty. Even if they didn’t serve in the Cavalry, their unit had horses for pulling supply wagons, riding dispatches, and transporting officers. So, the privates would feed the horses, clean up after them and if needed, make sure they had been exercised for the day. Grooming needed to be kept up as well to insure the horses’ health and appearance.
Guard Duty. There were two types of guard duty. The first was what you would expect from the name, guarding prisoners, both enemy and fellow soldiers who had disobeyed some military rule. The other was known as Picket Duty, which simply meant they were guarding the outskirts of the camp from intruders.
Camp Duties. This could be anything and everything. Chopping wood, digging latrines and trenches, delivering messages from the officers, hauling water, doing laundry, shooting game/butchering…you name it!
Drummers and buglers as a rule were privates as well, but I can’t say dogmatically that they all had this rank. I would have to look into that a little deeper.
Privates also helped in the hospitals. They often helped hold a soldier down during surgery, volunteered to help the doctors when there was a shortage of nurses and helped remove the wounded from the battlefield. (They weren’t the only ones to do this, but since there were more privates than the other ranks, they were the majority of the ones gathering the wounded.) They also served on burial detail.
Hope this was helpful! I’ll see you next week with a writerly post that I can’t wait to share with you!
Hello and happy Friday everyone! I have another blog post for you today (Third one this year!) and it’s going to be so much fun! A Book List! 📚 If you are like me, you are a book nut, specifically when it comes to historical fiction. Well, today, I’m stepping into the Non-Fiction world and bringing you some of my favorite books about two famous American Heroes, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson! 😍 In addition to my favorites, I will be sharing some books that are on my TBR! 📖
But why these two for my very first book list?
Well, January happens to be the birth month of these amazing Christian men! General Lee was born on January 19th, 1807. Stonewall was born January 21st, 1824. So, it was only fitting to do this post in their honor. 🎈🎁 *Nods at my logic*
Now. Let’s get into the Book List!
Robert E. Lee
You have no idea how many books I own with “Robert E. Lee” as the title! Even though Stonewall is my favorite of the two, I have far more books about General Lee. Here are my favorites…
Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee by Robert E. Lee Jr. (More here!)
Oh, people, read this book!!!!!! It is my very favorite book about Robert E. Lee and I reference it for my books. Who better to write about this great man than his son? Rob does an excellent job chronicling his father’s life, from his very first memory of the general, to Robert E. Lee’s last days. The honor he bestows on his father and his attention to detail is amazing! And I must admit, I really fell in love with his writing style. It felt as if I were right there, riding through the war with Robert E. Lee. And the chapter where Rob takes a break from his father’s story to tell about himself, and the capture of his older brother…no words. It was so good!
Robert E. Lee by Noah Andre Trudeau
This is the first biography, and probably the first history book outside of textbooks, that I ever read and it is amazing! Such an up close and personal look at Gen. Lee and a little of his family as well. Not just the Civil War History of him either; this book goes back before that.
Boy of Old Virginia: Robert E. Lee by Hellen A. Monsell
This is a book written for school Children years ago. I dug up this copy at Goodwill and almost didn’t buy it! Then, my dad found it and brought it back to my attention. I took that as my cue that I needed to buy this book and I’m so glad I did! It’s a nice look at Lee’s childhood and what it was like growing up in the Lee household. It doesn’t touch on his war record, which was a unique twist. Highly recommend it. My younger brother loved it!
Robert E. Lee by Lee Roddy
This is a middle-grade book, but again, a lovely overview of the life of Robert E. Lee. Highly recommend it for an easy read, if you aren’t super into biographies. Great for Homeschool curriculum too!
These are not all of my books on Robert E. Lee, but you get the idea 😉 I can actually think of two more right of the top of my head!
Oh, my favorite Hero ever! I am working on building my Stonewall library, but for now, here are the books I’ve read…
Beloved Bride by Bill Potter (Read my review here!)
This book is amazing! I think every young person should read it, male and female! Married couples, history buffs, people waiting for the right one, just go read it! Fun Fact: I used this book as research for The Rivers of Sorrow! Read Beloved Bride, and you will know which story I pulled for my book!
Stonewall Jackson by Charles Ludwig
This is another middle-grade book and the best biography I’ve read on Stonewall thus far! It’s the only one I’ve read…anywho, this book is so good! Like Robert E. Lee by Lee Roddy, it’s perfect for Homeschool and is an amazing introduction to Stonewall Jackson
Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson
Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones
J. William Jones was Robert E. Lee’s personal chaplain. A Baptist preacher, Jones chronicled the revivals through the war that broke out in the Confederate camps. While it mainly focuses on Gen. Lee, Jackson appears more than once in this history! I highly recommend it for High School students, history buffs and Civil War enthusiasts!
Warriors of Honor by New Liberty Videos
This is a documentary that chronicles the Christian faith of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. If you love these generals, your collection is not complete without this DVD! I saw it several years ago at a Night Watch Service (only half though!) and I purchased my copy at Ft. Macon on Confederate Memorial Day. (Yes, that is a real holiday! May 10th, mark your calendar.)
My American Heroes TBR (To Be Read) List
Life and Campaigns of Lieutenant General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson by Robert Lewis Dabney
Dabney was a personal friend of Jackson and a member of his personal staff, the perfect person to write the official biography of one of America’s finest heroes. I got this as a prize for giving a suggestion to a new website. Cannot wait to read this!
Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne
Civil War enthusiasts will be shocked that I haven’t read this book yet 😉 Published in 2014, this is supposed to be THE book about Stonewall, so I cannot wait to dive in! I received this as a gift from one of my readers who didn’t need their copy anymore! Thank you so much!
Stonewall: A Novel by John J. Dwyer
This is a borrowed book from my grandpa and I have been wanting to read this book for so long! I’m not sure how I’ll like it since it’s a novel about a historical figure and I don’t like it when people take too much liberty with historical figures…hopefully, it’s just recreating conversations or something.
Robert E. Lee: A Novel by John J. Dwyer
Like Stonewall, this is another borrowed book form grandpa. Again, not sure how I’ll end up enjoying this one, but I do highly anticipate it!
The Shaara Civil War Trilogy by Jeff and Michael Shaara
This includes Gods and Generals, Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure. I’ve been meaning to read this books for a long time, but it wasn’t until this year that I picked up Gods and Generals. I have no idea what the title has to do with anything, to be honest. But, aside from some words I’ve had to mark out, the book is very interesting and lines up with what I’ve read about these famous figures, or makes me want to research these people more (looking at you, Gen. Hancock!). I really hope I enjoy these. G&G is deeper, so I read it in spurts. Someday, hopefully, it will end up in a wrap-up!
So, that’s all I have for you today! Hope you enjoyed my very first book list! Something to think about: What are your favorite historical (fiction or non-fiction) books? List them and share them with a friend! There are never enough book recommendations!
Until Next Time,
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Hello everyone! So glad to get to spend another Friday with you! Our 10TRF series is back and I'm so excited to share with you some facts about this sometimes over looked Battle, Chickamauga! Enjoy!
1. What does it mean? The name Chickamauga is an Indian word, we all agree on that, but is it Cherokee for "Bloody River" or "River of Death" or is it Creek for "Dwelling Place of the Chiefs?" No one really knows, but the one I hear the most is Bloody River. Which leads us to...
2. Bloody Pond. According to the men who fought in this battle, the fighting was so fierce and men were so desperate for water, they dragged themselves over the Chickamauga Creek for relief. There, their blood mingled with the water and supposedly turned the creek red. Pretty scary!
3. Mother Vs. Officer. During the fighting, Confederate soldiers became so hungry, some of them raided a potato patch at a nearby farm. An officer quickly ordered them to stop, reprimanding them for stealing. Mrs. Deborah Thedford, the lady of the house intervened, saying, "Hold on, Mr. Officer. They are my potatoes and they are my boys. Let 'em take 'em." Among the raiders were her sons. Mrs. Thedford opened her home to the many wounded during the battle, among them two of her boys. She became known as the Mother of Chickamauga.
4. Costly. This was a Confederate victory, badly needed after a crushing defeat like Gettysburg, but it wasn't won without a high price. 16,170 Union soldiers were reported dead, wounded or missing/captured, 18,454 for the Confederacy. It is ranked as the second costliest battle of the Civil War second only to Gettysburg.
5. The Traitor. Gen. George "Pap" Thomas, nicknamed "The Rock of Chickamauga" following the battle, was actually from Virginia and left his home state high and dry to join the Union.
6. Old Pete to the Rescue. Chickamauga is considered a Western battle, so many may be surprised to find Gen. Longstreet, a famous Eastern theater fighter, listed among the Southern commanders of this battle. Following the Battle of Gettysburg, "Gloomy Pete" loaded his men on trains and came to the aide of Gen. Braxton Bragg in Georgia.
7. A Nod to a Hero. While Braxton Bragg is not know for being the best fighting General of the Confederacy, he was indeed a fighter and Southern hero, worthy of respect. He is one of 10 Confederates who have U.S. Army forts named after them, his namesake being Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C. What better way to honor men who served their country than with a fort?
8. Welcome to the Peach State. This was the first battle fought in Georgia. But it would not be the last.
9. On the closing day of fighting (the battle lasted from September 19th to September 20th, 1863) confusion occurred when the Confederacy attempted to encircle three Union units. A fourth federal outfit opened fire to aid their comrades in escaping (A few did, but most were captured). When Southern units turned to fire on the federals, they accidentally opened fire on a Confederate Unit coming to help them. Thankfully, things were straightened out before things got too bad.
10. Where did this happen again? If you look up the Chickamauga National Battlefield, you may be confused as to why part of the park is in Tennessee. Since the battle was fought in the Northern most corner of Georgia, fighting spilled over into Tennessee. Most of the fighting took place in Georgia though.
This battle and much more are covered in my newest book, "The Rivers of Sorrow."
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
King James Bible
Until Next Week,
Everyone, I must start this post with a disclaimer 😊 I always have been and always will be loyal to the Army, first and foremost 😉 My Grandfather and Great-grandfather were both Army veterans, the man who bought my first laptop for me was in the Army National Guard, my favorite figures in history were in the Army…you get the point.
Today is not Army day; Today is Navy Day! And where would we be without our dear guardians of the sea? No rhyme intended😆
I must say, the Navy does fascinate me. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t look up to the Navy SEALs? So today, I’m going to give you five times the Navy came through for America in Amazing ways!
The Turtle. Many of you have probably seen a submarine whether in real life or in pictures. But have you ever wondered when the first one was invented? In 1775! Yep, that’s right! David Bushnell built the Turtle, the first submersible vessel ever created! (Click here for more information.) It’s goal was to plant a bomb under the HMS Eagle, and while their mission didn’t go quite as planned, they did succeed in loosening the blockage the British had imposed!
Ironclads. Developed by both the Confederate and Union Navies, respectively, these ships showed everyone that the future of Naval warfare was in iron ships, not wooden ones. Nothing like American ingenuity!
Razzle Dazzle Camouflage. While this was actually an idea shared with us by the British during WW1, this is an amazing Naval feat! I’ll link the article here, but the idea was to paint the ships in ridiculous patterns and use the contrasting colors to make the distance and type of ship hard for the enemy to judge. Truly fascinating!
Uncle Sam Wants YOU! Avenge Pearl Harbor! Following the attack on our Hawaii Military base, damaging several ships, costing 2,335 lives (2,008 of those belonging to the Navy) and dozens of planes, there was an outcry for our men and boys to join the Navy. And they showed up! There were even politicians who left office to support the cause! Hats off to those boys in “Bell-Bottom Trousers, Coat of Navy Blue” 😊
May 2nd, 2011. While I would never celebrate the death of a non-believer, I must say that the day Osama bin Laden was announced dead, I gave a sigh of relief. I felt safer, knowing that at least this man could no longer bring pain and suffering to American servicemen or to his own people. As a child, I remember praying that he would come to know Christ as his Savior, but unfortunately, that never happened. Thank God for the U.S. Navy SEALs who brought a little more safety to the world as we know it!
Take a moment to thank God for all of our servicemen, but especially our Sailors.
Happy Navy Day!
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.