Hello, and happy Friday! I’m so glad you stopped by again to visit with me 😉 Today, I have another installment of my 10 Totally Random Facts Series! (Click here to read the last one)
Antietam, one of the most controversial battles of the Civil War. For some reason, people cannot agree on who won this battle. The Union troops were the ones who retreated at the end of the battle. But the Confederates withdrew from the state the next day. I believe this means the South won the battle, but the North won the campaign, but that’s just my opinion 😉
Anywho, let’s get on with today’s post!
1. Dunker Church. In Sharpsburg, Maryland, where the Battle of Antietam took place, there is a little country church known as Dunker Church. When we visited this site, one of the first things we noticed was that sweet whitewashed church! It’s funny name actually came from people teasing the church members because they believed in full immersion baptism! 😄 And by the way, I do too! It’s the only way that shows the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!⛪
2. The Road with a Rut. Known today as Bloody Lane, the locals called a rutted road outside of town Sunken Road. It was here that some of the bloodiest fighting (up to this point in the war) took place. The Confederate-held their ground for several hours, but ultimately were driven from the road by the men of Francis Barlow.
3. General Who? While researching for my novel, Our Heritage to Save, I watched a documentary about Antietam. On it, they told of an Irish Union General named Robert Marr…or so I thought. Right before I took my book to press, I watched a video by American Battlefield Trust about Civil War Mispronunciations. On the video, they spoke of a general named Meagher. It was the same man! I was completely confused! But the man went on to explain, that the man’s name was pronounced Marr, but spelled totally different 😑 Thank you American Battlefield Trust for saving me from that embarrassment!
4. The other John Brown. John Brown Gordon was a Confederate officer, commanding men in Bloody Lane. Gordon suffered not one, not two, but five wounds before he was forced the leave the field. The disabling wound was to his face, but it didn’t prove to stop him. Thanks to his wife nursing him back to health, Gordon survived and fought until Lee surrendered. Later, he went on to serve in multiple political offices representing the state of Georgia. (The more famous John Brown was a radical abolitionist who took things a little too far! He was executed for treason in 1859.
5. Modified bandages. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you run out of bandages, spare material and everything else you can find, turn to a ready material: corn husks. That’s exactly what the doctors and nurses of the Confederate army did when their supply ran out. Apparently, it worked! 😐
6.) Don’t mess with a hungry Texan! Gen. John Bell Hood and his men arrived in Sharpsburg, exhausted and on a two-day empty stomach. Just as they were fixing their food, they were called into the fighting at the cornfield. They proceeded, with heavy casualties, to route the famed Iron Brigade of the Union army. I assume that following the charge and licking their wounds, they returned to their meal.🥓🥔🍞
7.) Clash of officers. Prior to the fighting at Antietam, Gen. Stonewall Jackson had taken Harper’s Ferry, Va. from federal troops. During this, he went to the men of Gen. A.P. Hill (who was under his command) and ordered them to pick up their pace. Hill was furious that Jackson had bypassed him to give the order and offered his sword to Jackson. (This was an act of giving up one’s command, a show of indignation.) To his surprise, Jackson accepted it and placed him under arrest until further notice. Jackson hoped this would teach Hill a lesson. While this rift was never mended, Hill did obey orders when he was told to march to Sharpsburg with his men on the double. He ended up winning the battle for the South!
8.) The Woman. As the federal Irish brigade marched into the field at Antietam, an Irish woman cheered them on with shouts of “Godspeed, me boys!” and “Erin go braugh!” (Irish for Ireland until the end.) I believe she was a nurse if my memory serves me right…anyway, she certainly was patriotic for her cause!😂
9.) Who said anything about empty guns? Towards the end of the day, C.S. Gen. James Longstreet’s men were out of ammo and had lost many men. In fact, the General was holding his aides’ horses so they could keep a cannon firing on the federal troops! The federals didn’t know that the men on the hill had no bullets and retreated. Why? They men bluffed, waving their flags and rifles in the air, taunting the Union troops to dare and fight them. When General Lee asked Longstreet where his men were, Longstreet replied, “There. And they haven’t a cartridge among them.”
10.) It’s me, Dad! At one point during the fighting, General Lee was giving orders, and a young soldier in the artillery approached him, covered in soot and grime. The young man had to introduce himself before Lee figured out who was talking to him. It was his youngest son, Robert “Rob” Lee Jr. 😃
So there you have it, 10 random facts about Antietam!
And now for an excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
An Irishman hurried forward to help uncover the Irish colors. They were to lead a renewed attack on the sunken road. Caldwell’s men were to follow. The Irish brigade was ready to fight. They were going to show the world what they were willing to do for what they loved.
“Irish Brigade,” Gen. Meagher called, “Forward, March!” The soldiers talked in low voices as they neared a corn field.
“We’ll be a seein’ what the Rebs think after we get through with them, we will,” an older man said. “We’ll wallop them, aye lad?”
A youthful voice replied, “Aye, we will, soon as we get there.” They pushed itchy corn leaves out of their faces.
Next thing they knew, the Irish were being fired upon. They loaded their smoothbore muskets and fired into the North Carolinians. They weren’t even in sight of the sunken road, but already, they were taking casualties.
A fence was in the way, preventing their advance. Several men raced forward and tore the split rails down. Few returned to the ranks.
Gen. Meagher knew he had to rally his troops. He rode to the front. “Three cheers for the Army of the Potomac!”
“Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”
“Raise the colors an’ follow me!” Meagher’s men followed him and continued on to the sunken road. The Confederates were waiting for them.
Richard watched the hill intently. At first, all he saw was the tops of the flagpoles. Then slowly, the Irish green and the red, white and blue of Old Glory came into sight.
The Confederate flag bearer lifted the St. Andrew’s Cross resolutely into the air. They could now see the Irish Brigade advancing. The Confederates opened fire.
The Irish put up a fair fight, but the Confederates had the better position. The Irish couldn’t seem to keep up. They sustained heavy losses, nearly half of their force.
Where were Caldwell’s men? Why weren’t they coming to help? Gen. Meagher rode back to see what the holdup was. Coming across one of his officers, Francis Barlow, Meagher begged him to come to their aid.
Barlow refused, for Gen. Caudwell had not given them orders. Meagher dejectedly returned to his men.
Back at the sunken road, the Southern troops began to beg Col. Gordon to leave the field. He’d been wounded at least three times, but he refused to leave. Richard grimaced as he saw their own mounting casualties.
The tide of victory had shifted. The Irish were being reinforced. With no reinforcements of their own, things didn’t look good for the Southern boys.
Col. Gordon kept giving orders. He’d sustained four wounds, but refused to leave his men. But he hadn’t anticipated the fifth wound. This wound was to his cheek. He fell forward, dazed. He was carried from the field and Col. J.N. Lightfoot took his place.
Richard glanced up as an Alabama regiment took off running away from the sunken road. Then another one began to retreat. His unit began looking around. Had they missed an order to retreat?
Suddenly, all of Major Harmon’s men began to run. “We have no orders to retreat!” Richard shouted. “Stop!” He grabbed a soldier by the arm. “Come back and hold the line!”
“Let go of me!” the soldier shouted and raised his rifle, intending to bring it down on Richard. Richard jumped out of the way just in time and crashed into a Union soldier who had charged the works.
Richard jumped up and fired at the advancing blue coats. He pushed another away from him with his rifle and was turning to a third, when he realized he was the only one left in the trench.
“Hey? Where’d everyone go?” He suddenly found himself tangling with a Yankee, trying to break free and escape. The Yank threw him to the ground. Richard rolled over and covered his head while trying to regain his feet.
Gen. J.C. Caldwell is sometimes viewed as a coward, but his days in the army aren’t over. His day will come in 1863.
 Thomas Meagher (pronounced “Marr”) was the commander of the Irish Brigade. He never got over his defeat, and eventually resigned in 1863.
 In 1864, he will be the only general to launch a successful attack at Cold Harbor.
 Colonel who replaced Col. Gordon on the field. It is controversial as to whether he ordered a retreat or not.
Annnnnd you'll have to buy the book to find out what happened :)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Before we get into the post, I wanted to clear something up. I mentioned in my book tag that I was looking forward to reading a book called The Baker's Daughter. I am sorry to say that this book did not meet my expectations and I cannot recommend it. There were a few things that I didn't know when I bought it and if I had, I probably wouldn't have purchased it. First, the author is apparently Catholic as the book only talks about Jewish and Catholic faith as if they are the only ones out there. Second, the book was a romance...not my genre. Aside from that, the writing style was difficult to follow for me personally and many questions remained unanswered. Perhaps the author plans to make this into a series? I'm not sure.
It is not my intention to tear down another author in any way. These are my personal opinions and I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with the author when I bought the book. But I must say that this is not the kind of book that I can promote.
*Dramatic Radio Voice* I now return you to your regularly scheduled program 😉
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whichever suits you! I hope wherever you are that you are having a lovely day! Welcome back to my series on writing! I am no expert on writing, but since it is something I do, I am constantly learning new things and I love sharing them with you! If you’ve missed the first three installments of this series you can find them here, here and here. Let’s begin, shall we?
You’ve drafted your story from start to finish! Good job! Give yourself a reward and breathe a sigh of relief. You’re ready to head to the press! *Grins* Okay, so not quite. I don’t care who you are, there is only One who ever had their book ready on the first draft and that was God. Sorry, first drafts, except the Holy Bible, are TERRIBLE! I smile when I look over my original drafts of my books, but I cringe at the same time. They are awful. So, here are the steps I take to get my book ready for the next stage. Note: Bathe every step in prayer! That is the key to success!
1. Take a break. After drafting my story, it’s tempting to jump right into revising the story. But I need a break. I need to catch up on other projects, take time to relax a little and make sure I’m not taking too much time away from my family. I like to take a minimum of one week away from my story, but two or more is ideal. This way when I get back into the story, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes. I’ll catch my plot holes easier this way 😊
2. Remember, I’m not editing. It’s tempting to want to go through editing the story, fixing all the little grammatical things that catch my eye. If it’s a spelling error or a wrong word, I go ahead and fix it, but I try not to be too picky. I’m revising, not editing.
3. Read the story and take notes. I’m watching for unanswered questions, scenes that need more information, not as much or that just need to be scrapped altogether. I also note ideas that I’ve got that I want to add, such as a whole new plot line or a different outcome for a certain character. For example, in my second book, Our Heritage to Save, I originally had Dixie and Lana at Fredericksburg, Va. for the battle and getting trapped in the town when the Federals took over. I changed it however and the girls were not there at all. Instead, I decided to make one of my soldiers, Alvin Willis, the main focus of the overthrow of the town. This actually caused many people to become attached to him in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I accidentally made him an important character! But it’s been good though, for I myself have gotten to learn more about him while writing my other books. 😉
4. Revise. I take all my notes and go through fixing the things I’ve found. Sometimes, I make a whole different document and copy the story into it, just in case I don’t like the changes. That way, I can start over if I need to.
5. Repeat Steps 1-4…as much as needed. For me, I repeat the process about three times 😊 This allows me to get pretty much satisfied with my story and prepare myself for editing. But that’s another post in itself. And to be honest, a lot of the time, I end up doing some revisions while I edit. *Sighs* Writers are never 100% happy with their work 😊 But that’s the beauty of being a writer. If something in the story isn’t working for you, you have the power to change it! But don’t worry. At some point, you will hit that point of “This is how this story was meant to be. This is the way it needs to go,” and when you do, you know it’s ready 😊
So, those are my steps for revising my stories! Next time we talk about writing, we’ll be talking about the Self-Edit! Stay tuned!
Hey y’all! I’m back with another post and today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before…a book tag! I’m so excited! I’ve seen other bloggers/vloggers do these and I’ve always wanted to do one so when I saw Ivy Rose’s video of this tag, which in turn led me to Lindsey’s video, I was like, “Yes, girl, you’ve got to do this one!” So, I’m doing it today and I hope you enjoy! Sorry in advance for my grainy pictures...the phone isn't the best at these things and the lighting...*Sigh*
1. Find a book for each of your initials. R- Rachel and the Riot by Susan Martins Miller; L- Lights out! By Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry; M- Mandy the Outsider by Norma Jean Lutz (This one needed some minor edits.) I really enjoyed all three of these books, especially the first one. It’s set during what would later become the Labor Unions and how a family was divided by this evil institution. The main character’s dad was a doctor and cared for people on both sides. It also took a look at the “new” procedure of intubation, which fascinated me. Lights Out! is a Christian mystery story set in Tennessee. The main detectives are homeschooled brothers Jason and Andy. These books are sweet, innocent and very informative! The final book, Mandy the Outsider is about the days leading up to World War Two. I loved how it included a Japanese family who had come to America, become citizens and contributed to society. It also stayed away from the internment camps, which is a topic that I think often gets abused in literature. Don’t get me wrong, it was a sad time for everyone during that time in history, but sometimes I think some topics get over-killed and both sides are ignored, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, this book was amazing!
2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it? I took this from my “To Be Read” (TBR) shelf. It’s Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies by Janet and Geoff Benge
3. Pick a book set in your country (State 😉) Following these girls’ example, I’m going to pick a book set in my home state because 80% of my books are set in America 😉 And I see I only have my books to choose from! Oops on that one! But, The Land of Cotton, Our Heritage to Save and The Rivers of Sorrow are set in my state and county! That’s North Carolina for those of you who don’t know. These books take place in North Carolina and Virginia predominantly. Coffee Shop Christmas is also set in North Carolina, but the county is not specified.
4. Pick a book about a destination you would like to travel to. The Baker’s Daughter by D. P. Cornelius. I have not read this book, but it’s the only book I have at this moment that is set in Berlin, Germany. (I just realized today that all my WW2 books are set in the United States, surrounding European countries or the South Pacific! None are set in Germany! I need to remedy that…) So while I can’t recommend this book yet, I can’t wait to read it! I’ve gotten the desire to Germany over the last few years, though my top place I want to visit is Israel (I have no books set in there…or wait…oh! The Bronze Bow! Okay, so I’ll count both 😊). Anyway, my ancestors came from Germany in 1755 and settled in North Carolina shortly thereafter. I think it would be neat to visit the land of my ancestors and see where my Great-grandfather spent three years of his life defending the freedoms we know today. While the WW2 history of Germany is nothing to smile about, there are those who fought back (Think the White Rose Resistance Group!). I don’t know…I really want to go some day 😊
5. Pick a book that is your favorite color. The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington. I just read this book and I loved it so much! There were a few small things I had to fix, but this book was so good! It’s put out by Majesty Music…loved it so much. Oh…I forgot what this question was about…The book is GREEN! I LOVE GREEN! It’s my favorite color ever and emerald is my birthstone, so…yeah, I’m in love with this book’s cover 😊
6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of? Probably Behind Enemy Lines by Bill Doyle. I read this right after I moved from Newport, N.C. near Cherry Point Marine Base and while I knew I loved our military, this book gave me more reasons to love them. It wasn’t sugar coated, but also not too detailed for 2.7 reading level that was assigned to it. I think there were only two things I marked out, so I would suggest an adult reading it first, but it is quite an eye-opener into what our guys are willing to face to make sure the war stays over there. This is one of the few books I actually cried while reading. Words fail me to describe how much I appreciate them. God bless our troops!
7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? (No pictures for this one. I don't own on, don't recommend the other and can't get to the last one:))
Okay…so as far as the hardest to read because of content was Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. I was listening to the audiobook…and I couldn’t finish it. At that time, was not ready to dig into everything that happened at this infamous Concentration Camp. It made me sick to my stomach. That being said, I do want to finish it someday, but I want to read it rather than listen to it. Don’t ask me why, but when it’s a book dealing with subjects of this matter, I prefer to read it myself rather than hear it out loud. I’ve heard it’s a good book and I want to know what happens to the characters…I just wasn’t ready.
For a book that I had difficulty reading because it was so bad, it would have to be Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pickney. Y’all…it was so bad! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just…the topic was not a children’s topic and this is a middle-grade book! And of course, her view of history differed from mine, but she had facts misstated that both sides of the Civil War agree on. Like timelines and things of that nature. I made myself finish it because I wanted to be able to explain why it was wrong if someone should ask, and the worst part came out at the very end. I tried to give the author a benefit of a doubt, but…it was just bad.
For one I had difficulty with just because I wasn’t grasping it on my own, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford takes the prize. I had so much trouble with this book until my mother saved the day by offering to read it to me. Problem solved! It is now one of my favorite histories and I desperately need to read it again! It was amazing! You can’t make up stuff like this! READ IT!
8. Which book in your TBR pile will be your biggest accomplishment once finished? Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper, Jr. and the Elsie Dinsmore Series. I’ve read…four or five of them, but I want to finish the series. They say the later books are full of history…right up my alley! And the first one is a very thick book and I’ve never read one on the Confederate President…*hangs head in shame* and I can’t wait to read it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed answering the questions! Normally in a tag, you tag other bloggers, so I am tagging Amanda Tero and any of you bloggers/vloggers out there who would like to give it a try 😊 I only request that you link back to my blog in your post :P
Until next time,
Hey, Y’all and Happy Confederate Memorial Day! I’m back with another 10 Totally Random Facts post! It’s been…*Checks to see when the last one was* nine months since I did one! Yikes! Well, it’s high time we bring this series back! May 10th is the anniversary of the death of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Only 39 years old when he died, this amazing Confederate General is respected by northerners and southerners alike. Below, to celebrate this fine Christian’s memory, I’ve got 10 Totally Random Facts about him! Enjoy!
1. Stonewall Jackson is not a West Virginian. I’m sorry to all you Mountaineers out there, but Stonewall Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Va. Today, yes, this is part of West Virginia. But West Virginia wasn’t a state at the time and did not become a state until over a month after his death.
2. Stonewall Jackson was a teetotaler. Finding out as a young man that he had a natural desire for tobacco and alcohol, Jackson decided then and there that he would have no part in them. He feared anything a man could become addicted to. In fact, when he was wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville, when his men tried to give him whiskey to dull the pain, he initially refused to drink it. (During that time soldiers carried it into battle as a medication/disinfectant. They didn’t have many of the medications we have today. This is not a justification, just an explanation.)
3. He only lost one battle. That’s right! Only one battle stained his pristine record, the Battle of Kernstown. (Read about this battle in my book “Our Heritage to Save” to find out why he lost this battle…and if he was really to blame!)
4. He had three children. Stonewall was married twice. His first wife, Elinor Junkin, gave birth to a stillborn son in 1854, who they never named. Elinor died shortly after her son. Later he married Mary Anna Morrison. They had a daughter, Mary Graham, who died in 1858 of a liver dysfunction. In 1862, Julia Laura was born, the only surviving child of Stonewall Jackson.
5. His horse’s name was “Little Sorrel.” Stonewall had originally purchased the horse from the Confederate war department as a gift for his wife. The horse had been captured from a Union supply line during the early days of the war. After riding the horse for a bit, he decided to keep him and send Anna another. People teased that the General’s feet would drag the ground because the sorrel was so little. The name stuck, making him the most famous Confederate war horse, next to Traveler 😊
6. The Bayonet was his favorite weapon. Gen. Jackson believed in keeping the peace if possible, but once a war was begun, he believed in getting it over with. He had his men drilled with the bayonet, some believe, to an excess, making sure they knew how to use it. His famous nickname came about because of a bayonet, actually. Confederate Gen. Bernard Bee approached him during the First Battle of Manassas Junction and informed him that Bee’s men were being beaten back. Gen. Jackson replied, “Well then, sir, we will give them the bayonet!” After this bold statement, Bee returned to his men and declared, “Rally men! Look, there is Jackson, standing like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!” From that point on, Jackson was known as “Stonewall” and his men as “The Stonewall Brigade.” In fact, after the General’s death, the men got their brigade’s name officially changed from the 1st Virginia Brigade to the Stonewall Brigade.
7. Jackson had a sister who supported the Union. Laura Jackson Arnold and Stonewall had always been very close until the War Between the States erupted. Laura supported the Union, while Stonewall became the most loved General of the South. She said once that she would patch up the Union soldiers as fast as her brother could wound them. They never saw each other again. But even though she broke off their relationship, Stonewall showed his unending love for his little sister by naming his daughter Julia Laura, after his mother and sister, respectively.
8. Stonewall only bought one home. While a professor at the Virginia Military Institute, he bought a home on Washington Street. Today, it is the Home of the Stonewall Jackson House Museum. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my bucket list!
9. He gave himself a middle name. Stonewall was the only child in his family that didn’t have a middle name. It bothered him, especially when he was to enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point. So, when his turn came to sign his name, he added his deceased father’s name to his own, Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
10. He married a North Carolina Gal! Yes, Mary Anna Morrison was a Tar Heel girl, even though the nickname came about during the war. Another fun fact about her family is that her sister Isabella was married to D. H. Hill, another Confederate General, and friend of Stonewall Jackson!
I could easily have made this into a 20+ Totally Random Facts post, but it’s got to end somewhere. 😊 Thank you for baring with me as I bragged on my absolute favorite American Hero! He was truly a great man of God and there are not enough words to express how I feel about him!
Something to think about: What are some of your favorite facts about Stonewall Jackson? If you have a blog, why not list your favorites there in honor of his memory? If you don’t, share them with a friend!
Supporting my Heritage,
Hello everyone! Today, I have the new installment of our series on the Soldier's Life. As I said before, it can be hard to dig up information on certain topics of the Civil War and while this may come as a bit of a surprise, Drummers are one of the hardest to access information on. Over many months of reading articles, snippets from books and talking to historians and reenactors who make this their life study, I have compiled what I learned here in one article. I hope other researchers find this helpful. So let's get started!
Ryana Lynn: Burdy, first off would you mind telling us how you got your nickname?
Burdy: Well, when I came to the 2nd Va. Regiment to try out as a drummer, I knew if I were going to stay, I'd have to make the fellows like me. So I did everything I could to get on their good side. I ran errands, tidied up tents and field desks, tended horses and brought up wood, even when it wasn't my turn to do it. My first friend in the regiment, Sgt. Richard Mason told me one night that I was a burden bearer, like the Bible verse that says “Bear ye one anothers burdens.” They called me Burden Bearer at first, then shortened it to Burdy. Now, I only get called my real name if it's something official...or if I'm in trouble.
Ryana Lynn: Where are you from originally?
Burdy: I was born in Kansas near a place called Osawatomie. After my Pa died, Ma took me back east to Virginia to live with my grandparents.
Ryana Lynn: Do you have any siblings?
Burdy: Nope, I'm an only child, but I feel like I've got a great big family now that I'm with the company...though I would like to have a sister sometimes...
Ryana Lynn: Haha, I'm sure you do! What is your favorite part of being a drummer?
Burdy: The campfire! Every night that we can, we gather around the campfire, talk, sing, discuss Bible passages together and just relax. It's times like that that make me really feel like I have a family I can call my own.
Ryana Lynn: What do you dislike the most about being a drummer?
Burdy: Practicing the call for retreat. So far, I've not used it, and I never want to. Besides, Southerners don't even know what that word means!
Ryana Lynn: Quite true! Thank you for your time, Burdy!
Burdy: My pleasure!
Well, that's all for now! Thank you for spending a little bit of your day will us here at Life of Heritage! Have a great weekend!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.