Hello everyone! I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was in school, I loved starting school. As a homeschooler, member of a large family, and serving in our family ministry, each day was an adventure! Would I be doing school in my room or the kitchen table, or would we be balancing our books on our laps as we drove out of town for a meeting? Or would today be an out of book school day, taking a field trip to Ft. Macon, the Zoo or volunteering at a special event at a church?
Something I enjoyed doing when we were traveling was to double up. To those who don’t know what that means, doubling up is simply doing two or more days’ worth of school in one day. Since we have less distractions learning at home than in a class room, we were able to finish our school earlier in the day, which allowed us the time to double up. The reason I would double up was because…I am a lover of books and never go on trips without bringing a stack along. While I do write up the road as well, reading is still a favorite pastime on hours’ long trips. With the school year upon us, I thought it would be fun to give you a few musts for your reading list 😉 I hope you enjoy!
1. Autumn with the Moodys and Autumn Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
Yes, I will count this as one, since they are book in the same series 😊 Part of a 10-book set (plus 2 amazing Christmas novellas!) book #2 and #6 give readers a nice peek into the lives of a homeschooled family during the beginning of the school season. Add in the wonders of Autumn, my favorite season, and you have a pleasant read, for any time of year, really. I recommend the whole series! Please note that this is a story of one family’s homeschooling experience. Every family is different, and every method doesn’t work for every family. But Ms. Maxwell paints a beautiful picture of a family perusing home education. Click here for more information!
2. Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz
Ah…my favorite founding father and protector of religious Liberty! Who can forget his marvelous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” speech? He was truly a Patriot to be admired…but what else is there to know about him? This book answers that questions, sharing his highs and lows, his greatest moments and a few things that remind us that we are all human and make mistakes. Regardless of age, this book is a must read! No school reading list should be complete without a book about our Nation’s founding! Pick up this one today! Click here for more information!
3. The Willow Valley Kids Book #1: The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington
Any Patch the Pirate fans out there? How about Patch the Pirate Club members? What does this have to do with this book? Mrs. Pennington for years now has dedicated hours of work, creating material for the Patch club literature. And as of the last few years, she has started righting these amazing series of children’s mysteries. Remember how I told you we got to see a Patch the Pirate play last month? Well, we took a chance and purchased this book and the next two in the series. We were a little nervous…but we needn’t have been. These stories are so sweet, mysterious and filled with biblical lessons for the children. These are probably supposed to be for 8-12-year-olds. Ignore that! I loved them, and I’m an adult! My mom just read this book out loud to the family and we all loved it!
This first book is set on the first day of school and continues through the entire school year! It all starts with five kids hearing about Redcoat treasure buried in the valley where they live. Can they do what no one has been able to do in over 300 years? What is at stake if they can’t find the treasure? Is it even still there? The clock is ticking…and that’s all I’m going to tell you 😊 Click here for more information!
4. A Dozen of Them by Isabella Alden
If you’ve never read Mrs. Alden, you must start today! She’s that good! This book is part of her darling Golden Text Series. Each chapter begins with four or five scriptures. One of the scriptures will be used in the story. Our family likes to assign a verse to each person and wait to see who got the “Chosen Verse”. These stories encourage Bible memory, Character building and scriptural application. This particular story is about a young man named Joseph and how the verses that he selected, one for every month, changed his life. Click here for more information! *Note, this link will show you a three book set. We recommend all three!
5. Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by Robert Edward Lee Jr.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the 1860s-time period. The War Between the States has always fascinated me, and I know write books on that topic. I read this book last year, a gift from my uncle (who is an Air Force and Police Force Veteran! Love you, Uncle Paul!). He had no idea how much I would enjoy this book. Who better to write a book about Gen. Lee, beloved to the South and the North alike, than his own son? This book is recommended for older readers, simply because it’s written on a higher reading level. Oh. Please, no matter where you are from, no matter what side of the war you side with, please, pick up a copy of this book. It will get you acquainted with this dear, Christian man on a personal level. The author even gives us a peek into his own life in one chapter, which is quite entertaining to say the least! Click here for more information!
So, these are my Back to School Recommendations! Hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! Something to think about. What are you favorite Autumn reads? Share your reading list with others and encourage them to try out a book they’ve never read. Speaking as an avid book worm, you can never have too many book recommendations!
Have a blessed day and keep reading!
If you’ve read my newest book, The Rivers of Sorrow, then you know that a major part of the story is centered around the Battle of Gettysburg. July 1-3 is the 155th Anniversary of that horrific fight. In memory of those who lost their lives there, I present to you 10 totally random facts about this small, Pennsylvania town. (I actually used to live about 20 minutes from there!)
1. The roads leading into Gettysburg form the shape of wagon wheel spokes. With the town at the very center, it is very easy to spot the fun shape of the landscape. This feature attributed to the armies meeting and fighting at Gettysburg.
2. Col. Rufus Dawes, a Union soldier commanding one of the Iron Brigade regiments, was a descendant of William Dawes. In case this name does not ring a bell, William Dawes is one of our Patriot forefathers who rode the midnight ride with Paul Revere 😊 One can’t help but wonder what William would have thought about Rufus fighting his fellow countrymen…
3. John Wesley Culp died on his relative’s land. John was a member of the 2nd Virginia Regiment, Stonewall Brigade, and was killed on Culp’s Hill on July 3rd, 1863. It is believed that the hill was named after an uncle of John’s.
4. At Gettysburg, the Wheatfield proved dangerous for a Sickle. Union General Daniel Sickle, after disobeying orders and moving his men into the field, was shot in the Wheatfield and lost his leg as a result. He survived to become the military dictator of North Carolina following the war.
5. Prior to the battle, when the Confederate troops marched through town for the first time, some girls met them with flowers and pieces of cake. If circumstances were reversed, I don’t think I could have done that 😊
6. At least one black Confederate was at the Battle of Gettysburg! According to the book, The South Was Right! by Walter and James Kennedy, a black soldier marched a yankee prisoner down the streets of Gettysburg, much to the surprise of the population. Seems this man didn’t buy into the Emancipation Proclamation propaganda 😊
7. Pickett’s Charge took place on Cemetery Ridge. What a chillingly accurate name for the location of such a brutal fight. Nearly 7,000 men on both sides were killed, wounded or captured during this fight alone. Between 46,000-51,000 men made up the casualties of the three-day battle at Gettysburg.
8. Pickett’s Charge might deserve a different name. While Pickett did send in a large force of fresh troops (three brigades) the other two divisions were led by men serving under A.P. Hill. The attack was coordinated by Gen. Longstreet. So, rightfully the battle should be called Hill’s Charge or Longstreet’s Charge. Perhaps it is named for Pickett because he is the one who conveyed the order to commence the attack.
9. C.S. Gen. Garnett was killed in Picket’s Charge. His body was never recovered, but he was last seen riding towards a cannon right before it went off. Many believe he was trying to restore his honor following his causing Stonewall to lose the battle of Kernstown in 1862. Even though Stonewall wanted him court-martialed, Garnett respected Stonewall to his death.
10. Following Pickett’s Charge, Lee declared it was all his fault that the attack had failed. The men declared that it wasn’t and begged him to send them back. While he appreciated their loyalty and drive, Lee wisely refused and began organizing the withdrawal of the army.
Well, that’s all for now. Know some interesting facts about the Battle of Gettysburg? Why not share them with a friend and take a moment to appreciate the heroes of the past?
Have a Blessed Day!
Hey Y’all! Good to be back in the blogosphere! Hope you are having a great week so far! So, I really enjoyed that post on Nicknames that I did a few months ago, so I decided to do a sequel! Hope you enjoy!
Tom Fool: A name not so lovely bestowed on General Thomas “Stonewall Jackson” by his Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.) Cadets at the beginning of the war, because of his odd mannerisms. This was quickly changed to the much loved “Stonewall” following the First Battle of Manassas Junction.
The Grand Creole: This one makes me smile! It’s the name given to Gen. Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard (Say that five times fast!). Being a French Creole from Louisiana, and having a reputation for being haughty at times, this name fits the Frenchman well.
King of Spades: A little known nickname for our revered General Robert E. Lee. Prior to his well-known campaigns against numerous Union generals, Lee was in charge of the Richmond defenses. He made his men dig a series of trenches around the city, thus the nickname. But I don’t recall any grumblings when the trenches later came in handy in 1864-65, protecting the soldiers during the Petersburg/Richmond campaign. It has been said that this tactic used by Lee was influential in the WWI trench warfare a few decades later.
Pathfinder of the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury, a noted oceanographer, was the first man to identify the Gulf Stream. He was in the Confederate Navy.
Rooney: This is an example of a childhood nickname lasting through to adulthood. Gen. William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the second son of Gen. Robert E. Lee, is more commonly known by Rooney.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy: Richmond native, Miss Elizabeth Van Lew, turned traitor to her country and operated a spy ring out of the Confederate capitol. She was known for acting insane, helping to shield her from suspicion.
Old Blood and Whiskers: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Perhaps he was branded with this name for his Vicksburg campaign. It certainly was appropriate, especially at Cold Harbor, when he vainly threw his tired and ill prepared men at the Confederate troops.
Old Blinky: This name was given to Union Major Gen. William French because of his habit of constantly blinking while talking.
Cump: This nonsense name was given to William Tecumseh Sherman by his family growing up. His soldiers called him “Uncle Billy.” The South referred to him as a “Nightmare,” a “Ghoul” and a “Hyena.” You decide which you think fits best.
Little Napoleon: Gen. George McClellan sported this nickname, though he lacked the battlefield bravery of his namesake. It was probably given to him for the way he carried himself. Being short, he tried to make himself look taller.
Something to think about: Take a few minutes to think about your own nicknames. Do you think they fit you or not?
I hope you enjoyed this post! Have a blessed day!
Hey! I’ve got a fun post for y’all today! I don’t know about you, but I love nicknames! Especially Civil War nicknames! So, I’m gonna give you a list of some famous (and not so famous) Southern and Northern nicknames! Enjoy!
Stonewall: General Thomas Jonathan Jackson was the owner of this special name. At the Battle of First Manassas on July 21st, 1861, C.S. General Bernard Bee stated to his men, “…There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall.” The South Carolinians under his command banded together and stood with the Virginians under Jackson, helping the Southern forces to carry the day. “Stonewall” stuck to Jackson and his brigade. Interestingly, Gen. Jackson is better known by his nickname than his real name!
Old Granny: This may surprise you, but this nickname belongs to none other than Gen. Robert E. Lee! Many Southern officers didn’t think Lee could make it as a field officer, since during the opening months of the war, his jobs were that of an engineer and military counselor. But this Mexican War veteran soon proved to be an expert on the field. Some of his tactics are still studied today!
Old Pete or Gloomy Pete: This name stuck to Gen. James Longstreet. Why Pete? I have no idea. But this Southern General was known for being a bit pessimistic and acted a bit like an “old man”. A more positive nickname he was given by Gen. Lee was “Old War Horse.”
Old Blue Light: Another nickname for Gen. Jackson. Stonewall had piercing blue eyes and his men described how when they were preparing for battle, the general’s eyes would light up.
The Last Cavalier: Gen. James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart was a prominent Confederate Cavalry man. His men baffled Union forces time and time again, circling the Union Army of the Potomac twice. Known for his chivalry and jaunty air, J.E.B. Stuart truly was the last of the legendary cavaliers.
Unconditional Surrender: This name belonged to Ulysses Simpson Grant or “U.S.” Grant. This name stems from his order for “Unconditional Surrender” from the Confederates holed up in Ft. Donelson. This excited the Union press, who dubbed him “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
Little Mac: Gen. George B. McClellan wasn’t the tallest Northern General, but no commander was more loved by his men, in spite of the fact that he wasn’t that great of a tactician.
Spoons: This nickname is strange and certainly not a complement. Gen. Benjamin Butler was the man who overthrew New Orleans and set up housekeeping there. He’s dictatorship of the city is often criticized and the Southerners said he would stoop so low as to steal silverware. In all seriousness, that was the last thing the New Orleans population had to be concerned about.
Rock of Chickamauga: Gen. George Henry Thomas earned this nickname for standing firmly during said battle. It did little good though, for the Confederates won a hard fought victory in this Georgia territory.
Drummer Boy of Shiloh: John “Lincoln” Clem is hailed as one of the youngest Union soldiers to fight in the war. The nickname is actually steeped in legend as official records show that Johnny didn’t start on with the Federals until after the famous battle of Shiloh. He was present in the 1863 Georgia campaign and was even taken prisoner. Later exchanged, the boy’s story was noised throughout the South, since he was an honorary sergeant at that point. They stated that the Union troops were in dire straits since they were pulling babies from the nursery and promoting them to sergeant. Clem was actually a drummer and courier. J
There are so many fun nicknames, I could do a series on just those! I hope you enjoyed this sampling…maybe I’ll do another nickname post sometime!
Have a blessed day!
Supporting My Heritage,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.