Good morning, afternoon or evening, where ever you are and whenever you’re reading this! I’m thrilled to have you back here at Life of Heritage Corner! This post was originally supposed to be put up next month, but on a whim, I decided to do it now. It has been requested that I share some of the books that I get my information from, specifically for my series, The Battle for Heritage, set during the War Between the States. 📚 So today, I’m going to share 6 of the books that really helped me get my series together, specifically for The Land of Cotton!
Very early on in my work, a dear man gave me over a dozen books from his personal collection. These books have helped me a lot! In fact, three of them made this list! So, here are my top six research books.📝
1. The Civil War by Bruce Caton ©1988 by American Heritage Inc. edition.
Now, I disagree with Mr. Caton on his view of the War Between the States, but the main thing I used this book for (which was very well researched; he’s known as the Civil War Authority of his day) was the special bonuses at the end of the book. Part 1 is a Chronology of the Civil War, dividing the events up by year, month and day. I relied heavily on this while plotting my series and still refer to it constantly. Part II is the Index to the Chronology. This listed all the battles alphabetically, then in small print listed the month, day and year it took place, so you could look it up in the chronology. Very helpful! Part III is The Leading Participants. Alphabetically, the political and military leaders of both sides are listed, with a paragraph telling who they are, what they did in the war, when they did it, if they were wounded and when, what battles they fought in, what command position they held and when, and when they died (if applicable). It is a gold mine! To be honest, I’ve yet to actually read the book…I’ve only used the bonus indexes!😆
2. The Time-Life History of the Civil War (I don’t have my copy down right now, so I’m not sure what edition it is, but click here to see it.)
I read parts of this book, depending on what battle I was currently working on. It gave quotes from soldiers as well as times and places when things happened. But mostly, I used it for the pictures. There were drawings✏, photos📸 , and paintings🖌, some more modern and some made during the war. I used these for inspiration for characters, activities and battle sequences.
3. A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore, Edited, with an Introduction by B.A. Botkin ©1960 by B.A. Botkin, 1993 Promontory Press Edition
Warning: It does need some editing…there are a few bad words and a few stories that need to be taken out!
This book is exactly what it sounds like, Tales, legends, folklore, letters and journals written by the people who actually experienced the war! Now, the title insinuates that not everything in the book is 100% accurate, which is true, but there really isn’t a lot of “Tall-Tales”. Most of the content is history written down by the multiple authors. You get a great look at what the men fought for, what camp life was like, what it was like back home and what was going on in the officers and politicians’ heads. There are news articles as well. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the time period, the language and the mindset of the people. You hear from both the famous and the unheard of, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it!
4. Beloved Bride by Bill Potter ©2002-2012 by Vision Forum (Read a full review here!)
This book is beautiful! 😍 It’s one of the books that made me fall in love with General Stonewall Jackson. And yes, most of what I wrote about Stonewall came from reading this book (his dialogue is based off his actual patterns of speech, things he really said and the way he responded to situations.) It’s one of my very favorite non-fictions! Read it, just go read it! ❤
5. A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham ©2011 by Martin F. Graham Osprey Publishing Edition
Oh, wow! I found this book at Ollie’s on sale and it was truly my pocket guide! Again, I didn’t agree with this author’s take on the war, but I found for the most part, it seemed pretty neutral. The statistics were very helpful as well as the breakdown of how to load a rifle. If you read The Land of Cotton, the scene where the boys are going through the process of joining up and the scene where one of the boys is loading his gun, both came from this book. It’s a very comprehensive guide. I also got a lot of information for my Soldier Life // Privates post from this book! Definitely a book to pick up if you are writing about the War Between the States or if you want a little more than a basic overview of the war. My only hang up with this story is that they say the only reason the South went to war was over slavery, which wasn’t a reason at all. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything…
6.The Civil War for Kids by Janis Herbert ©1999 by Janis Herbert, Chicago Review Press 1st Edition
This book gave me the idea to include loading the rifle in my book, though I used #5 to get a clearer understanding. It also inspired me to include espionage in my book. Even though it’s biased for the Union, you’ll find it jammed packed with information and activities. 📒There’s also fun bonus facts about the war, like what names of places mean, who named what battles, biography sketches, etc. If you’ve read Our Heritage to Save, you may remember the scene where Titus dives into the breakdown of the army’s companies, regiments, etc. I got all that from this book. I highly recommend it!
So that’s it for now! Hope this has given you something to springboard off of. In the future I hope to tell you about some of my Confederate resources, more histories and even some documentaries that help me! If you have any questions about these books, please let me know and someone from my team (aka me or my family!) will answer them for you!
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
II Timothy 4:12
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji provided by Emoji One
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
That's right! I'm not only posting three posts in one week (click here and here to read them :)) but I'm also doing two posts in one day! Let me explain why...
For the last few posts, I've been scheduling them to go up ahead of time, just in case I can't make it to WiFi...this is not one such post :) Yesterday, I got a phone call from my local printer and they told me...
"The Rivers of Sorrow is ready for pick up! Here is your total..."
That's right! As of right now, The Rivers of Sorrow is available for purchase! For $14.00+ $3.00 s/h, the 3rd installment of The Battle for Heritage Series could be yours! I can hardly believe it! I've literally been working on this book for five years! Five! And to finally be able to hold it in my hands...unless you've published a book, you've know idea what that feels like :)
To celebrate the release, I've got a few goodies for you! An excerpt from the story, and some of my favorite quotes from the book! Enjoy!
From Chapter 1
January 4th, 1863
“Now, march right over to that tree, Yank. Keep them hands where I can see them!”
Confederate Lieutenant Richard Mason rubbed his eyes. “What now?” he mumbled as the shouting continued. He glanced at his pocket watch: 3:46 A.M. January 4th, 1863, was already upon them.
Groaning, Richard kicked off his blanket and stepped out into the cold Virginia night. “What’s going on out here?” he demanded, not at all happy to be losing sleep because of a troublesome federal prisoner.
Sgt. Tyler Nace turned and saluted his lieutenant and friend. “Sorry to disturb you, Lt. Mason. This yank tried to escape. Cpl. Calling sounded the alarm and we cornered him here. Calling had to shoot before he would surrender, sir.”
Richard frowned as blood dripped from the federal soldier’s left arm. “Sgt. Mason is on duty. Have him see to the fed’s arm. I want the prisoner secured for the night. Double the guard.”
“Yes, sir,” Tyler and Cpl. Jeremiah Calling said in unison, saluting. They led the prisoner to the infirmary. Sgt. Seth Mason moved from tent to tent, treating the wounded as needed. He too was aggravated with the escapee.
Richard’s younger brother checked over the wound. “Clean through. Jeremy, you saved his arm.”
The prisoner remained silent. Tyler studied him, noting the flash in the middle-aged man’s eyes. He’s probably pretty upset about being held prisoner by boys, Tyler thought. He’s old enough to be our father!
Seth finished tying off the bandage. “There, that’ll do it.” Seth winced and held his head. “Do I ever have a headache!”
“You need to get some sleep,” Jeremy stated in his to-the-point way. “You work too hard and too late. Go get some sleep.”
“Later. I’ve still got two tents to check. And after that I need to get these shoes to Eddie,” he said, jerking his thumb towards a pair of used brogans sitting on the desk.
“He could sure use them,” Tyler remarked. “He hasn’t complained, but I know his feet are about froze. He’s been walking around in his socks the last few days.”
Jeremy shook his head and pushed the prisoner toward the tent opening. Tyler joined them outside and the trio made their way back to the prisoners’ hold. Tyler nodded to the guards as they climbed the steps and opened the door.
“I tried,” the prisoner told his groaning comrades. Tyler pushed him past the group and led him to a separate room. They couldn’t risk the prisoner causing an uprising.
Titus Mallory, a Confederate sergeant, arrived to help guard. He walked among the soldiers keeping a sharp eye on them. There wouldn’t be trouble on his watch.
Morning light found the soldiers no warmer than the night before. Winter camp had been made around Moss Neck at Camp Winder following bloody fighting at Fredericksburg on December 13th, 1862.
Richard put on his hat and mounted his horse, Champion. He urged the handsome stallion into a run as they headed for his commander’s headquarters.
Major Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton looked up as Richard entered. “Morning, Lt. Mason. Gen. Jackson’s been waiting for you.”
Richard doffed his hat and nodded as Pendleton checked to see if the General was ready for him. “You may go on in, Lieutenant,” Pendleton said.
Richard saluted Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as he entered the room. Jackson returned his salute. “Do have a seat, Lieutenant.” Richard fought the desire to rake his fingers through his dark auburn hair. When Stonewall stared at him like he was now, Richard imagined the general could see right through him.
Stonewall sifted through his papers. “I hear you and your command had a bit of excitement during the late fighting.”
Richard took a deep breath and replied, “Yes, sir. Two brigades were divided, but God pieced us all back together.”
Something of a smile hinted at the older man’s lips. “Indeed, He did. Our ever-kind Heavenly Father smiled on us during this campaign.” He shuffled through the papers and laid them aside. “Your Capt. Baines is up for a promotion to Major, Lt. Mason.”
He watched Richard’s expression. Noticing a slight change of his countenance, he asked, “Are you disappointed? Perhaps you believe your captain unworthy of the honor to be bestowed upon him.”
“Oh, no, sir!” Richard assured him. “I only feel sorry for our company. Capt. Baines is an inspiring leader, and I wish he could remain in its command. But I do not begrudge him the honor. I suppose to wish him back is selfishness on my part.”
Jackson nodded slowly. “It is. But hardly to be unexpected.” Silence stole over them. Jackson leaned forward and clasped his hands. “Have you a suggestion for company commander?”
Richard thought a moment. “Lt. Tucker would do well, sir…the campaigns of last year were unkind to our officers, sir. There were many wounded or killed, and others had to take spots in other companies.”
“Is Tucker a trustworthy man?” the general inquired.
“To the utmost, sir. By seniority it belongs to him.”
The general nodded again. “The men have elected you.”
Curious yet? Hop on over to my contacts page to place your order today!
And now for some quotes...
Well, that's all for now! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and please, tell your friends about The Rivers of Sorrow!
Writing for Him,
Memorial Day. They day we have set aside to remember all those who have gone on before us to protect and defend our great nation...everyone of them, regardless of background, native state or political view point. May we never forget them...
I wish I had time to list all the men who have given their lives in defense of our great nation, but there just isn't time. So instead, I have two special groups of people I would like to recognize by the war they served in and I will wrap the post up with a few from other wars.
Nathan Hale // America's first spy; captured an hanged by the British.
Gabriel Marion // Nephew to Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox; Brutally killed in battle.
Benjamin Merrill // American Patriot and North Carolinian; Hanged at the order of Gov. Tryon after the Battle of Alamance.
James Few // Fellow soldier of Ben. Merrill; Hanged following the Battle of Alamance.
Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson // Confederate general and strong Christian; Died May 10th, 1863 after being wounded at Chancellorsville, Va.
Gen. A.P. Hill // Confederate general; Killed in the 3rd Battle of Petersburg (April 2nd, 1865)
Sam Davis // Confederate scout and Christian; Hanged by Union soldiers in November of 1863.
Keith Boswell // Aide to Gen. Jackson; Shot and killed May 2nd, 1863.
Joshua Bowman // Confederate soldier and North Carolinian; My Great-great-great-great-grandfather, murdered April 2nd, 1865. (He was not killed in battle and was shot without a trial, but that's a story for another time.)
Gen. J.E.B. Stuart // Confederate Cavalry officer; killed in May of 1864 at Yellow Tavern, Va.
Gen. Lewis Armistead // Confederate general; Killed at Pickett's Charge, July 3rd, 1863.
D. B. Little // North Carolina soldier; died April 2nd, 1865 at Petersburg,Va.
Also, representing WWII, the five Sullivan brothers who died on the same ship in the Pacific; Harlan Block, Mike Strank, Frank Sousley and Harold Shultz, flag raisers of Iwo Jima; Skipping forward to the current wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, USMC Leon Lucas, who was killed by an enemy grenade while on deployment.
To these men and the hundreds of thousands more who willingly gave everything for us, Thank you for your service.
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,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.