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 ;)
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,
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,
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,
Hello again! I know, two posts in one week! That’s because yesterday’s was a bonus post and I already had this one planned so…You either benefit or suffer more, however you want to look at it 😊
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
We’ve all read the story of the Pharisee and the Publican. We would all like to believe we are like the publican, acknowledging our fault and pleading for the mercy of God. But how many times do we act more like the Pharisee?
We are so concerned with sins of others that we forget to examine our own. And could it be that we are allowing this attitude into our prayers? We pray for others and we should; there is nothing wrong with that. But are we forgetting to pray for our own spiritual growth? That we would draw closer to God?
Pride is listed as one of the abominations that God hates in the Bible and an attitude of “At least I’m not like them,” is certainly pride. And God cannot hear a prayer prayed in pride…so when we fall into this snare, who are we praying to?
According to our text, we are praying with ourselves! What a horrible thought! Our prayers are not heard and we are praying with only ourselves to hear it. What a sobering idea. While we “know” this simple truth, I wonder how many really know it. For if we really took it to heart, I think we’d see a change in our prayer life!
Of course, all our prayers are not prayed in pride, I know that. When we sincerely pray as the publican did, we have the blessed assurance that God hears our prayers. What a consolation! He hears and finds pleasure in the prayer given by a humble heart.
Keep this in mind next time you go to pray…perhaps we should begin our prayer asking God to protect us from the sin of pride!
Have a blessed day!
P.S. As many of you know, the Gettysburg portion of my story took me the longest to write/revise/edit. One of my original storylines included Seth being chased across a field (in the dark) on horseback by Union pickets…who may or may not have injured him in their eagerness to catch a spy…😉 Another story line had two family members meeting up on the field of battle…only one of them didn’t realize the other was there until it was too late (don’t worry, nobody died, just got hurt a little ☹) Who do you think they were? Tune in next time for another WIP snippet!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.