I can hardly believe it’s time for Part 3 of this series! (Click here for part 1 and part 2!) I’m so excited to share the books that helped me so much with my Battle for Heritage Series! If I can help even one author or History Buff in their search for answers, it will be worth it! So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
1.Will at the Battle of Gettysburg by Laurie Calkhoven ©2011 by the author, Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Okay, so this isn’t a history. In fact, it is a children’s middle-grade fiction novel. But, hear me out 😉 This story is told in the perspective of Will, a 12-year-old Gettysburg native. Though this book is strongly biased and claims the South fought to keep their slaves, which is false, this book is eye-opening as to what civilians went through during the fighting, what it was like for a little boy to see war, and the confusing feeling of pity for the enemy. And of course Abel is my favorite character, a young Confederate, who, surprisingly given the stance of the author, educates Will on why the South is actually fighting. This is well worth reading. I made minor edits to my copy for historical inaccuracies (regarding the cause of the war) and a few minor swear words. Please proof it before handing it to a child under 10.
2.Gettysburg: The Confederate High Tide by Time Life Books ©1985 (again, my copy isn’t down, so I’m not sure of the specifics.)
This book for the most part focuses on the facts of the battle rather than the cause of the war, so it’s a pretty safe read. Very informative and a recommended read. There are a few words to mark out, due to historical quotes. In general, this is a good book on the history of the Battle of Gettysburg. Recommended for ages 16+ for understanding.
3.To Die in Chicago by George Levy ©1999 by the author. Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., 1999, Second Printing
This is not a book for Children. I highly recommend an adult read this book first if you plan to hand it over to someone younger than 16. Ever wondered what it could be like if America had concentration camps? Welcome to Camp Douglas. If anyone ever tries to tell you how terrible Andersonville in Georgia was (which was caused by tight spaces and national food shortages, not to mention the Union’s halt of prisoner exchange), remind them of Camp Douglas. Some of the worst War Crimes committed by the Union happened here in the systematic starvation, torture and degradation of Southern POWs. Recently, people have been talking about the confinement of Japanese Americans during WWII, referring to the camps as concentration camps. While there is no question that everything wasn’t up to scratch, it is disrespectful to Holocaust survivors and Confederate POWs to compare their comparative paradise with the genocide committed by the Nazis and Union soldiers. I’m sure either group would have gladly switched places. I am by no means trying to down play any wrong that may have been committed against our country’s citizens. I’m just saying that there are some unfair historical cover ups going on. I personally think this book should be read by 18+, given the sensitive subject matter.
4.Reccolections and Letters of Robert E. Lee compiled by Capt. Robert E. Lee Jr., C.S.A. (public domain) First published 1904. Mine is a Dover 2007 edition.
I’ve mentioned this book in a previous post, so I won’t spend too much time on it here, but this book is so good! Who better to write a book about the South’s beloved Marse Robert than himself and his son? A mixture of commentary from Rob and letters, journals and orders from Gen. Lee make this a must for every student of War Between the States History! Recommended for 14+ for understanding.
5.Civil War Period Cookery compiled by Robert W. Pelton ©2003 by the author. Infinity publishing, 2012 edition
This book is chock full of fun information about the food and drinks of days gone by. (Warning: some recipes call for alcoholic beverages, which I DO NOT condone. These are removed from my recipes.) Ever wondered what the bread of choice was from Stonewall’s army? How about the chicken and gravy Gen. Mosby grew up on? How about Clara Barton’s Mint Lemonade? Southerners and Northerners will be delighted by the storehouse of insider information about these famous family recipes and biographical sketches about the cooks and the eaters! I love this book and hope to cook from it soon. Though I probably will steer clear of U.S. Grant’s family recipe for laxative bread…
Well, that’s all for now! Thank you so much for stopping by today!
Hey there and welcome back to another Writer post! This time it’s all about Chapter Names. I may have mentioned this before, but one of my pet peeves is a book without Chapter titles! Don’t get me wrong, I still read books without them, but if you want to make me super happy 😉, TITLE YOUR CHAPTERS! But, I understand, this isn’t always easy. So today, I’m taking my book, The Land of Cotton and explaining how I came up with the titles for the chapters. (Ones marked Original are the titles I came up with in my first draft!) I hope this is helpful!
1.) “How’d This All Get Started?”- Michael asks this question, and it is the focus of the chapter, explaining the Southern Cause in simple terms. This is the very first title I ever came up with for this book. Old Faithful!
2.) The Move- Again, this is what the chapter focused around, a family moving to a new location.
3.) Agree to Disagree- This is a common enough phrase and fits perfectly with the story of this chapter. Sometimes, you’re just not going to agree with people, but try to do it peacefully. An Original Title.
4.) God Has a Plan- This was taken from a conversation in the chapter. Even when it doesn’t make sense, God has a plan for your life!
5.) Lighting the Fire- Before the War Between the States, people that were in agreement with secession and spoke out in its favor were labeled “Fire Eaters.” This fact and the fact that the desire to serve one's country is referred to as the Fire of Patriotism provided the perfect title.
6.) Confederate and Lady- Read the book, and you’ll understand 😉
7.) Something Worth Fighting For- Sometimes it takes time for a Cause’s righteousness to be realized by those it affects. That’s what this chapter explains.
8.) A Righteous Cause- Ditto 😉
9.) The First Good-Bye- That one is always the hardest ☹ I think the title is self-explanatory.
10.) The Awakening- This one was a revised title, originally called “The Bull Runners.” Without spoiling it for those who haven’t read that far, in every soldier’s life there is a time when he realizes War isn’t all glory…it isn’t a game; it’s for real.
11.) Reality of War- Ditto!
12.) “It Never Gets Easier”- Phrase taken from the story.
13.) Eternity- Serious topic common to war. Original Title!
14.) Surprised- Sometimes stating a simple fact is the best way to title a chapter…😉 or maybe that’s laziness…you decide.
15.) More Than One Way To Serve- Without giving you a spoiler, there were many ways to serve your country during war, not just fighting. This chapter covers that.
16.) Wrapping Up- A wound, a part of the story or both? This title came to me while trying to revamp some lousy titles, including “Moving On.”
17.) Home At Last- Self-explanatory.
18.) Prayer Works- This is an original. I liked the simplicity of this very true statement.
19.) Hide ‘n Seek and Nicodemus- This mixes two events in the story, with both a fun and serious edge.
20.) A Land of Cotton…and More Cotton- A spin off the title, theme song and the truth of the harvest season. We’re in the South, Y’all! Original title.
21.) Letters- Sometimes I’m too tired to think of something fresh. Old faithful’s are fine 😉
22.) Sharp Encounter- Read the Chapter, and it’ll make sense 😉 I drew the title from the story.
23.) Race Against Time- Another Original. Sometimes you are literally racing against the clock. It fit so well with the story, I couldn’t pass it up!
24.) That Time of Year- Christmas…This title just came to me one day after thinking of the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
25.) Christmas Apart- No one likes being away from loved ones at Christmas. This title expresses the mood for this chapter, a mix of hope and despair.
If this isn’t enough inspiration…refer back to my post on Book Titles…the concept is the same 😉
Have a blessed week!
Hello and welcome back to another post here at Life of Heritage Corner! I’m here with another post in my War Between the States Soldier Life series, this time focusing on the Corporal! This series is non-biased, so no matter what you believe about the war, you can learn something here!
Now before we get started, I shall give you my disclaimer: I am not an expert. These posts are merely the results of my personal research for my books, The Battle for Heritage Series. I try to write posts in this series that I would love to have read when I was searching books and websites for this information! So, if you have been looking for a post of this nature for your research, you’re welcome 😉 (Click here for episode 6: The Private or go to my Looking for Something? page for a full list of posts in this series.)
The corporal’s duties are pretty basic for the most part. They are in charge of the private soldiers. They oversee small details of camp life, following the orders of the sergeant. And, if the sergeant is gone, well, guess who’s in charge, boys? Often, corporals are disliked by the men because they can be overzealous to do a good job and stay on the sergeant’s good side. Plus, with their knowledge of the sergeant’s duties, they can come across as know-it-alls.
A Corporal is a non-commissioned officer. Which simply means, he’s in charge, you obey him. Period. But—you do not salute him, and you do not call him sir. He is not usually allowed to confine a soldier to his quarters or to the guard house, though. Unless someone has given him permission to do so.
I will cut them some slack, though…the higher-ranking men could be hard on them. They were expected to be the epitome of neatness and cleanliness in the way they dressed and cared for their equipment, an example for the private to follow. And a corporal could get in more trouble if he didn’t hold up to that standard. With position comes stiffer consequences. If a higher-ranking soldier called for the men to fall in, the corporal should be the first to arrive. And their quarters should always be in top notch condition.
They had to be able to instruct recruits in basic military actions and tactics. And if you’re going out into the field, guess who you get your rations from? Better stay on his good side!
And the pinnacle of his job…the Corporal of the Guard. We’ll get into the particulars of this in a minute, but not only did he have to know how to perform this duty, but he also had to be able to instruct others in carrying it out…flawlessly.
The Corporal of the Guard is the changing out of the sentries (to the best of my understanding). Three corporals are assigned to three groups of men, called reliefs. Each corporal marches their relief to their post for guard duty, changes them out with the last group of guards, then marches the old group back to camp. He is responsible for keeping up with the names of the men and that they are present and accounted for at their posts and when their shift ends. There’s a whole list of things the soldiers need to say and do as the exchange is taking place, but I’ll spare you the details.
After posting the sentries, the corporal must revisit the posts by daylight to make sure they understand their day-orders. This is to be repeated at night, as the orders are different. The corporal is held responsible by the officer of the day to make sure that the sentries are instructed correctly.
And when on guard duty, the corporal must keep in mind that they are only to take orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day and the officers and non-commissioned officers of the guard…which might not be his usual commanders. Now, try to keep that all straight when in a high-stress position!
They also have the pleasure of rounding up soldiers who have gone AWOL. Fun stuff!
Corporals were also, typically, in charge of fatigue duty. This is basically any job a soldier could be required to do where his weapon is not needed. For example, road work, building field placements (barriers and trenches) rifle pits, barricades (making or removing), foraging for food, etc.
And this is just for the Infantry Corporal! Forgive me, I’ll let you look up the rules for Cavalry and Artillery Corporals for yourself. 😉
So, there you have it, the basic overview of a Corporal’s duties in the 1860s! Next time you read a book with an obnoxious corporal, remember this post and try to grant him some grace. He’s got a tough life, lol!
Until Next Time,
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
Welcome to my fourth post of the year! I am so excited to be bringing you another installment of my Soldier Life series…the sixth in this series I found out. So for those who are unfamiliar with this series, I am compiling information that I came across while researching for The Battle for Heritage Series. I am not an expert on the War Between the States, but I thought these posts might be helpful to other authors researching the same time era.
With that out of the way, let’s see what life in the army was like for a private, the lowest ranking member of the army.
Most of the army is made up of privates, even today. They are the boots on the ground, the common soldier you know and love from novels and movies. Back in the old days, the private did not have any insignia on his uniform. And another thing about these fellows that I suppose is common knowledge is that the private never gave orders. He’s not over anyone, he’s at the bottom of the totem pole. But what exactly was expected of him? Let’s take a look.
Drill. If you’ve read any book on soldiering in any time period, I’m sure you’ve read about the incessant amount of drilling they did. This wasn’t just a mundane task they had to complete. This was life and death training. It also helped to fill time in the day that otherwise would have left the men idle…and more prone to get into trouble.
KP. Ah, yes, Kitchen Patrol. While this is more of the WWII name for the job, soldiers did take turns helping the army cooks. Peeling potatoes (when they had them) was one of their jobs, as was washing dishes, stirring pots, serving food and dumping food waste., They would have to do anything food related when their turn came around.
Policing the Grounds. Just as today, this task had to do with keeping their living quarters neat and clean. Clearing debris away from the walking paths, organizing their gear, stacking the wood piles neatly, it all had to do with keeping things tidied up.
Horse Duty. Even if they didn’t serve in the Cavalry, their unit had horses for pulling supply wagons, riding dispatches, and transporting officers. So, the privates would feed the horses, clean up after them and if needed, make sure they had been exercised for the day. Grooming needed to be kept up as well to insure the horses’ health and appearance.
Guard Duty. There were two types of guard duty. The first was what you would expect from the name, guarding prisoners, both enemy and fellow soldiers who had disobeyed some military rule. The other was known as Picket Duty, which simply meant they were guarding the outskirts of the camp from intruders.
Camp Duties. This could be anything and everything. Chopping wood, digging latrines and trenches, delivering messages from the officers, hauling water, doing laundry, shooting game/butchering…you name it!
Drummers and buglers as a rule were privates as well, but I can’t say dogmatically that they all had this rank. I would have to look into that a little deeper.
Privates also helped in the hospitals. They often helped hold a soldier down during surgery, volunteered to help the doctors when there was a shortage of nurses and helped remove the wounded from the battlefield. (They weren’t the only ones to do this, but since there were more privates than the other ranks, they were the majority of the ones gathering the wounded.) They also served on burial detail.
Hope this was helpful! I’ll see you next week with a writerly post that I can’t wait to share with you!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.