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,
Tough or Strong? // A Devotion
It’s finally spring! Break out the short-sleeved shirts and flip-flops, ladies! That’s right, I said ladies because this is another devotion for the girls. I apologize for this being so late in the month, as I like for my devotions to be the first post, but this one took more work, lol! Today, I want us to think about something that’s bothered me a lot lately…Let’s dive in. *All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible*
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
(Please read Prov. 31:10-31)
Tough: Hard to convince or influence, stubborn; overly aggressive, brutal or rough.
Froward: Difficult to deal with, contrary. (Psalm 18:26,32)
Strong: Not easily affected or upset; morally powerful; having strength of character; durable; not weak.
After reading these definitions, which do you think describes yourself? In all honesty, the above description of “tough” shouldn’t even describe a man, much less a young lady! Real strength comes from the Lord, and every Christian should possess it. Let’s look at what God says a Christian lady should be like.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Of course, we unmarried girls, don’t have husbands or children of our own to love, but we should still follow the example of Godly women who do. And who better to practice on than the family God has placed us in?
Toughness (or forwardness in the Bible) doesn’t become a Christian. Today the world puts an emphasis on the “Independent, Empowered, Tough-as-nails Girl-boss.” No offense, but that just doesn’t appeal to me! That sounds like a woman that would step on anyone who got in her way with no care for the long-term effects of her actions, or the pain she causes others.
Strength is the quality we should long to display. But what is biblical strength? Well, it’s the opposite of toughness 😉 Let’s take a look at Matthew 5:38-41
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
The world would tell us that the woman who ignores a personal insult is intimidated and victimized when in reality, she is one of the strongest women out there. Human nature insists on personal justice, so when you ignore the insult, you are showing that you are stronger and more mature than most. (Also, just to clarify, when the verse talks about letting someone hit you on the cheek, that is akin to an insult, not allowing someone to beat you up. If someone is trying to inflict harm on you, get away from them!)
When we respond like the world, we are telling them there is no difference between them and the Christian community. And that is not the message we should convey! Everything we do, everything we say, it should all point people to Christ! WWJD was a popular saying at one time. But think about it. Pick any situation that you might be tempted to respond to with an “I’m gonna show them what I’m made of!” attitude, and ask yourself how Jesus would handle it. Remember, the only time Jesus displayed anger was not over the personal insults he received. It was over the desecration of the temple, His Father’s House. Likewise, we should always handle ourselves in a godly manner.
And we should always take into consideration that we are ladies. Therefore, we should respond with meekness. (That’s power under control.) You are strongest when you keep your cool, remain pleasant, and calmly walk away from adversity. Am I saying that it’s wrong to stand up for your beliefs and biblical principles? Not at all! It’s just wrong to get into a shouting match with your opposition. Always handle yourself as if Jesus were right there observing the whole thing…because He is.
What do you picture when you hear the word Tough? It may be different from one person to another, but here is what I imagine…
Thick, dry, crackled skin, kinda like a rhinoceros. A person with tattoos and a dirty mouth. A gangster. Broken glass (not sure why…) Mud, overall uncleanliness. Pit-Bulls. Black clothing…and a heart pleading for someone to help them get out of this mess they are in.
Here’s what I picture when I hear the word Strong.
The American Flag. A President. A Servicemember. A First Responder. A Preacher, never backing down on Biblical and moral principles. A Mother, daring to raise children and keep her house in order. A Farmer, living off the land of his fathers’. A Missionary in a closed country preaching the Gospel to the unreached. Security. A parent holding their child keeping them from falling.
Which picture would you like your face to show up in?
Which statement would you like to have made about you?
“Boy! I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side!”
“Did you see the way she handled that situation? She must be a Christian.”
Are you pleased with what others think of you? Why or why not? Are you Tough or Strong?
Until Next Time,
My Favorite Research Books! // Part 2
Hello and here we go again with another bookish post! Today, I’m bringing you five more research books that were super useful to me while writing The Battle for Heritage Series! I hope you enjoy it! (Click here to read part 1!)
1. The South Was Right! By James and Walter Kennedy ©1991, 1994 by the Authors. 5th Edition, October 1996, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., 1994
Don’t let the title frighten you! (I personally love it!) This book is not a bash against the people of the north, but rather a cultural, political and historical study of the South, from before the Revolution to the Reconstruction. It busts some of the myths about American Slavery, Abraham Lincoln and the 1800s Government as well as explaining where the Southern culture comes from. It covers race relationships in the South, war crimes and some problems that were handed down to us by our forefathers. 5 stars all the way! This book is cited in my book, Our Heritage to Save, and inspired a scene in my current WIP (Work in Progress), A Song of Home. Because this is a history book, there are some grim facts inside. Thus, I recommend this for readers 18+.
2.Stonewall Jackson by Charles Ludwig ©1989 by Mott Media
This was the first biography (and only biography!) I read about Stonewall Jackson (I have three on my to be read list). This book was amazing and gave me a great introduction to this American Hero’s life. Knowing about his family, how he met Anna, and about his conversion gave me more insight when I tried to portray him in my books. Another 5-star read. Recommended for ages 8 and up! (I was in high school when I read this)
3.The Blue and the Gray compiled by Henry Steele Commager ©1950 by the Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc.
This book is another compilation of soldiers’ letters, stories, and journal entries. I specifically used this book to research military punishments and treatment of prisoners in the Union Prison Camps. It wasn’t delightful reading, as such things are always sad, but this book is amazing! It gives song histories, little known stories of the war and a wonderful first-hand account of what it was like to live then, told by those who did. We’ve all heard of the Rebel Yell, but have you heard of the Yankee Yell? I hadn’t! But it was a real thing and is still used today…just not in the same way! Check out this book for the story, told by a southern soldier about his first encounter with the yell, what it sounded like and what he and his fellows thought of it. Very Interesting stuff. Because of potential language (I don’t remember any, but there may have been a word here and there I marked out), I would recommend this book for adults and older teens. Pre-teens will enjoy it if it has been edited.
4.Confederate Black Ops by Charles L. Tilton II ©2015 by the author, 1st Edition! Published by Blacksmith LLC, Fayetteville, N.C.
Oh…wow! This book was so good. I need to reread it! This book is written by an Army special ops guy, so he knows what he is talking about. This book covers so much about espionage and the techniques that the Southern forces utilized that are still used today! There were a couple things I marked out, but an older person could quickly fix this up for a young person to enjoy. If you are interested in learning more about the kinds of things certain of my characters might have gotten into, read this book. That being said, there are a few things in the book I disagree with, namely some of the things said about John Wilkes Booth and an assumption that a member of Lincoln’s cabinet was actually a Southern operative. I personally think there are a lot of holes in that argument, due to other research I have done. But please, read the book and draw your own conclusions. I am not an expert, lol! 😉
5. Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones © 1887, by B.F. Johnson & Co., © 1904 by The Martin & Hoyt Co. (I got mine from Vision Forum)
This was the second nonfiction book that I read about the War Between the States. I got this for my…14th birthday? Yes, 14th. It was soooo good, and at the time, it was the longest book I had ever read (400+!). This book was written by Robert E. Lee’s chaplain, a Baptist, who documented the revival that took place from 1862-1865. This was the last region-wide revival that took place in America and was solely located in the Southern Armies and surrounding towns. Unfortunately, it did not spread through the Federal armies, though if it had, I think more people would have been willing to take the war back to the table where it belonged.
Where was I…?
Anyway, this book is so good for those researching the spiritual ramifications of the War Between the states, regardless of where your loyalty lies. Honestly, this book isn’t even about the cause of the war; it barely mentions it maybe…twice? I can actually only think of one place where I read it, but I’m adding another, just to be on the safe side. It’s been a few years since I’ve read this book. Anyway, whether you are from the south or from the north, or not from America at all, this is a lovely study on the Hand of God in our Nations’ history. Fun Fact: Did you know that more Baptists fought in the Confederate Army than any other denomination? I didn’t until I read this book! It’s full of fun tidbits and heartwarming testimonies to the Power of God in War. Highly recommended. I would say High School and up for understanding, but there is nothing bad in this book 😉
So, those are my top Research Books for this post! Have you read any of these?
Have a Blessed Week!
1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words,
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
King James Version
Hello everyone and happy “Purple Up!” Day! That’s right, its that time of year again, the Month of the Military Child! And here with us today to celebrate is a friend of mine, Kassie Angle! I hope you enjoy our interview!
1. What is your favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Everything...?? Yep, everything. 😉 I’ve known nothing different. Getting to move so often and see so many places is really amazing. I can’t imagine staying in one place my whole life. All the opportunities we’d never have had otherwise. The Army is a really strong community and knowing that our Army family will always be there for us is something I wouldn’t change for the world.
2. What is your least favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Changes. Goodbyes. DEPLOYMENTS. Worrying about my dad getting killed. Ya know, those things that come with the territory but never get easier.
3. Name a few things you think people often forget about Military Kids?
We love it. We really do. When I was younger I never liked people thanking me for my service or sacrifice because...well, that’s just not how I felt. For one, I didn’t have a say in it (our family’s favorite analogy for Army kids is getting drafted), and for two, I loved this crazy life too much to think of it that way. Nowadays I can appreciate that more, but the truth is, no matter how hard it gets, we still love it.
And we don’t fit in anywhere else. Sometimes folks presume we’d be glad to be out of the Army now...but the Army is home. Anywhere else is way out of our comfort zone!
4. Where was your favorite base to live at? Why?
Ft. Hood. All the way. People deploy constantly from Ft. Hood, and there are thousands of people living there...so it kinda gets a bad rap. But it is an amazing place to live. Everybody’s in the same boat, and everybody knows it. If your dad’s deployed, so is everyone else’s. The community that builds is beautiful! (And Central Texas is physically beautiful, too... 😉) Knowing anyone will watch your back, just because we’re all Army—that everyone “gets it.” And with BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area), the cavalry shows, the greatest FRGs (Family Readiness Group) in the world...the Army takes good care of its people. And the PX (Post Exchange; it’s like a store on base) there is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Sometimes we want to go to Ft. Hood just to go to the PX!
5. Name a Base you would have liked to visit.
Somewhere I still have my list of posts in Virginia along with the Civil War battlefields nearest to each one...! 😉 I would’ve given just about anything to get stationed in VA. But my number one would definitely be Landstuhl. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the first stop for soldiers MEDEVACed (Medical evacuation) out of war zones, and there is an organization there called Soldiers’ Angels that I would love to volunteer with.
6. Anything else you think we should know about Military Kids?
Even the little kids understand more about Army life than you’d guess. Trust me on that. Looking back, it surprises me a little just how much I did understand at four and five. I don’t ever remember being taught that soldiers were killed in war, or that you salute the flag going down. And as I got older, seeing little friends with that same understanding that’s almost instinctual...I don’t know. That probably didn’t make any sense. 😉
And contrary to my younger self, if you know military kids, please tell them thank you. Honestly, no, we don’t want to be thanked for any sacrifice...chances are, we don’t feel like we’re the ones who’ve sacrificed. But sometimes it’s nice if someone notices that we do serve too. We might not take it in stride just then, but we’ll look back and feel honored. 💜
7. What is your favorite memory about being a Military Kid?
We’re gonna be here a while... Well, welcome home ceremonies are a natural choice—absolute chaos at an unreal hour, and it is the happiest, most exciting thing in the world. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really convey the emotion of a welcome home ceremony. We’ve literally wished we could have welcome home ceremonies without deployments—they’re that thrilling. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be without waiting through a deployment for them. 😉 The time our brigade had a welcome-home-sign-painting party and twelve-year-old me had the brilliant idea to paint a giant flag out of handprints with only four or five kids around...a soldier who had pretty small hands ended up filling in most of the flag. Independence Day when we had half-a-dozen of Daddy’s single and unaccompanied soldiers over and sang around the piano, discovering all the soldiers’ hidden musical talents, and then ending with a wild punch-balloon fight with a soldier who was kind of our adopted brother. Having pizza with friends every single week one deployment. One of Daddy’s soldiers taking my brother and I to the range while Daddy was deployed. Sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet. How do you pick...
Okay!! I’ve got it. The day after my 16th birthday, Rescue was doing sling-load training out over the ocean. One helicopter would pick up an old car, slung under the heli (helicopter), and carry it out to sea while another heli stayed along the shoreline, “covering fire.” Well, I ran up on our roof to watch them just as the “covering fire” heli went by a couple blocks down from our house. Just for fun, I saluted it, and all of a sudden it pivoted and came right towards the house. I just stood there frozen holding my salute and that big Seahawk buzzed right over my head and turned back out to sea. I went running downstairs and Josh said, “That helicopter went right over our house!” I said, “Oh, you have no idea,” and just started crying. Yeah...that one definitely takes the prize. Getting buzzed by a Rescue heli for my 16th birthday. 😭
8. How did being a Military Kid influence you as a writer?
Wow...this is a neat question. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is all the experiences I’ve had that end up in stories. There’s a lot more real life in my stories than I usually care to admit. 😆However, on a more serious note, when I was about 15 it began to dawn on me that not everyone understands the Army life and that there is a lack of good sweet war stories to help them understand. One of my favorite writing quotes is “Listen to what others aren’t saying and write about the silence.” I guess this Army lifestyle has really opened my eyes to one of the silences. I’ve always been writing, but it was at that age that the Lord really opened my eyes to how I could use that writing—which would probably never have happened if we weren’t Army.
9. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Writing the action scenes, haha! If I get in a rut writing a slow scene, I jump ahead and write something fast-paced. It’s absolutely contradictory, but I will tell you in the same breath that I don’t like torturing my characters and that I love writing action scenes. It’s just the easiest part for me, for whatever reason! As much as I love stories with “breather” scenes, I also love stories that just run from one intense scene to another—and sometimes that’s the best way for me to convey my story’s emotion.
10. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
No, I throw out spoilers way too easy! 😉 Well...Tattered Wings is about a small-town police officer, his daughter who is searching for answers about her past, a wounded Airborne Ranger, and the dog that brings them all together. I want to show a perspective of soldiers’ children I haven’t seen portrayed in fiction before while also writing about law enforcement and therapy dogs. The basic theme is very similar to O to be Like Thee— there is healing, and sometimes failure only means you didn’t fail—but the plot is completely different. My heart is still very much in O to be Like Thee, but I’m starting to fall in love with Tattered Wings, and I hope it can be comparable someday.
11. Do you think being a military kid affects your writing process in any way?
Hmm...well, I hope my stories read authentically military-wise, even with creative license...does that count? My stories are chock-full of Army terms and acronyms that I sometimes wonder if anyone will understand. Physically writing the story...probably, but I don’t know if I could tell you how.
12. Who do you hope to reach with your stories? Soldiers, civilians, both?
I’ve asked myself this sometimes... Both. Definitely both. I pray I write characters that soldiers can relate to and thus are willing to listen to. It’s hard, but there is hope. I pray that soldiers see that in my characters’ lives. Likewise, I also pray that I open the eyes of those who otherwise have no experience with the military—help them to understand what thousands of soldiers go through, give them a reason to remember and honor, show them why it’s worth respecting.
Thank you, so much, Kassie for doing this interview with me! And thank you to all the Military kids (Whether you’re still in or out, you are always a military kid!) for your sacrifice and service to our Great Nation, The United States of America! You are loved and appreciated!💜
Until Next Time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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