Hello, and happy Friday! I’m so glad you stopped by again to visit with me 😉 Today, I have another installment of my 10 Totally Random Facts Series! (Click here to read the last one)
Antietam, one of the most controversial battles of the Civil War. For some reason, people cannot agree on who won this battle. The Union troops were the ones who retreated at the end of the battle. But the Confederates withdrew from the state the next day. I believe this means the South won the battle, but the North won the campaign, but that’s just my opinion 😉
Anywho, let’s get on with today’s post!
1. Dunker Church. In Sharpsburg, Maryland, where the Battle of Antietam took place, there is a little country church known as Dunker Church. When we visited this site, one of the first things we noticed was that sweet whitewashed church! It’s funny name actually came from people teasing the church members because they believed in full immersion baptism! 😄 And by the way, I do too! It’s the only way that shows the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!⛪
2. The Road with a Rut. Known today as Bloody Lane, the locals called a rutted road outside of town Sunken Road. It was here that some of the bloodiest fighting (up to this point in the war) took place. The Confederate-held their ground for several hours, but ultimately were driven from the road by the men of Francis Barlow.
3. General Who? While researching for my novel, Our Heritage to Save, I watched a documentary about Antietam. On it, they told of an Irish Union General named Robert Marr…or so I thought. Right before I took my book to press, I watched a video by American Battlefield Trust about Civil War Mispronunciations. On the video, they spoke of a general named Meagher. It was the same man! I was completely confused! But the man went on to explain, that the man’s name was pronounced Marr, but spelled totally different 😑 Thank you American Battlefield Trust for saving me from that embarrassment!
4. The other John Brown. John Brown Gordon was a Confederate officer, commanding men in Bloody Lane. Gordon suffered not one, not two, but five wounds before he was forced the leave the field. The disabling wound was to his face, but it didn’t prove to stop him. Thanks to his wife nursing him back to health, Gordon survived and fought until Lee surrendered. Later, he went on to serve in multiple political offices representing the state of Georgia. (The more famous John Brown was a radical abolitionist who took things a little too far! He was executed for treason in 1859.
5. Modified bandages. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you run out of bandages, spare material and everything else you can find, turn to a ready material: corn husks. That’s exactly what the doctors and nurses of the Confederate army did when their supply ran out. Apparently, it worked! 😐
6.) Don’t mess with a hungry Texan! Gen. John Bell Hood and his men arrived in Sharpsburg, exhausted and on a two-day empty stomach. Just as they were fixing their food, they were called into the fighting at the cornfield. They proceeded, with heavy casualties, to route the famed Iron Brigade of the Union army. I assume that following the charge and licking their wounds, they returned to their meal.🥓🥔🍞
7.) Clash of officers. Prior to the fighting at Antietam, Gen. Stonewall Jackson had taken Harper’s Ferry, Va. from federal troops. During this, he went to the men of Gen. A.P. Hill (who was under his command) and ordered them to pick up their pace. Hill was furious that Jackson had bypassed him to give the order and offered his sword to Jackson. (This was an act of giving up one’s command, a show of indignation.) To his surprise, Jackson accepted it and placed him under arrest until further notice. Jackson hoped this would teach Hill a lesson. While this rift was never mended, Hill did obey orders when he was told to march to Sharpsburg with his men on the double. He ended up winning the battle for the South!
8.) The Woman. As the federal Irish brigade marched into the field at Antietam, an Irish woman cheered them on with shouts of “Godspeed, me boys!” and “Erin go braugh!” (Irish for Ireland until the end.) I believe she was a nurse if my memory serves me right…anyway, she certainly was patriotic for her cause!😂
9.) Who said anything about empty guns? Towards the end of the day, C.S. Gen. James Longstreet’s men were out of ammo and had lost many men. In fact, the General was holding his aides’ horses so they could keep a cannon firing on the federal troops! The federals didn’t know that the men on the hill had no bullets and retreated. Why? They men bluffed, waving their flags and rifles in the air, taunting the Union troops to dare and fight them. When General Lee asked Longstreet where his men were, Longstreet replied, “There. And they haven’t a cartridge among them.”
10.) It’s me, Dad! At one point during the fighting, General Lee was giving orders, and a young soldier in the artillery approached him, covered in soot and grime. The young man had to introduce himself before Lee figured out who was talking to him. It was his youngest son, Robert “Rob” Lee Jr. 😃
So there you have it, 10 random facts about Antietam!
And now for an excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
An Irishman hurried forward to help uncover the Irish colors. They were to lead a renewed attack on the sunken road. Caldwell’s men were to follow. The Irish brigade was ready to fight. They were going to show the world what they were willing to do for what they loved.
“Irish Brigade,” Gen. Meagher called, “Forward, March!” The soldiers talked in low voices as they neared a corn field.
“We’ll be a seein’ what the Rebs think after we get through with them, we will,” an older man said. “We’ll wallop them, aye lad?”
A youthful voice replied, “Aye, we will, soon as we get there.” They pushed itchy corn leaves out of their faces.
Next thing they knew, the Irish were being fired upon. They loaded their smoothbore muskets and fired into the North Carolinians. They weren’t even in sight of the sunken road, but already, they were taking casualties.
A fence was in the way, preventing their advance. Several men raced forward and tore the split rails down. Few returned to the ranks.
Gen. Meagher knew he had to rally his troops. He rode to the front. “Three cheers for the Army of the Potomac!”
“Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”
“Raise the colors an’ follow me!” Meagher’s men followed him and continued on to the sunken road. The Confederates were waiting for them.
Richard watched the hill intently. At first, all he saw was the tops of the flagpoles. Then slowly, the Irish green and the red, white and blue of Old Glory came into sight.
The Confederate flag bearer lifted the St. Andrew’s Cross resolutely into the air. They could now see the Irish Brigade advancing. The Confederates opened fire.
The Irish put up a fair fight, but the Confederates had the better position. The Irish couldn’t seem to keep up. They sustained heavy losses, nearly half of their force.
Where were Caldwell’s men? Why weren’t they coming to help? Gen. Meagher rode back to see what the holdup was. Coming across one of his officers, Francis Barlow, Meagher begged him to come to their aid.
Barlow refused, for Gen. Caudwell had not given them orders. Meagher dejectedly returned to his men.
Back at the sunken road, the Southern troops began to beg Col. Gordon to leave the field. He’d been wounded at least three times, but he refused to leave. Richard grimaced as he saw their own mounting casualties.
The tide of victory had shifted. The Irish were being reinforced. With no reinforcements of their own, things didn’t look good for the Southern boys.
Col. Gordon kept giving orders. He’d sustained four wounds, but refused to leave his men. But he hadn’t anticipated the fifth wound. This wound was to his cheek. He fell forward, dazed. He was carried from the field and Col. J.N. Lightfoot took his place.
Richard glanced up as an Alabama regiment took off running away from the sunken road. Then another one began to retreat. His unit began looking around. Had they missed an order to retreat?
Suddenly, all of Major Harmon’s men began to run. “We have no orders to retreat!” Richard shouted. “Stop!” He grabbed a soldier by the arm. “Come back and hold the line!”
“Let go of me!” the soldier shouted and raised his rifle, intending to bring it down on Richard. Richard jumped out of the way just in time and crashed into a Union soldier who had charged the works.
Richard jumped up and fired at the advancing blue coats. He pushed another away from him with his rifle and was turning to a third, when he realized he was the only one left in the trench.
“Hey? Where’d everyone go?” He suddenly found himself tangling with a Yankee, trying to break free and escape. The Yank threw him to the ground. Richard rolled over and covered his head while trying to regain his feet.
Gen. J.C. Caldwell is sometimes viewed as a coward, but his days in the army aren’t over. His day will come in 1863.
 Thomas Meagher (pronounced “Marr”) was the commander of the Irish Brigade. He never got over his defeat, and eventually resigned in 1863.
 In 1864, he will be the only general to launch a successful attack at Cold Harbor.
 Colonel who replaced Col. Gordon on the field. It is controversial as to whether he ordered a retreat or not.
Annnnnd you'll have to buy the book to find out what happened :)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Hello, my friends! It’s a joy to be with you again today! So, it’s time for another writing post! If you have missed the previous posts in this series, please click here, here, here, and here to catch up 😆
The Self-edit…the dreaded monster under the bed…the dark and stormy night in the life of a writer who hated English in school…the synonym for woe…okay, Ryana Lynn, get a grip 😂 It’s not that bad. It’s actually kinda (and I will stress the kinda part) fun. And like every other part of the writing process, I have a process in which I carry it out…
1. Set the book aside for at least a week.
Just like with revisions, I always have to take a step away from my project if I am going to be able to edit it properly.
2. Print it out.
I have an awesome printing company that I use (they are local!) and they print and spiral bind my proof copies for me. Depending on the length of the project, I sometimes print it out myself.
3. Color-Code Edit.
If you are not familiar with Victoria Minks and the Color-coded Editing process, y’all need to become friends real fast because she will save you so much frustration editing. (Link to her post on this topic here) The basic rundown is this: you assign a color to the different types of problems you are looking for. Ex. An Orange pen for plot holes, a blue pen for grammar errors, and green pen for dialogue issues, etc. Then, you read through your manuscript, looking only for one type of problem at a time and marking them and making notes on them in the chosen color. Victoria is much better at explaining it so, please check out her post. 😋 The awesome thing about it is, it’s totally flexible. You pick whatever color works for you for whatever problem you have. You can also add other things to look for, depending on what your writing struggle is! Ex. You can go through marking all the historical dates and names to make sure they are correct or footnoted.
I take my now well marked-up manuscript and keep it by me as I make the changes on my computer. If it’s an extensive amount of changes, I may decide to repeat step 3 and 4.
5. Find my problem words.
I could actually do this along with step 4…anyway, I have found lists of words on the internet that writers tend to overuse. Such as was, began, heard, started…anything that turns your story into passive tense.
Passive Version: Seth felt all the blood drain from his face and he began to sweat. He started to run, but his legs wouldn’t cooperate. He heard the soldier coming. He knew he needed to get moving. He was terrified of what might happen.
Fixed version: All the blood drained from Seth’s face, sweat popping out on his forehead. His legs, completely numb, refused to help him flee. The soldier’s footsteps pounded in Seth’s ears, ever closer to his hiding place. Time ticked by and escape slipped from Seth’s grasp. His eyes widened as the soldier parted the bushes…it was too late.
Which paragraph made it easier for you to picture what was happening? Did the 2nd one help you see that Seth was scared rather than me telling you he was scared? Now, you have to be careful in removing some of these words. Was is a word that sometimes has to be used. So each must be evaluated for its need in the story. (Check out this link for an example of words to remove.) Also, keep a lookout for words that you tend to use a lot. Some of my problem words have been: Laughed, snickered, said, thought, etc. This could easily be turned into a separate writing series! Might have to think about that…
6. Edit it with Grammarly.
This post is not sponsored 😉. Grammarly is a web-editing site that checks for mistakes that spell-check misses. (Not a slam on spell-check! It has saved my neck so many times!) I use the free version of Grammarly and it is amazing! There is a paid version you can purchase, and I am considering using it in the future, as it has many useful added features. Check it out! Anyway, I open my word document and turn on the Grammarly add-on and let it process my document. After it marks all my errors, I either work on it then or later. (As long as I don’t close the add-on or the document, it keeps the corrections visible even without an intrnet connection! If you end up changing anything beyond this point, I recommend repeating this process. It will polish your manuscript very well! 😍)
7. Read it one last time.
After being sure that my manuscript is nearly the way I want it to be, I read through it one last time and…give it to my team-editor. It’s time for her to read it and give me her feed-back and…that’s the next writing post’s topic.
If anything was unclear, please let us know in the contact section and I or a member of my team (AKA my Family 😉) will be glad to try and answer your question for you!
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
(King James Bible)
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
It's about time I do another book review and this is one of my very Favorites! I first read this book when a friend loaned it to me and oh! I've read it...maybe three times so far? I don't often have time to reread a book, so...yeah, this is a good one!
Book Review//Iron Scouts of Confederacy by Lee McGiffin
(A gift from my parents following a trip to the homeschool book fair 2016)
This is a gem! I absolutely love this book! It’s probably my favorite Civil War book ever! And the best part is that it’s a novelization of a true story! The book follows the war years of young Ben Fane, a boy who is self-conscious about his short stature, but in the Confederate Army, he finds his height isn’t a curse! Along with his brother Gant and good friend Shelby Harris from Texas, Ben does his part to make a difference! We also meet many interesting Southern heroes, among them, Major John Mosby, Gen. Wade Hampton and Major Heroes Von Borcke. Through the many adventures (and misadventures!) of the Iron Scouts, their faith in God is tested and strengthened.
Historical Accuracy – Five stars here! I’m not an expert on the War Between the States, but I have researched this era quite a bit, and I found nothing amiss in McGiffin’s text.
Content – Amazing! Very descriptive and interesting. The Author is very good at keeping your attention. No romance, but I do think there were a couple of words I marked out in my copy, but I can’t remember so it must not have been anything major 😊 I do recommend a parent reading it before little ones since it is a war book and you are the best judge of what may be upsetting to them.
Favorite Scene – The scene where Ben and Heroes Von Borcke have to hide from the yankees in a widow’s house. Very entertaining 😉
Overall – Like I said, this is one of my all-time favorites. If you are studying the War Between the States, you need this in your library. Great for Homeschoolers too! In fact, I originally heard about it in a Homeschool catalog, and a friend had it in her history and let me borrow it. After reading it, I knew I needed to get my own copy! It is available through Amazon, Rainbow Resources, and Christian Liberty Press.
Something to think about: Do you reread books? What is your favorite book to reread? If you have a blog, write a post about your reread favorite! If you don't have one, tell a friend!
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:4
(King James Bible)
Have a Lovely Day!
Hello, friends. This will be a short post, but I thought today, it is important to remember all our service members who spent time as a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action…or still are. There are hundreds from the Vietnam war that are still considered Missing in Action…presumed dead.
I thank God that my family has never had to go through the sleepless nights, wondering and worrying about a loved one, at least not in this century.
In 1862, Joshua Bowman joined the Confederate army. He was one of over a dozen children in his family and one of 8 boys from his family to enlist in the service. During his time in the Confederate Army, he was wounded twice and capture once, being sent to David’s Island Prison Hospital following the Battle of Gettysburg.
Joshua wasn’t the only one who suffered injury and imprisonment from his family; practically every one of his brothers and brothers-in-law suffered at least one or both circumstances. Only three of the eight boys came home from the war. Joshua was not one of them. Joshua is my great-great-great-great-grandfather.
Even though I never met him, the knowledge of how he died for his country still hurts. I can only imagine what it is like for those who knew their loved one going through the loss of a family member, temporarily or permanently. 😢 If you are one such person, my prayers are with you. If you are the one who at some point in your life was a POW or MIA, thank you for your service, and praise God you are home now!
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
(King James Bible)
May we never forget…All gave some…some gave more than others…and some gave all.
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Hello! Popping in with a quick post this week to wish you a Happy Constitution day!
231 years ago in 1787, our forefathers signed a document that guaranteed the rights of all Americans as a free people. Sadly, our Nation has strayed from following, but we can still celebrate the rights that our forefathers intended for us to have!
To celebrate, I’m posting the preamble to this great document here on the blog. (Anybody else have to memorize this in school?)
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Have a blessed day!
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Christian. American. Southern. Author.