Ah, the South… So many things come to mind when I think of my home *heart-eyes* I have told my husband many times, you can take the girl out of the South but you will never take the South out of the girl! And that includes turning me into a Marylander. Not happening, LOL!
So with that in mind, we are gonna talk about some of the symbols of the south and what they mean to us. Read it with an open mind, cause some of this may surprise some of you. The accepted narrative is rarely correct.
1| The Confederate Flag
Few things make me happier than seeing the Southern Cross flying. It instantly fills me with love and sorrow for my home and my heritage. It’s no secret I’m proud of my southern history. And when I say that, so many people tell me it’s racist. More than you might think. I just laugh because I know it isn’t. A racist is someone who hates a certain race of people enough to want to wipe them out, Ex. Hitler wanting to kill the Jews. And I don’t believe in that and neither did my Confederate ancestors. Unfortunately, bigots have taken this beloved and sacred symbol and tried to twist and mar it into something hateful and disgusting.
But they will not prevail. Because the more the media harps on the evil of that flag, the more people research and find out the truth. That flag always has and always will represent a beautiful piece of southern history: the years that our men fought and died for the rights of all Americans. When they lost the war, America lost many of their freedoms that we haven’t regained to this day. So, next time you see that flag, show some respect and reflect on the men and women who died in an attempt to preserve your God-given rights.
I don’t care what you say, nothing says the South like driving by a nice big cotton field! Cotton symbolizes agriculture, self-sustainment, and the American work ethic. It represents the men and women who worked through the decades to pick, clean, card, spin, and weave clothing and contribute to the fashion world. It represents a simpler time and the American tractor *halo* It’s versatile, useful, and practical… all things that personify the South!
3| Fried Chicken
Need I say more? If you want a classic Southern meal, you gotta get yourself some fried chicken! And biscuits. And gravy and mashed potatoes. And Fried okra. You get the idea *halo*
4| Rocking Chairs
I love evenings in the South, sitting in a rocking chair, listening to the whippoorwills and cicadas (that for some reason Marylanders hate and I still don’t understand why! They are the most awesome bugs ever!) and the doves calling back and forth. I don’t really like the coyotes, but their solo howls ain’t too bad. A balmy breeze and maybe even a gentle rain… *sigh* Front porches with rocking chairs are the best thing ever…
5| Sweet Tea
And what is a post about the south without our classic beverage?? But I don’t mean just any sweet tea. I mean tea that is so sweet you don’t need to do any blood tests after drinking it cause they’ll be convinced you have diabetes! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEET Tea. * in a toddler's voice* I must have all dey sugarses *halo* Sweet tea is a symbol of southern hospitality, friendship, and family. It’s a summer staple and year-round comfort beverage. You ain’t been down south until you’ve had you a glass of Southern Sweet Tea!
And on that note, I probably should go make a batch for my husband!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner! I hope you are having an amazing Monday! I’ve been promising book reviews for a while and today I am bringing you two! I’ve always had a morbid fascination with the murder of Abraham Lincoln (call it what it is, don’t hide behind fancy words) and have read more about it than the battle of Gettysburg and that’s saying a lot, since that is my favorite battle to study, lol! (Would y’all like a 10TRF post about the Lincoln Murder? Comment below!)
These reviews are of two different books by the same author. The first is the young people’s version of the second, and tbh, I was surprised by how different they were. Without further ado, let’s jump into these reviews!
Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
By James L. Swanson
|| Amazon ||
About the Book ||
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author James Swanson delivers a riveting account of the chase for Abraham Lincoln's assassin.
Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.
About the Author ||
James L. Swanson is the award-winning author of the bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. His other books include Chasing Lincoln's Killer, an adaptation of Manhunt for young adults, and his follow-up, "The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy", which was a finalist for the YALSA-ALA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award. He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C.
My Review ||
This book was good for the most part! It had excellent information, though some basic facts needed correcting. It assumed too strongly that Dr. Mudd was deserved to be punished when his only crime was knowing B
ooth. Though it did clarify he wasn’t involved in killing Lincoln. It also pushed the Lincoln Worship narrative to an almost cultish point in my opinion for a children’s book. It was very heavy-handed on calling the Confederacy rebels and such. It seemed more like an indoctrination campaign, lol!
I did appreciate how much detail was put into this book! It’s a great comprehensive book for young people that gives them information that will encourage them to share with others! It’s not the generic fact book; it’s got unique little-known facts!
At the conclusion of the book, there was a comment about Lincoln being the hero of the story; this was not true, as he had little “screen time” and most of the things said about him were incorrect. There was no protagonist in this story. Nothing wrong with that! Not all stories have a good guy.
I recommend it for anyone who loves history, true crime, and dramatic anti-heroes!
Recommended for 14+ || Content meter: 3.5* || Quality: 6 || Personal Enjoyment: 5 || Overall: 5
*One major swear word that I remember, in a quote. There is also great detail about injuries/blood. Moderate censoring is needed for younger readers.
Manhunt: The 12-Day Hunt for Lincoln’s Killer
By James L. Swanson
Adult Narrative Non-Fiction
|| Amazon ||
About the Book ||
The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history--the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry troops on a wild, 12-day chase from the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.
Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln’s own blood relics Manhunt is a fully documented, fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, it is history as it’s never been read before.
About the Author ||
James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
My Review ||
This book is my favorite! It’s chock full of information that is incredibly difficult to find! People you had no idea were connected with the death of Lincoln and Booth, the mad dash through Virginia, and the final hours of both men.
There is some mild Lincoln worship and anti-southern propaganda, but not nearly as bad as the children’s version. There are multiple swear words in quotes that need censoring and there are some “Too much information!” moments that should be censored out. Remember, Booth was an actor, and the actors’ reputation of today applies to the past as well. The sections on Boston Corbett also need attention!
I learned so much about how Washington City was laid out, how interconnected the people were in each other's lives and how such a scheme could be pulled off with just a few hours' notice. It’s disturbing! Thank God we have more safeguards in place now, but it’s alarming just the same. I do wish they had emphasized more how the South did not sanction or condone Booth’s actions. So I will say it for the author: we do NOT as a whole believe that this was a proper move. As much as I dislike Lincoln, this was not the proper course of justice. It was his night to die, or he would not have died. But it was not Booth’s call to make; that was God’s.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves history, narrative non-fiction, and true crime. It’s well written and well executed! Grab a copy today!
Recommended for 18+ || Content meter: 3 || Quality: 10 || Personal Enjoyment: 9 || Overall: 9
Have you read these books? Do you have a recommendation for a book on this subject? Would you like a post of random facts about the Lincoln Murder? Comment below!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
I don’t know about you, but I love me some totally random facts! And even more so, I love me a totally random battle that not many people have heard about! So today, we are going to look at what many say is the actual first battle of the War Between the States!
1| Where and When. This battle took place on June 10th, 1861, 160 years ago! The battle took place in Big Bethel Virginia and is one of the lesser-known battles of the war.
2| It All Happened Here. Many people refer to either Ft. Sumter or First Manassas when talking of the first battle of the War Between the States. But Big Bethel is actually the first.
3| Looking at the Numbers… As with most battles of the war, the Confederate Soldiers were outnumbered. They had under 1,500 men while the Union invaders had around 3,500. But you know us, that makes the odds about even! *halo*
4| The Men Behind the Moment. Two lesser-known Generals were in command of the opposing armies. For the federals, Brigadier General Ebenezer W. Peirce led them into battle. For the Confederacy, it was Colonel John B. Magruder.
5| Confederate Gold Star Family. This battle saw the death of the very first Confederate soldier in the field. Private Henry Wyatt was the sole Confederate soldier killed in the battle, the only fatality of 8 Southern soldiers injured.
6| How did he Die? Being the first enlisted casualty of battle, it’s no wonder we know how it happened. Colonel D. H. Hill requested 4 volunteers to set fire to a house federal troops had commandeered and were using to pin down the Southern troops with their firepower. Henry was one of them. They never made it to the house, and Henry died in the line of fire.
7| The Fate of the House. After Henry’s death, the volunteers were recalled and the house was taken out by artillery fire.
8| Why Here? Confederate Forces hoped to dislodge troops from Ft. Monroe, reclaiming it for the Confederacy. Unfortunately, the same fort where Custis Lee (Robert E. Lee’s son) was born at remained the only Southern Fort in Virginia to remain in federal control through the entire war.
9| Tar Heel Legacy. North Carolina has often been known as the state that was “First at Big Bethel and Last at Palmito Ranch.” We lost more soldiers than any other state and sent the most men to the Confederate Army. As usual, we had a big hand in the events at the battle of Big Bethel.
10| The Victorious Victors *Halo* The Confederacy of course. They couldn’t let the first battle at home be won by the opposing army!
Have you heard of this battle before today? Is this the first time? I encourage you to do some research and share some of your findings in the comments below!
Have a Blessed Day and God Bless America!
It's Memorial Day!! What better way to honor those who gave it all on a book blog then to share about a book with the same goal in mind? This is probably one of my top books of the year so far, so without further ado, let's get into it!
Oh, the Fallen
Abigail Kay Harris
May 31st, 2021
Military Romance (Mild)
Recommended 12+ for Understanding
About the Book ||
In the cause of freedom, some will give their all.
When Matt Renicker joins the Army, he's determined to give his best for his country and his Lord, even if it means risking everything he loves most. But when tragedy strikes on a routine patrol, more than one heart is left shattered and lamenting.
In the wake of a terrible loss, will those left behind find the strength to go on? Or will the faith, family, and freedom Matt fought to preserve be broken beyond repair?
Goodreads || Amazon
About the Author ||
Abigail Kay Harris is a daughter of the King with a personal degree in book-nerdiness. A sister to seven, her passionate love of the written word and deeper meanings hidden in normal things leads her to spend her time reading, writing, using sarcasm, and defining obscure words. When she’s not chasing words, she enjoys watching shows, classic romance movies, tea, sunrises, and the outdoors, especially mountains, beaches, and forests.
Guest Post || The Story Behind Oh, the Fallen
Oh, The Fallen is my first finished story over 10,000 words that made it to a final draft. I had nearly given up on ever finishing another story after dealing with writers’ block for a long time.
Oh, The Fallen came from a fun little (and yes, sad) flash fiction I wrote last summer based on the song I Drive Your Truck, it was super short, between 200-500 words and I set it aside after sharing it with some friends.
Well, my family was on a road trip and on road trips I got lots of time to read and write, I had already read like five books and we weren’t even halfway to where we were going. I was chatting with a friend who I wouldn’t be able to chat with again for a long time and I got new ideas for a short story.
The main idea was similar to the short flash fiction I had written so I dug that up from whatever lost doc it had been in, I cleaned it up, broke up the story into parts for a longer story, found a song to listen to on loop (Fallen Soldier by Nathan Fair) and wrote the first draft.
I was thinking I may share it on my blog, write another draft, and by that time I was thinking it may be a little longer than a short story.
Then, at the end of the month, I had a nearly finished short story, ideas to finish it off the story, and talking with a friend about publishing it.
Well, another draft or two and I had more ideas, some characters were taking over the story in ways I didn’t expect, and I had the idea for three other books.
Fast forward a bit more to right before release, I have the first draft of the next book finished and like five more ideas for short stories, flash fiction, a novelette, and a few novellas.
And, that’s the story of Oh, The Fallen.
Except for the flash fiction that started it all, there are about 150 days between starting Oh, The Fallen and release day with the millions of ideas that came into play as I went along. I'm not sure where this will end but I’m trusting God on that one.
My Review ||
A more thorough review is in the works, using my system, but since this post is already long, I'll just cut to the chase. (I read a pre-edited copy of the book as a beta-reader. I received a copy of the book from the author for promotional purposes. All thoughts are my own.)
This book is amazing y'all. At the point in which I was reading it, it was in the process of being edited, so of course I caught a few things here and there and even offered a few suggestions, but honestly, the story blew me away! The author's voice is unique and homey and steeped in patriotic passion for God and Country. I cried through the entire thing and debuts rarely do that for me. Abigail Kay Harris has been added to my list of auto-buy authors!
There is some mild violence and romance, but nothing gory or PG-13. I would recommend a family read it together for Memorial Day. It's the perfect tribute <3
Grab the links above for more release day fun!
God Bless America and God Bless our Gold Star Families...
PS. What are your favorite Memorial Day reads? How do you honor those who have given their lives for us? Tell me in the comments below!
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a blessed Memorial Day. As we pause to remember those who have died to keep us free, please take a moment to pray for their families. They are still living the nightmare of waking up everyday without their loved one. Their brothers and sisters in arms wake up everyday without a text or call from their buddy. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
The parade came, and we had the truck all gussied up, with red, white, blue, and Army green. Hud drove with his BDUs on, and I sat on the back, waving at those who gathered to honor all our fallen soldiers. We got saluted by more people than I could count.
I got a hug from a Vietnam veteran. Another from a WWII Vet. A handshake from a Confederate reenactor. A salute from a Marine who looked suspiciously like Salem Springfield, but I couldn’t be sure.
We went to the football field for the ceremony, the laying of the wreaths and the gun salute and the singing of the National Anthem done by a member of every military branch, a Capella.
Then came the moment for the music. Becca stepped onto the platform, violin in hand, a mic before her to sing at intervals…while I played her backup…on Stanley’s violin. Becca had written the song, and we had practiced like crazy all Saturday evening and between church on Sunday.
And it was perfect. It was called, Do You Remember, Because I Can’t Forget. Soul-Stirring. And heart-wrenching. I cried all the way through it. But I cried even harder when she said, “Normally a dedication is given before a song is sung. But I’m going to do it now because it’s right. This song is dedicated to two Rangers, SPL Randy Bonner , and SPL Stanley Schnyder. Randy is on deployment right now, and Stanley gave it all taking Baghdad. They are both, one on earth and one in heaven, in the palm of our Savior’s Hand. No matter what, they are remembered. For us, as Christians, whether in deployment or in death, there is no Goodbye, only See You Later. And as both of our brothers have taught us, Goodbye isn’t in the Christian Family’s dictionary. If it’s in yours, please see me afterward, and I’ll gladly show you how you can become part of the Family and get rid of your goodbye. God Bless you for being here and God Bless America.”
I could never be that bold. I was almost afraid Becca would get in trouble for witnessing at a public event like that, but no one said a word to her about it, other than to ask her how to get rid of their goodbye. She led five people to Christ that day. I got three.
That evening, we stayed around and helped clean the stadium, the town volunteers insisting Military and Gold Stars shouldn’t have to, but we insisted on helping. After all, the fallen belong to us too.
As we were finishing, I picked up Stanley’s violin and started to leave, but suddenly, tears rushed to my eyes. I couldn’t see Becca and not wanting to cry in front of a dozen Soldiers, Marines, and strangers. So I ducked into the nearest private place…the bleachers.
By myself in the shadows, I allowed myself to miss Stanley, hugging his violin to my chest and sobbing, trying to shove away the memories of the day I got the news.
After a few moments, I heard Becca and Salem calling for me, and I wiped my face, my moment over, but it was time for it to be over. There was a time for mourning and a time for laughter. And Stanley would want me to choose the latter. Smiling, I called out to my friends, and we walked together to the vehicles.
That Friday started horribly. Becca came flying into the house, dictionary in her arms and tears pouring down her face. I grabbed her and shook her. “Becca! What’s wrong?”
“Something’s happening! I was on the phone with Randy, and then somebody yelled, and he said, ‘I love you!’ and the line cut! Something wrong, Chrissy!”
She burst into tears and clung to me, and we both ended up in the kitchen floor, bawling like toddlers and not caring, praying without ceasing that God would please shield Randy.
I stayed with her all day. We eventually went over to their base house and hunkered down, waiting for the call with eager trepidation. Salem drove up from Cherry Point, two hours away, to be with his family, and we all sat in the living room, waiting and praying.
Jason shattered the silence with a straightforward question. “If God…” he cleared his throat. “If God chooses to…take Randy away…will we still love Him?”
Silence hung in the room. Becca shuddered and rested her head against my shoulder, tears seeping into my shirt. Salem ran his hands through his non-existent hair, and Mrs. Springfield closed her eyes. Mr. Springfield paused in his pacing.
I glared at the DVD case propped on the bookshelf.
All heads turned towards Becca. “Because it’s not the end. God promised we will be together again. I won’t understand why. But I’ll still love Him.”
Salem nodded, his eyes red-rimmed, but as of yet, he was a genuine, stone-faced Marine. Mrs. Springfield sighed. “Yes, I’ll still love Him.”
“As hard as that would be…yes,” Mr. Springfield said.
The phone rang, but no one moved to answer it, staring at it in horror.
So I answered it.
“…Oh! Uh, hello, Miss Christina. Good to hear from you. Is Becca there?”
I squealed and nearly dropped the phone, and I know I’d left his ears ringing. “Becca! Take it! It’s him!”
Becca jumped to her feet, snatching the cordless from me. And with a voice as controlled as if she hadn’t been crying all day, she said, “Randy, don’t you ever scare me like that again! What’s the big idea?!”
I laughed so hard and hugged Mrs. Springfield and Mr. Springfield so hard. We thanked God and cried while Salem called their other son, Timothy, at the Air Force Academy and let him know Randy was all right. It was a beautiful evening.
And we ended it with that movie.
Before I left, Becca grabbed my hand and said, “Thank God, I didn’t have to say that final See You Later. Not yet.”
I hugged her tight as she cried with relief. “Not yet. It’s not time yet. But aren’t you so glad Goodbye isn’t in the dictionary?”
She nodded and wiped her eyes. “I’m gonna read that page all night…and all the letters. I’m just so grateful.”
“Me too, Becca.” I winked. “See You Later!”
Salem insisted I come with them to pick Randy up since I had been with them for the whole deployment. I agreed, then realized that he had motives, and I might have elbowed him in the ribs.
Randy ran up to his family, hugging his mom so tight he picked her up. She kissed his cheek; her baby was safe and sound. Becca wedged her way past her brothers to get to him next, and that’s when I saw a couple tears shining in his eyes.
He greeted his brothers, and then he looked at me. He thanked me for being there for Becca. Before I could speak, another Ranger walked up and slapped him on the shoulder. “Later, Boots.”
He grinned, “Later, Pickles.”
I stared at him. Tears rushed to my eyes. “Boots,” I whispered. Randy turned and looked at me. I’d have to show him that letter. He needed to see it.
Two Years Later…
Uncle Abel came to my wedding. And he was smiling. Becca was my maid of honor, and Mr. Springfield was Randy’s best man. Salem said he should have been the best man since he fell in love with me as a sister before Randy said anything. But Randy insisted he had fallen for me at first sight.
All I care about is that my soldier made it home. He’s deploying in about three months, but we’re okay. We have each other for now. And we will never say goodbye. Because they are not in the dictionary…neither are good cheer or Good Conduct Medal because Randy covered them up to get his See You Later Note in there…
“HEY, LIEBLING, YOU TOLD ME, IT’S NOT HERE. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING? WE ONLY HAVE ‘SEE YOU LATERS.’ BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WITH GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WILL SEE YOU LATER, HERE OR THERE. ALL MY LOVE, MY DARLING. RANGERS LEAD THE WAY…AND SO DO LITTLE SISTERS…”
 Note to readers. This is a short story that is part of a WIP. Randy, Becca and a brother named Tim are adopted by the Springfields, but allowed to keep their birth name. That’s why she says Bonner and not Springfield.
So what did you think? Do you like the idea of no Goodbye's for Christians? Did this end the way you thought it would? Who was your favorite Character? Let me know in the comments below!
God Bless America and Never Forget the Fallen and their families.
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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