Hey Y’all, and welcome to this month’s History post! It’s so exciting to be getting back to this series finally! Per usual, I will give my disclaimer. I am by no means a history/military expert. The posts are a sampling of information on a select topic, gathering information in one place that I wish I hadn’t had to hunt and peck for…or that I wish I’d known before writing on the subject! These posts are currently focusing on the ranks of soldiers from the War Between the states. You can view the previous Episode here, and the first episode here. You may access all of them by going to my Archives Page and scrolling down to History>The War Between the States. These posts are non-biased and apply to both armies. There, with that out of the way, let’s get cracking!
According to the North Carolina Museum of History, “A major was third in command of an infantry, cavalry, or artillery regiment and assisted the colonel in administrative and combat duties. In battle, an infantry major led the regimental attack, positioning himself at the front with the color guard. If the colonel and the lieutenant colonel were killed or wounded, the major took command of the regiment.”
The duties required of a Major are not as numerous as those above or below him, so to some, this may seem like he gets a smooth ride. We can be sure that was not the case, however. The Major was to the Colonel, what the Second Lieutenant is to the Captain, so he not only needed to be familiar with his duties but that of the Colonel as well in the event the Colonel was incapacitated. And as with the Lieutenant, the Major is the right hand to the Colonel.
Majors were generally entrusted with a command of more than one company, but less than a regiment. It could vary, but usually, two companies made up his command. The Major rarely gave commands of his own on the field, unless the Colonel was injured or killed. His job was to convey orders from the colonel and to assist in troop alignments on the field.
…And aside from some lengthy descriptions on how he is to take over for the colonel and how he could be court-martialed, I couldn’t find very much information on Majors 😊 While it doesn’t look like much, being an assistant to a Colonel is a full-time job. Once I get together the information about the Colonel’s duties, I’m sure we will see even more clearly just how much the Major did.
That’s all I have for you today! Sorry this post is so short, but hopefully, we will make up for it next time! Have a blessed day!
Hello again! This week should hopefully make up for me not posting all month ? Today I have a few new things to share about A Song of Home!
So what do I mean by a few new things? Well, these are things I have never done in published work before. There are three new things total for us to discuss, so let’s dive in!
A Little Backstory…
When writing A Song of Home, I realized that part of my story needed to dip back into 1863. I had no idea how to pull this off until I remembered a lovely little technique called a Prologue. For those who don’t know, this is a “chapter before chapter 1”, which generally shares information that is important, but that takes place before your actual story starts. For me, I used it to transport the reader into the end of December 1863 and the very beginning of January 1864. The information is important, so don’t skip reading it before you jump into Chapter 1!
A Family Spotlight
I’ve mentioned here before that I have many Confederate ancestors. One of them makes an appearance in A Song of Home! His name is Joshua Bowman. He served in the 37th, N.C. Regiment under Gen. A.P. Hill and had quite the exhausting career in the military in his three years of service. But you’ll have to read the book to learn about that!
A Little Historical License
It’s no secret that in general I do not like people tampering with history to accommodate their stories. You should never sacrifice historical fact for a good plot twist. You make your story fit history, or you’ve deceived your readers. (You can read more about this here.) My opinion has not changed. However, I got an amazing and unique opportunity to tweak my story to accommodate a sad, but little known bit of history by inserting one of my characters into the shoes of a real person. The catch? No one knows the rank or identity of this historical hero. His name is lost to history. All we know is that he was a Confederate officer. Nothing more. I consulted others who shared my view to make sure I wasn’t taking too much liberty in having one of my characters represent him and they all encouraged me to go for it. A note about this is included in the back of the book.
Today’s Blog Stops
Laura Guenot@ beautifulthingsbylaura.com
Natalie Claire@ kenmorepines.wordpress.com
And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win 4 eBooks!
And feel free to pre-order your copy of A Song of Home today! $14.00 + $3.00 S/H. Upon receiving your payment, a copy will be reserved for you! And if you would like to begin reading as soon as your payment is processed, I will gladly send you an eCopy of the story for you to enjoy until I receive my print copies!
That’s all for now! See you tomorrow!
Hello and welcome back to Life of Heritage Corner. I hope each of you is having a blessed Memorial Day. It’s definitely gonna be different, not going to the parade, but my family is amazing, making sure I have an awesome Memorial Day Birthday!
And as you can see from the title…A SONG OF HOME IS HERE!!!
Well, not exactly.
Let me explain.
So, the original plan was to release A Song of Home on Memorial Day. My timeline was perfect. Everything was falling into place. Then I got sick for three days with allergies. Three days that would have ensured that this book was already at the press by now. So, yeah, my timetable was upset.
I also got the opportunity to visit with my sister’s family over the past week. I was able to get progress done on my final polishing edits while there, thank God, but who wants to stay on a laptop all day when you have adorable little people asking you to play with them, hold them and randomly telling you they love you? Not me! I had a blast, loving on my littles and helping my sister and just getting an overall change of pace. It’s actually helped my editing.
So, one of the things I got finished while there was the cover for A Song of Home. The little tweaks to the back cover and all. Would you like to see it?
While I know a lot of authors have more glamorous covers, I have to admit, I really like the look of this cover. My sister was a huge help and my mom helped me settle on the right plantation house picture. Thanks, y’all!
Above, I mentioned something about a blog tour…
Yes, I decided to do one. And yes, I realize this is in the middle of a series…actually past the middle, but who’s counting? Anyway, some lovely friends of mine talked me into going ahead with it, so over the next five days, I will be posting their links here along with some something about A Song of Home here on the blog. Oh and did I mention there is a giveaway? One recipient will be gifted a set of all four of the books in The Battle for Heritage Series in eBook format! International friends are welcome! You can enter here!
So that wraps it up for the day!
Have a lovely day in the Lord!
PS. In Honor of this Most Blessed Holiday (that came about because of Southern Ladies following the War Between the States) I have linked my previous Memorial Day post below! Don’t forget to thank a Veteran!
Happy Memorial Day! (2018)
It’s time for another Christmas post! Well, not exactly a Christmas post…its time for me to post another history post. And in keeping with my series, I found a battle close to Christmas. And it really makes me think of Christmas time. Plus, I have a few excerpts from my book, Our Heritage to Save! One from Fredericksburg and one from a Christmas scene! So keep reading to find those!
Smack Dab in the Middle of Things. Fredericksburg was located right in the middle of Washington D.C. and Richmond, the capital cities of the warring countries. This alone made it an iconic town that both parties would want control of. The Battle of Fredericksburg would determine who would have it.
We Will All Cross Together. General Winfield Scott Hancock saw the chance of a battle before it happened. He wanted to take part of the army across to secure the town before Lee and Jackson arrived. Gen. A. Burnside, the General of the Army of the Potomac, disagreed and insisted that they all cross over together. His insistence proved fatal for the Union Army.
A Chicken Couldn’t Live on That Field. Alexander Porter, Lee’s artillery expert, told this to Lee prior to the battle. He had his cannons set up just right, there was a stonewall for the Southern troops to fight behind and the Federals would have to cross open ground to get to the wall. No sir, a chicken couldn’t live on that field once the shots were fired.
Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! This was the cry of the Union soldiers as they taunted the Confederates retreating from Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. But why did they remind their counterparts of a battle the federals had so miserably lost? Well, perhaps they were trying to tell the Confederates that they should have learned from the federals’ mistake at Fredericksburg. They charged at the Confederates across an open field not once, not twice, but thirteen times. Thankfully, the South did learn something from their mistakes…they only charged the federals once.
It is Well. It was following this battle that General Lee said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” It’s easy to see his meaning. Campaign strategy can be fun, planning the battle movements and counterattacks. The horror of it comes when you remember, this isn’t a game. This is an event that will leave men dead.
Faugh A Ballagh!* At this battle, one of the famous clashes happened when the Southern Irish of Georgia clashed with the Northern Irish Brigade of New York met at the stonewall outside of Fredericksburg. The two knew they were more than likely firing on their family as the shots were exchanged. The conflict ended in a federal retreat. Instead of continuing to fire at the retreating enemy, the Southern Irish cheered their comrades, hardly a dry eye among them. *An Irish War Cry “Clear the Way!”
Counting the Casualties. The Federal forces suffered a staggering 12,653 casualties, broken down into 1,284 killed, 9,600 wounded, and 1,769 captured or missing. The Confederacy suffered 5,377 losses: 608 killed, 4,116 wounded, 653 captured or missing. Sadly, before the war was over, these numbers would seem like nothing.
Answering the Cry. Sgt. Richard Kirkland, Confederate Army, couldn’t bear to listen to the cries of the dying federal and Confederate soldiers on the field, so after pestering his officers, he was allowed to carry water to them, to ease there suffering. He has been dubbed the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” and is much loved by both the North and the South.
The Color of the Coat Doesn’t Matter. Clara Barton had set up a hospital in the nearby Lacy House. When she heard someone say a Confederate soldier should be taken out of the house, she refused to listen to another word of it. A patient was a patient, no matter his coat color.
Looted and Burned. Most of the Homes in Fredericksburg were spoiled by the federal troops during their short stay in town. Many homes were damaged by cannon shot and fire, while others were looted for anything of value by drunken bluecoats. Appalled, some federal officers tried to rein in their men, but it took some doing to restore order. This is what the townspeople and Confederate Army had to return to; rebuilding and restoration.
And now for some snippets!
From Our Heritage to Save-- Chapter 30: War is So Terrible
Stonewall Jackson and the Confederate right flank were viciously attacked by the Union troops. Stonewall’s men waited until the Federals were almost on top of them to start firing.
Richard, commanding his unit, fired along with the others. He watched as the guns were fired and tried to push away the reality that men and boys, wearing blue and gray, were dying all around him. Souls forever gone to eternity.
He glanced to his right and saw David Bowers acting as a field doctor, patching the men up and sending them back into the fight. Titus Mallory stood nearby, loading his gun once more and preparing to fire. How odd it was that Titus, who had taught Richard so much, was now a sergeant under Richard’s command!
The men in blue soon fell back to regroup. When they did, they pressed hard to break the line. A hail of bullets showered the area. When Richard realized that the Yanks had managed to divide two Confederate brigades in half, he raised his gun and began fighting harder than he had realized was possible. “Come on, Boys! Remember your families,” he shouted. Then their camp verses came to mind. “32:7-8!” he shouted.
The cry was taken up by the others. “32:7-8!”
“More with us than with them!”
“…With us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles!”
“Be strong and courageous!” The Confederates soon filled the gap again and drove the soldiers back.
Richard looked up and saw a soldier trying to drag David off the field. A mini battle erupted as members of the 32:7 Company rushed to defend their doctor friend. It wasn’t easy going, for the Federal had friends as well. But they managed to escape without major injuries, just a few cuts and bruises.
Richard’s adrenaline was up. Those invaders had tried to take one of his men; they had already taken *removed, because Spoilers XD* and he was determined they weren’t going to take anyone else. Woe unto those who dared mess with the 32:7 Company!
From Chapter 32: Christmas Surprises
Philip, Drew and Charles stood in the hall, waiting to surprise their families. “Philip, you go into the parlor first, and see how long it takes for them to notice you’re there,” Drew whispered. Philip grinned and stepped into the room, leaning against the door frame.
It didn’t take long. Michael, looking rather glum, was listlessly glancing around the room. He gave a start when he saw Philip. Then realizing who it was, he jumped to his feet. Those nearest him saw the action and turned to see what he was looking at.
Jennifer gave a cry of delight and hurried forward to hug her big brother. He hugged her tight, lifting her off her feet. She soon had to make way for her sister-in-law though. The whole family was eager to greet their loved one and Philip loved the attention.
“Boy, why didn’t you tell us you were coming home for Christmas?” Robert Rains asked his son. “We had no idea!”
Philip relished hearing his father’s voice again. “Wasn’t time to tell you! I only found out a few days ago! I came as soon as I could.”
“Oh, Charles!” his mother called out at that moment as the next soldier entered the room. She soon had her oldest son in her embrace. “My boy, oh!” More hugs, kisses and greetings ensued.
“What happened to your hand?” Nana asked in alarm.
Charlie grinned, “Just a sprain, Nana, and nearly healed.”
Dixie watched the reunions with a pain in her heart. She wanted to see Richard and Seth so bad. And they still hadn’t heard the outcome of Fredericksburg. Were they sitting behind bars at this very minute while everyone was making over Philip and Charles like they were heroes?
Tears welled in her eyes. She briskly, but inconspicuously made her way to the hall. She didn’t want to ruin the occasion with her self-pity and anxiety.
Once in the hall, with the door shut, Dixie allowed the tears to flow. Her shoulders shook, and her breath came in quiet, sobbing gasps.
She jumped as a hand touched her shoulder. She swiped at her eyes and turned around. Drew. She gave way to her tears once more. He stooped down and pulled his cousin into a gentle embrace, allowing her to cry on his shoulder.
He patted her and said, “It’s alright, Dixie. You’ll see them again soon. This war will end before long. Maybe you’ll feel better when I tell you that we lost Fredericksburg. Richard and Seth are probably in the town right now, helping clean up the mess.”
She nodded. It did help. Her brothers probably were safe. That thought helped a lot. She pulled back after a moment and wiped at her eyes again. Drew handed her a kerchief. “I left mine in the parlor,” Dixie said as she dried her eyes.
Drew smiled. “That’s alright. I would be honored if you’d help me make my grand entrance,” he said, offering his arm.
Dixie tried to muster a smile and said, “If you don’t mind, I’d rather not. I’d feel like...like a traitor to Richard and Seth.”
Drew nodded. “I understand.” He opened the door and then stepped into the realm of excitement. Drew was swamped by his six younger siblings. He nearly disappeared from sight as they all tried to hug him at once, regardless of age.
Dixie slipped back in, at last able to watch the reunions without tears threatening her. But even though Drew’s words had comforted her, she wondered if anyone else were remembering her brothers were in this war too. Were they missed by the cousins?
Constance Angelica gave Dixie a vindictive look. She certainly wasn’t missing Richard and Seth. Jennifer slipped up next to Dixie. “It would be perfect if the boys were here. That and getting the news that the war was over. A perfect Christmas gift!”
Dixie smiled. “Yes. A perfect Christmas gift indeed!”
That's it for now!
10 Totally Random Facts About…Second Manassas! // A History Post +An Excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
At last, I have returned to this beloved series after…4 months! Wow…that’s a long time…
Anyway, today I am doing a post on the Battle of Manassas Junction, Virginia! But Ryana Lynn, you might say, You’ve already done a post on Manassas Junction! And you would be quite right! Here’s a link to my first post! But today, we are looking at the SECOND battle that took place in that unfortunate area. Unfortunate because who really wants to have ONE battle fought in their backyard, let alone TWO? And hang around at the end of the post for a tiny excerpt from my book, Our Heritage to Save, to learn an additional fact about the Battle!
1. Lightning Strikes Twice. Yep, people often say it doesn’t but it has happened…anyway… Second Manassas (Or Second Bull Run, if you’re from the northern side of the Mason/Dixon 😉) was fought on the same ground as the first major battle of the War Between the States, almost a year later! And it lasted a little longer too, beginning on August 28th and ending on the 30th.
2. Stonewall was Here! But unlike the first battle, where his was one of the last on the field, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s was the first command to arrive at Second Manassas…3 days early!
3. Same song, second verse. After the second battle I suppose the federal army decided it would be a bad idea to fight here again; they lost both battles fought at Manassas Junction to the Confederate Army.
4. Immortalized in Song. There is a hilarious song, written and sung by southerners, that goes through the laundry list of men who Lincoln put in charge of his Grand Army of the Potomac. (There were so many, it’s not even funny!) The commander for the Manassas Campaign was Gen. John Pope. The song is written as if it’s union soldiers singing it, making it even funnier to the Southern population. Pope and the Battle of Manassas were featured in the lyrics like this:
Then said Lincoln unto Pope, “You can make the trip I hope,
I will save the Universal Yankee Nation,
To make sure of no defeat, I’ll leave no lines of retreat,
And I’ll issue a famous proclamation.”
But the same dreaded Jackson, This fellow laid his whacks,
And made him by compulsion a seceder.
And Pope took rapid flight from Manassas’ Second fight,
‘Twas his very last appearance as a leader.
But to be fair, the southern author was kind to Pope in the chorus…
Then pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves,
For Stonewall is a hard road to travel;
Pope did his very best but was evidently sold,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I am told!
5. A New Commander. The federals weren’t the only ones with a different commanding general when Second Manassas rolled around. Instead of Joseph Johnston commanding Southern forces, General Lee was in charge. But the results were the same: Southern Victory!
6. Old Stomping Grounds. Stonewall’s first mission upon arriving at Manassas Junction was to destroy the Union supply depot there. After fulfilling this duty, Stonewall set about making camp…near to the very place where he had first earned the nickname Stonewall (though he always insisted the name belonged to the brigade who had fought with him that day).
7. Don’t Count your Eggs Until They Are Laid. During the fight, U.S. General Pope informed Lincoln that the victory was the Union. NEVER announce victory before you actually have it…you’ll have to eat your words…
8. Strike while the Iron is Hot! Stonewall believed in action. He was not one to sit around and wait for the enemy to attack him. Second Manassas showed that very well. Pope knew he was in the area, due to a previous fight with another command. But his men got within a few hundred yards of Stonewall and didn’t even see him until Jackson’s artillery opened fire on them.
9. It’s not the Size that counts. Jackson and his troops were outnumbered two to one during the battle. In fact, multiple times, the federals broke their lines. But in spite of being outmanned, Jackson’s men always counterattacked and plugged the holes. And it paid off; Longstreet reinforced them, giving them desperately needed man power to ultimately carry the battle.
10. According to the Numbers… There are a lot of similarities between the two Battles of Manassas Junction. But the numbers are not part of that. Around 63,000 federal and 55,000 Confederates were engaged in the second battle, almost but not quite double their forces from the first battle. At First Manassas, 2,896 federals were listed as casualties (mostly injured); at Second Manassas, their numbers were 13,826. The Confederates listed 1,982 casualties (again mostly injured) at the first battle. Those numbers jumped to 8,353 at the second battle. (Numbers taken from A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham, ©2011 by the author, All Rights Reserved)
And now…for the excerpt…which happens to spotlight one of my favorite facts about this battle!
From Chapter 22: He Fixed It, Our Heritage to Save
“Believe it, Joe. We’re out of ammo!” The young Southern soldier’s face was white with anxiety. “We just used our last two rounds. What are we gonna do?”
“Rocks!” someone yelled. “Use the rocks!” The boys looked down at the rocks on the ground.
“Can’t hurt trying,” Joe shouted, picking up a sizable one. He hurled the rock as hard as he could. The others standing around followed suit.
Meanwhile, a Union soldier was firing away as fast as he could. Suddenly, a hard object struck his rifle barrel. “What was that?” Another “thing” came flying, this time striking him in the shoulder. “Stones? Ahh!” A hail of the rock ‘bullets’ came raining down on him.
“Now I have seen everything!” his friend commented, picking a pebble from his hand. “Here we are, fighting our own countrymen in the middle of nowhere, and being battered by rocks!”
“Yeah, and they say Longstreet and Lee reinforced Jackson last night. This is insanity!”
Not as long as most of my excerpts, but if I put anymore…well, you know, spoilers…
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.