J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “America”

Guest Post by Elizabeth Shields

Always one to help a fellow writer out, I occasionally feature blog posts written by guest bloggers. This one is quite informative, and discusses interesting aspects about Easter Sunday. I hope you enjoy it.

Easter

Easter is almost upon us and throughout the world, just like Christmas, Easter these days is commonly considered a time to be spent with family or your nearest and dearest.

We often don’t give any consideration to where the traditions, that have been carried along from generation to generation, originated from – we just go along with them, not knowing how or where they began…

Crosses

Easter traditionally commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is thought to have taken place around 33 AD and Easter festivals and feasts are believed to have begun during the 2nd Century.

During Medieval times, Easter was a prominent celebration where feasting, combined with music, dance and the consumption of alcohol would take place. These feasts could sometimes go on for days, similar to a Christmas celebration!

Many Easter traditions have been around for centuries but have evolved over time. It was only during the 19th century that Easter really became considered to be a time to spend with family…

Easter Sunday, for many Christians, begins with a sunrise service at church. It is believed that it was dawn when the tomb of Jesus was discovered to be empty and this is why the service is held at sunrise. It is thought to have been started in the 1700’s by the Moravians.

Bunnies

One of the main symbols of Easter is the Easter bunny, which is thought to have originated from the Pagans and then been brought over to America by German immigrants in the 1700’s, whilst the tradition of decorating eggs is thought to date back as far as the 13th century. The Easter parade tradition is thought to date back even further than this!

Following on with the egg theme, the Easter egg hunt is another tradition which is believed to have originated from Pagan festivals that celebrated fertility. Easter egg hunts (typically aimed at children, although I have to say, I rather still enjoy them myself!) involve eggs being hidden by the Easter bunny. Typically chocolate eggs are hidden, but they can also be eggs filled with candies and even hard-boiled eggs can be used (although I’m not sure if children would love the hunt as much with hard-boiled eggs being used!). The children go hunting for the eggs which they then put into their Easter egg basket and devour later! Kids tend to make a bit of a mess during all of the fun so keeping the house clean will be difficult to say the least! Eggs are also part of the tradition because they were banned during the period of lent in Medieval Europe which resulted in them often being eaten over the Easter period when the fasting had ended.

Hot Cross Buns

The tradition of consuming hot cross buns over the Easter period is thought to have begun with a monk during the 12th century, who decided to add the cross shape to the top of them in celebration of Good Friday.

Chocolate eggs – probably one of the most typical symbols of Easter these days – originated in France and Germany in the 19th century and then became popular throughout the rest of Europe and then the United States, where today, consuming copious amounts of chocolate seems to be the main family activity at Easter time… At least in my household! 

Here’s to the Irish!

March is Irish heritage month, and because I’m part Irish, I feel very compassionate about my ancestors and what they had to go through. They risked their lives to be free of English tyranny, escape starvation in their beautiful, native country, and sail across the Atlantic to an unknown existence based solely on here say. They arrived in America to ridicule and rampant discrimination. This country has a rich Irish history due to their stamina and determination, not to mention their wonderful sense of humor. Many Irishmen fought on both sides during the Civil War. Some were recruited fresh off the boat, while others enlisted by their own design. The famous Irish Brigade still exists today, and many Irish fought for the Southern side as well. Here is one example.

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Predominantly Irish Regiment

A predominantly Irish regiment, over 1,000 strong, the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry was raised in New Orleans just after the state had seceded. It was organised by June of 1861 at Camp Moore and went on to become one of the hardest fighting regiments in the Confederate Army, seeing action in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theatre.

By War’s end, place names like Port Republic; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; Spotsylvania & Petersburg (to name JUST a few) would adorn the colours of the regiment.

Headstone

By the time it surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865, the 6th LA. had fewer than 75 men in it’s ranks.

The ten companies that made up the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry were designated thus:

Co. A- “Union & Sabine Rifles”: Co.B- “Calhoun Guards”; 

Co.C- “St. Landry Light Guards”; Co.D- “Tensas Rifles”; 

Co.E- “Mercer Guards”;

Co.F-“Irish Brigade, Company B”; Co.G- “Pemberton Guards”; 

Co. H- “Orleans Rifles”; 

Co.I- “Irish Brigade, Company A”; 

Co.K- “The Violet Guards”

The flag accompanying this post is the flag of Co.H, “The Orleans Rifles”, 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry.

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Article forwarded by Liam McAlister, (Irish in Blue & Gray, 1861-1865).

(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, vol. 40, issue #8, August 2016 ed.)

 

The Name Change Game Goes On

I think it’s crazy that this is even a thing, but apparently, political correctness has affected (infected?) every aspect of American society. Now the military is getting in on the act, or is, at least, is under attack, and some branches are caving.

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MILITARY BRANCHES SENDING “MIXED” ORDERS
The U.S. Army does not plan to change the names of several bases named after Confederate war heroes, despite a broader effort in some states to remove such tributes.
“We have no plans to rename any street or installation, including those named for Confederate generals,” an Army spokesperson told Task & Purpose. The service will instead continue with the existing names of many well known military bases and installations.
“It is important to note that the naming of installations and streets was done in a spirit of reconciliation, not to demonstrate support for any particular cause or ideology,” the U.S. Army spokesperson continued. “The Army has a tradition of naming installations and streets after historical figures of military significance, including former Union and Confederate general officers.”
Among the list of Army bases named after Confederate leaders are: Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Hood, Fort Lee, Fort Pickett, Fort Polk, Fort Rucker and Camp Beauregard.
The Army’s statement comes immediately after U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger ordered the removal of all Confederate flags and “paraphernalia” from Marine bases, effective immediately.
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They Came From Near and Far

It has always fascinated me how the War Between the States was far more than that. It wasn’t cut and dry, North vs. South. Men from all walks of life, from all regions of the country, and even from many foreign lands, enlisted for the Confederate cause. Here is an example of just how far reaching the American Civil War really was.

AUSTRALIAN CONFEDERATES 

The William Kenyon Australian Confederates, SCV Camp 2160, was organized in Australia to honor those Confederate soldiers from, or who are buried in, Australia and New Zealand; and to perpetuate the memory of their dedicated sacrifice in defense of the Southern states. 

Unknown to many and forgotten by all, those dedicated veterans became citizens of Australia and New Zealand after the War Between the States and were buried, many without even a stone to mark their grave, in a land far from the shores they fought to protect. 

It is now up to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. and members of the William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160 to preserve their stories for future generations, and to ensure that the grave sites of all such veterans are marked and remembered for their gallant service. 

It must always be remembered that many from Australia, and New Zealand, traveled to America and participated in the defense of the Confederacy as gallant soldiers, some never to return. 

In addition, there are members of the Confederate Treasury Department and Blockade Runners buried in Australia and New Zealand, who fought and defied death to supply the Confederate forces with munitions and supplies in their time of need. They as well must never be forgotten. 

The William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160 is dedicated to preserving their memories and defending the honor they rightly deserve, and for which they fought, against the unconstitutional and illegal invasion by northern troops. 

James Wadell

Confederate Captain James Waddell, who took his ship, the CSS Shenandoah, to Melbourne and “ignited a popular sensation”.

CSS Shenandoah
CSS Shenandoah

(Article Courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, President Jefferson Davis Chapter Military Order of the Stars and Bars, vol. 44, issue #2, February 2020 ed.)

Five-Star Review!

Here is another five-star review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Linda Thompson, for your positive review!

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion
It was amazing!
When it comes to war (no matter the era), men tend to gravitate toward the bloody bodies and the weaponry, and while some women thing the idea of war as romantic, others are horrified at the cruelty. I’ve never seen war as romantic, anything to be proud of, or even remotely good, and parts of JDR Hawkins book was difficult for me to read. That being said, A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a very good story, well written with extremely engaging characters. The historical aspect is excellent and once I could get my head wrapped around the war and violence, I found this Southern family very engaging. I’m very interested in learning where the next book in Hawkins’ series will take us.

It’s All In the Interpretation

I came across this article and have to admit that this gentleman certainly has a point. I was told several years ago that abuse is a matter of interpretation. If you feel you are being abused, then you ARE being abused. The same goes for discrimination, or in this case, a flag. If one flag is accepted and another is ridiculed for contrived impressions, there is a discrimination issue involved. In my opinion, we should accept all expressions of individually, patriotism, or personal identification. It is what our country and our Constitution are based upon. By accepting all, we invite tolerance and understanding, instead of promoting negativity and ill-conceived impressions. Here is the article:

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Mark Velder, a city employee in Independence, Missouri spoke at this week’s city council meeting, to criticize the display of the rainbow pride flag by the Mayor, stating that he would be fired if he flew his Confederate Flag.

“We just did the Pledge of Allegiance, which says ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag.’ The flag. ‘The’ is a definitive article. That is my flag,” Velder said pointing to the American flag. “Not the LGBT flag,” Velder added while holding two Confederate flags. “I work at the city of Independence. If I put [the Confederate flag] up tomorrow, I’ll be fired.”

“Yet we’ve got a flag outside of the window, right up here that gives me a sense of discrimination. Something that’s not for equal rights, it’s a violation,” Velder continued. “That flag does not represent me, I keep hearing it’s for everybody. It does not. That represents people who have surgically removed part of their anatomy because they don’t know what kind of bathroom to go to … I’m normal. I’m normal.”

He added, “I’m asking can we get [the pride flag] down or just put mine [the Confederate flag] up. Just put this one up, I would love to see this one up tomorrow morning when I come to work.”

Rebel

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 21, 2019 ed.)

Another Over-Reaction

I have to champion Mississippi Governor Bryant for standing up to the politically correct. He never waivers in honoring the state’s Confederate veterans. With Memorial Day just behind us, it is imperative that we honor and cherish these ancestors. What everyone seems to forget is that it was a different time back then, with a different political climate and different viewpoints. Maybe we don’t agree with them now, but they were completely acceptable and widespread back then. The Confederate flag, to many, was a sign of independence from an oppressive national government, not a symbol of racism. It’s sad how things like the CSA flag have become misconstrued and misunderstood over the years. I hope Mississippi doesn’t cave like so many other southern states have in regard to their flag. But the pressure’s on, as this article demonstrates.

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MISSISSIPPI FLAG ORDERED OUT OF PARK NEAR STATUE OF LIBERTY

By MIKE CATALINI
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that the Mississippi flag, which carries a Confederate emblem, be replaced by the American flag at a state park that overlooks the Statue of Liberty.

Murphy ordered the removal of Mississippi’s flag from a display of each state’s flag at Liberty State Park, a preserve of more than 1,200 acres in Jersey City that overlooks Ellis Island and Lady Liberty.

 

On Friday, April 26, 2019, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the Mississippi flag removed from a display of each state’s flag at Liberty State Park and replaced by the American flag because it has a Confederate emblem on it. Liberty State Park is on the Hudson River and overlooks the Statue of Liberty.

Murphy is a first-term Democrat and a self-styled progressive who regularly cited the Emma Lazarus poem at the statue’s base that invites immigrants to America.

New Jersey, he said, is rooted in diversity, and the flag doesn’t fit.

“The Confederate symbol displayed on the Mississippi state flag is reprehensible and does not reflect our values of inclusivity and equality,” he said in a statement.

The Mississippi flag includes the Confederate battle emblem in the upper left corner. The emblem has a red field topped by a blue X, dotted with 13 white stars. It has appeared on Mississippi’s flag since 1894.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, said in a statement: “I’m disappointed in Gov. Murphy’s actions. As I have repeatedly said, the voters of Mississippi should decide what the state flag is or is not.”

Confederate symbols have been widely debated across the South, particularly since June 2015, when a white supremacist killed nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as in 2017, when violence erupted as white nationalists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Murphy said he made the decision after Democratic State Sen. Sandra Cunningham raised the issue with him.

 

Cunningham said in a statement that the flag symbolized “an era of hate, violence, and division.”

Mississippians who voted in a 2001 statewide election chose to keep the flag.

But several Mississippi cities and counties and all eight of the state’s public universities have stopped flying it in recent years amid criticism that the battle emblem is a racist reminder of slavery and segregation. Supporters of the flag say it represents history.

Catalini reported from Trenton, New Jersey. Associated Press writer Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/d122588876db42cd944a 570028073914

(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #1452, Hernando, MS, Volume 42, Issue 5, May 2019 ed.)

The Lincoln Bible

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On Inauguration Day last Friday, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was sworn into office using what is known as the Lincoln Bible. He is the third president to have done so. An interesting tradition is that presidents are given the opportunity to choose which Bible they will use for their swearing in. Trump chose the Lincoln Bible, as well as a Bible his mother gave him.

trump-inauguration-hand-on-bible

The Lincoln Bible, published in 1853, is a King James Version covered in burgundy velvet. It was first used at the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The Lincoln Bible was not considered to be anything special at the time of Lincoln’s swearing in. Similar Bibles are valued at only $30 to $40. Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, loaned the Bible to Lincoln for the inauguration ceremony. After Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, the Bible was passed down to his family. In 1928, it was donated to the Library of Congress.

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The second president to use the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration was Barrack Obama. During his 2009 inauguration, a spokesman said Obama chose to use the Bible because he thought it represented American unity. Obama also used the Bible in 2013.

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Prior to last Friday’s ceremony, a spokesman for Trump said the newly-elected president was inspired by Lincoln’s words. “In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,” said Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s presidential inauguration committee. “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”

trump-to-be-sworn-in-using-lincoln-bible

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/lincoln-bible-trump-oath.html?_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/18/the-symbolism-of-trumps-two-inaugural-bible-choices-from-lincoln-to-his-mother/?utm_term=.e8901d31df77

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/17/donald-trump-inauguration-bibles/96661060/

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/abraham-lincoln/videos/lincolns-inaugural-bible

Featured on Awesomegang

Yesterday, I was a featured author on Awesomegang, which highlights authors and their work. Here is the interview:

j-d-r-hawkins

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am an author and a singer/songwriter. I have written several books. So far, I have had three published. They are the first three books in the Renegade Series.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Rebel Among Us. I was inspired to write it after I visited the Gettysburg battlefield.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to listen to Civil War music when I write to help put me in the mood and mindset of Victorian America.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Gone With the Wind, Cold Mountain, Widow of the South

What are you working on now?
A nonfiction book about Confederate warhorses.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My own website, http://jdrhawkins.com, and various social media sites, as well as my publisher’s website, http://foundationsbooks.net/library.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing and never give up. Write what’s important to you.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t get discouraged by reject letters. Use them to wallpaper your bathroom.

What are you reading now?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What’s next for you as a writer?
My nonfiction book will be out next year, and I will be publishing the fourth book in the Renegade Series.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Holy Bible, Gone With the Wind, The Yearling, and Old Yeller.

Author Websites and Profiles
JDR Hawkins Website
JDR Hawkins Amazon Profile
JDR Hawkins Author Profile on Smashwords

JDR Hawkins’s Social Media Links
Goodreads Profile
Facebook Profile
Twitter Account
Pinterest Account

http://awesomegang.com/jdr-hawkins/

The Election Process of Peculiarity

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Election Day is now upon us. It goes without saying that this has been an unusual election year. First, a woman is running for president, and she was previously a First Lady. Second, a business tycoon is running for president. He has no political experience but says he is running “to make America great again.” Both candidates have expressed their concern over rising health care costs, immigration policies, college loans, and foreign policy. Both have unique plans for the country, and so far, the vote is tied. It will be interesting to see the outcome and how the American people react and unite afterward.

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Over the course of the country’s history, many unusual elections have taken place. The musical Hamilton has brought to light the bizarre duel in 1801 between Thomas Jefferson’s vice-president, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, who died in the duel. The conflict was brought about when Hamilton decided who would be president: Jefferson or Burr.

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When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, he represented the very first candidate of the Republican Party. Lincoln did not win in any southern state, and yet, he won 40% of the popular vote and most of the electoral vote. Prior to his inauguration, he was ushered into Washington D.C. (then known as Washington City) via train, under cover of night, and in a disguise because death threats had been made against him. Lincoln’s election lead to the Civil War, which would ultimately claim more than 620,000 lives over the course of four years.

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In 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first female presidential candidate. Her running mate was Frederick Douglas, an outspoken freed slave and abolitionist. Also in 1872, President Grant, previously General Ulysses S. Grant, who had led the Union army to victory, ran against newspaper mogul Horace Greeley. Oddly, Greeley died before the electoral votes could be dispersed. Grant attended his rival’s funeral.

In 1884, Belva Lockwood ran under the Republican ticket. Her running mate was Marietta Stow, the first female vice-presidential candidate.

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Eugene Debs ran for president five times. In 1918, he delivered an anti-war speech, claiming “the ruling class” sent “the working class” to war. He was convicted of espionage and sentenced to ten years in prison, where he conducted his presidential campaign. He didn’t secure enough votes to beat out Warren G. Harding, but the following year, on Christmas Day, Harding commuted Debs’ sentence.

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In 1948, Harry S. Truman was predicted to lose to Thomas Dewey. This famous photograph was taken after Truman won the election.

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The first televised presidential debates took place in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy secured the African-American vote when he helped free Martin Luther King Jr. from prison weeks before the election.

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The election of 1964 centered on race and the Civil Rights movement, and pitted Republican Barry Goldwater against Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. The Democrats’ mudslinging campaign effectively portrayed Goldwater as a racist, which he staunchly denied.

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In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first major party black candidate for president, and the first woman to ever run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. And in 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president.

As you can see, America has had an illustrious and, at times, strange history of elections. Many of these examples occurred because of flaws in the electoral system. Unfortunately, for the American people, corruption is still rampant. Last week, my husband saw a woman stuffing an election box. Is Trump correct by saying the election is rigged, or is he paranoid? It will be fascinating to find out tomorrow and in the coming weeks.

Voice your choice. Vote!

For a list of female presidential and vice-presidential candidates, check out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_United_States_presidential_and_vice-presidential_candidates

The ten most bizarre elections in American history:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/30/politics/interesting-u-s-elections/

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