J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Civil War”

Cover Reveal For My New Book!

ABeckoningHellfire_LRG

I’m thrilled to introduce the new cover to my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. This book was previously published with another company and had a different cover (thank you, Dan Nance). However, since I changed publishers last year, two of my previously self-published titles have been republished. Now all three books in the Renegade Series are available from Foundations, LLC.

A Beckoning Hellfire is the second book in the Renegade Series. It tells the story of Confederate cavalryman David Summers and the battles he witnesses from Chancellorsville to Gettysburg. The first book in the series is A Beautiful Glittering Lie, and the third book in the series is A Rebel Among Us. Now that the first three books in the series have been published, all the covers are consistent (thank you, Dawne Dominique). Look for the fourth book in the series to be released next year.

A Beckoning Hellfire is available in e-book format for pre-sale. The cost is only .99 cents! Here is the link. Sign up for your copy today!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75984

Advertisements

New York Times Publishes More Yellow Journalism

Last week, this editorial appeared in the New York Times. The writer is anonymous, and it’s no wonder. The reporter obviously doesn’t know squat about American history or the Civil War. With slanted and inaccurate views like this, it’s understandable why there is such an assault on our historical memorials and statues. What I really like is the rebuttal following the biased article, so make sure to read this post to the end.

the-new-york-times+logo

Vicious NYT Editorial on Confederacy

About John Kelly’s Racist History Lesson
By The New York Times Editorial Board
NOV. 1, 2017

Many Americans projected their own feelings of disgust as they watched the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, seem to grimace while President Trump spoke in August of the “very fine people” on both sides of white nationalist demonstrations to preserve Confederate monuments, in which a counter demonstrator was murdered.

It seemed to be an example of how Mr. Kelly, the man brought in as “the adult” to calm the White House chaos, felt pained when he could not prevent the president from saying or tweeting something divisive, hateful or threatening.
At least there was hope that he would speak up, either publicly or privately. Well, Mr. Kelly has now begun to speak up, and, in doing so, has provided sickening clarification of what this presidency stands for.
When asked in an interview broadcast on Monday about plans by a Virginia church to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee, he said it showed “a lack of appreciation of history.”

“Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” he added. He said that in the Civil War “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

With those remarks, Mr. Kelly revealed that it’s he, like the president, who lacks an appreciation of history — that he has chosen instead to embrace the mythology that white racists methodically created to hide the truth about the causes and course of the Civil War. The truth is, white Southerners went to war to destroy the United States in order to continue enslaving nearly 40 percent of the people in the region.

As for Lee’s honor, while some historians argue that he held a distaste for human bondage, he nevertheless fought ferociously to preserve slavery, which he viewed as the best arrangement that could possibly exist between whites and African-Americans. During the war, his army kidnapped free blacks, returning them to chains. After the war ended, he advised acquaintances to avoid hiring free blacks — arguing that it was against white interests to do so — and suggested that free black people be forced out of his native state, Virginia.

Mr. Kelly really gave the game away when he went on to argue that it was wrong for us to look back at the past through the lens of “what is today accepted as right and wrong.” As the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has noted, you can only contend that most people believed that slavery was right at the time of the Civil War if you exclude black people from your analysis, not to mention from your moral imagination.

If Mr. Kelly is supposed to be the administration’s disciplinarian, keeping it on message, then echoing his boss’s kind words for slaveholders and those who slaughtered American soldiers to defend them shows that a central message is, “Racists, we’re your guys.”

To Mr. Kelly — and to the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who echoed his view from the people’s podium in the briefing room — the Civil War resulted from a failure to compromise. It might be instructive for reporters to continue to press both of them, as well as the president, about what kind of compromise over slavery they have in mind.

The consequences of slavery continue to distort and stunt lives in America, so it’s quite right that we should engage in what can be an agonizing national conversation about this history. Only when our history is faced squarely can removing Confederate monuments be properly understood, as a small but significant step toward ending the celebration of treason and white supremacy, if not toward ameliorating their effects.

But this White House is not interested in that conversation. It’s interested instead in exploiting racist myths and deepening racial divisions for perceived political advantage.

*****************
Vicious NYT Editorial Ignores Its Former Publisher’s Mother’s Role in Loyally Supporting the Confederacy

It is very ironic to see this vicious editorial, since Bertha Levy Ochs, the Mother of the future publisher of the New York Times, was an ardent and loyal supporter of the Confederacy. Her son Adolph Ochs bought the New York Times in 1896.
40344409_1443488718
As recounted by the renowned historian Robert Rosen, in his authoritative book The Jewish Confederates, her brother served in the Confederate army, and she smuggled medicine into the South to help the Confederates overcome their severe shortages of such supplies:

There is a family story that Bertha pushed her baby carriage, which contained contraband material hidden under one of the little Ochs boys, across the river from Cincinnati to Kentucky, to the Confederates. Adolph Ochs recalled in later years that “Mother gave Father a lot of trouble in those days.”

According to their granddaughter, Bertha’s smuggling drugs to the Confederates came to the attention of of the Union authorities and a warrant was issued for her arrest. As a loyal Union officer, (her husband) Julius was able to have the charges dismissed.

In 1928, The Confederate Veteran magazine noted that “for a Mother of Israel to defy her husband and an entire army was no mean assertion of militant feminism in those days.”

Ironically, the family moved to Tennessee in 1964, one of the states affected by Union General Ulysses Grant’s infamous General Order Number 11, expelling all Jews from the Union-occupied states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi within 24 hours, which was eventually rescinded by President Lincoln.

Bertha was a charter member of the A. P. Stewart Chapter of he United Daughters of the Confederacy; she died in 1908, and her coffin, as she requested, was draped with a Confederate flag.

I wonder of the NY Times considers her one of those vicious racists it refers to in its editorial.

Lewis Regenstein is the descendant of over two dozen members of his extended family in Georgia and South Carolina who fought for the Confederacy to defend their Southern Homeland from the invading Union army. Regenstein@mindspring.com

(Courtesy Southern Heritage News and Views, August 8, 2017 ed.)

Despite Popular Sentiment, Assault on Southern Heritage Marches On

ce6383a96e9af0ee07987719a17aa0a9--grave-markers-sculpture-garden

It seems this nonsense will just not cease. Dallas has backed off on the removal of its Confederate monuments. But now Atlanta has taken up the torch to desecrate Civil War memorials. I still think this is unfathonable, disrespectful, and yes, ridiculous. To waste money on removing these relics seems like misdirected angst to me. Anyway, here is an article about what Atlanta intends to do. Let me know what  you think.

12301-the-confederate-obelisk-at-historic-oakland-cemetery-in-atlanta-georgia-pv

ATLANTA COMMITTEE HITTING GAS PEDAL ON MONUMENT REMOVAL

A committee named by Atlanta’s mayor to weigh the future of the city’s Confederate monuments and Confederate-named streets recently held its second meeting.

The 11-member committee was appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed in October to review street names and identify city-owned monuments and evaluate how each would be handled. Reed first formed the committee in August.

The committee met for the first time Oct. 19 to plan and map out logistics. They identified seven monuments and 13 street names on its preliminary list.
Monuments:

Peachtree Battle Avenue Monument
James Calhoun portrait
Confederate Obelisk
Sidney Lanier Bust
Peace Monument
Lion of the Confederacy
Monument to General Walker

Streets:

Cleburne Avenue
Cleburne Terrace
Confederate Avenue
East Confederate Avenue
Forrest Street
Gordon Place
Hardee Street
Holtzclaw Street
Lee Street
Pickett Street/Alley
Walker Street
Walthall Street
Walthall Drive
Walthall Court

While the first meeting was closed to the public, the committee’s second meeting included a public comment portion.

Channel 11’s Chris Hopper was at the meeting where about a dozen people offered their input to the committee.

There’ll be one more opportunity for public input during the next meeting on Nov. 8. The city also plans to launch a website later this week, and there’s an email address where people can send their thoughts.

After that, the committee will draft a preliminary report and discuss it on Nov. 13. They’ll then amend it and potentially approve it. Mayor Reed said he expects a full report from the committee on his desk by Nov. 20.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November 3, 2017 ed.)

The South is Coming Unhinged

dbed1ogvyaa6n4m-e1496149403468

I wanted to share a letter I recently read. It’s crazy how an irrational wave of political correctness has taken over the South. Here is the letter. Please share what you think.

Cultural Marxism

Cultural Marxism has gone too far. Not only in regards to Confederate statues & monuments but, even those to the Founding Fathers, Christopher Columbus & now the Cherokee Chief Stand Watie in Oklahoma City, Ok.

This city is changing the names of three schools named for Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Stand Watie. All three men were Confederate generals during the War Between The States is the reason for these name changes. Never once have those practicing political correctness mentioned that those who served in the Confederacy did many good things before & after the war that merit statues & memorials to those deeds alone.
download
Stand Watie was a Chief of the Cherokee tribe & fought for the Confederacy because he thought he could get a better deal & treatment for his people than they had received under the government of the United States, as did other tribes. Because he served in the Confederate army for 4 years the Oklahoma City school board over looks his other accomplishments & no longer wants one of their schools named for him.

As long as this school has been named for Stand Watie did the school board wake up one day & decide that because he had been a Confederate general that he was not worthy of remembering as a Chief of the Cherokee tribe or do they just hate Native Americans too?
confederate-flag
The same holds true for many others who had served in the Confederacy. Are they not worth remembering for all their other worthy contributions to the United States? This cultural cleansing of historical American figures needs to stop & all their contributions remembered be they perceived as good or bad. Removing any statue or monument of America’s historical icons leads this country a step closer to an identity crisis & national suicide.

The ultimate goal of groups like Antifa is to replace all of America’s history & form of government & to erect statues & monuments of their preferred hero` Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, etc.

Billy E. Price
Ashville Alabama
cscitizen@windstream.net

OKCPS votes to change names of three schools named after Confederate generals
http://okcfox.com/news/local/okcps-votes-to-change-names-of-three-schools-named-after-confederate-generals

Happy Halloween!

download

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. In the spirit of all things spooky, sereal, and spectral, here are a couple of excerpts from my books. The first two are from A Beckoning Hellfire, due for re-realease this November. The third is from its sequel, A Rebel Among Us. Don’t let the frights terrify you tonight!

oakwood_6

(Excerpt from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Jake leaned in toward his friend. “You should ask him about your pa,” he reminded.

The other soldiers looked at David, waiting for him to speak. He took a deep sigh, and said, “My pa is buried here somewhere, and I was wonderin’ if y’all might know where I could find him.”

The Georgians exchanged glances.

“Can’t rightly direct you,” Michael said. “The burial site’s mighty large, and not every grave is marked. It could take days, or even weeks, and you still might not find him.”

David bit his lower lip and gazed into the fire, disappointed with the answer he’d received.

Jake quickly changed the subject and they were soon engaged in telling one chilling horror story after another, most of which the other soldiers made up. David enthralled them with “The Tell Tale Heart,” a story by Edgar Allen Poe, which none of the others had heard before. To his amusement, the others actually shivered at his telling of the story. The four soldiers talked on into the night until they realized it was late and decided to retire. As the Georgians departed, Jake leaned back, mumbling something unintelligible. David fell asleep but was soon startled awake by the bugler’s invasion.

(Also from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Cold Harbor

David shivered. Deciding to move around for warm, he slid from the saddle, but stumbled in the dark. He noticed a round, white rock, so he knelt down and picked it up. Oddly, it was much lighter than a rock. He turned it in his hands. Empty eye sockets bore into him, and the bony teeth grinned at him from death. Impulsively, he screamed, and tossed the human skull away in a panic, which sent it flying over the field. Horrified, he suddenly became aware his surroundings.

Long white bones stuck out from mounds of dirt that at one point must have served as makeshift graves. Weathered woolen uniforms and knapsacks, still intact, clung to the skeletal remains. Cannonballs sat scattered about, an eerie reminder of what had happened here.

Realizing that he was in a terrible graveyard, he shuddered. For some reason, the Yankee whose head he’d lopped off popped into his head. He glanced around, expecting the headless soldier to ride out of the darkness and attack him. An owl hooted. David nearly jumped out of his skin. Anxious to depart the frightening scene, he hurried back to Renegade, mounted, and prompted his colt to trot.

For the rest of the night, David walked Renegade along the side of a road, and carefully avoided the horrible scene of death. He had no need for coffee. His fright kept him wide awake.

When he returned to camp the next morning, he told Custis what he’d seen, and how he had held a dead man’s skull in his hand, just like a scene from Hamlet.

“Oh, that must be what’s left of those poor fellers who fought over yonder last year. We’re right close to Manassas. You didn’t know that, did you, Summers?”

Wide-eyed, David shook his head.

Custis giggled. “Reckon you got a good scare, then!” He guffawed.

(From A Rebel Among Us)

Samhian-Holiday

On October 31, Patrick arrived with a bottle of whiskey and invited David to partake with him. They stood shivering at the back door, passing the bottle between them.

“‘Tis Samhain tonight, lad. All Hallow’s Eve. Were ye aware of it?”

David nodded. “Where’d you git this whiskey?” he asked.

“Aye, ‘tis a grand thing the Meyers provide me with allowance for such an indulgence,” he replied. He pulled a pipe from his coat pocket and lit it. Puffing away, he shook his head and remarked, “Sure’n ‘tis a far cry from real tobacco.”

A thought crossed David’s mind. “I’ll be right back,” he said.

He went upstairs to his room, grabbed the pouch of tobacco, and brought it back down to his friend.

Patrick peeked inside before taking a deep whiff. “Ah!” he sighed, relishing the pungent aroma. “Might this be the Southern tobacco I’ve heard tell about?”

David grinned. “Jake brought it along for tradin’, and this here’s what’s left.”

Patrick loaded his pipe, relit it, and puffed euphorically, smiling all the while. “‘Tis a wee bit o’ heaven, indeed.” He glanced at his friend. “Now, have ye any scary tales from the Southland that might have me skin crawlin’?”

David thought for a moment, “There’s a story from north Alabama about a place called the Red Bank.”

Raising his eyebrows, Patrick said, “Let’s see if ye might be tellin’ it frightfully enough to send a shiver up me spine.” He happily puffed away.

David grinned. He lowered his voice so it was a threatening grumble and delved into his story. Once he had completed the tale of an Indian maiden who had killed herself after losing her baby and had promptly turned into a ghost, he paused.

Patrick puffed silently on his pipe. “Well, now, I have a scarier one.” He puffed again, took a swig from the whiskey bottle, handed it to David, and said, “‘Tis an old tale from the motherland.”

The wind blew past them, whistling off through the barren fields. Both young men shivered, suddenly aware of the ominous darkness surrounding them.

David forced a nervous laugh before taking a swallow. “All right, Patrick. Let’s hear it.”

He took a puff and slowly exhaled. “There once lived a wealthy lady who was courted by two lords. One of the lords grew so jealous of the other that he plotted to kill his rival. So one night, he snuck into the unsuspectin’ lad’s bedchamber. But instead of choppin’ off his head—”

He said this with so much exuberance David jumped.

“He accidentally chopped off his legs instead.”

A dog howled in the distance, adding to the nuance of Patrick’s eerie Irish story.

“His torso received a proper burial, but his legs were tossed into a hole in the castle garden and covered with dirt. The murderin’ lord deceived the lady by tellin’ her the other suitor had abandoned his proposal to her. She agreed to marriage. But on their weddin’ night, in walked the two bodyless legs.”

An owl hooted from somewhere off in the empty trees.

“The legs followed the bridegroom relentlessly until the day he died. It’s said the legs can still be seen walkin’ round by themselves. ‘Tis a true phuca.” Upon this conclusion, Patrick puffed on the pipe. Smoke billowed around his head like an apparition.

“What’s a phuca?” asked David.

“A ghost,” Patrick responded.

Raising a skeptical eyebrow, David snorted. “I reckon that’s the dumbest spook story I ever did hear.”

A gate near the barn caught in the wind and slammed loudly against the fencepost. The two men jumped. They chuckled at their reaction, but immediately felt the terrible chill. Reasoning they would be more comfortable inside, they entered the kitchen, consumed the remainder of the whiskey, and bid each other goodnight. Patrick returned home, and David retired quietly upstairs, careful not to wake the others. Relieved the fireplace had been lit for him, he undressed.

Climbing into bed, he snickered at the thought of two legs unattached to a body, chasing after a rival. Once he’d fallen asleep, however, the thought invaded his dreams. The legs ran toward him. Right behind them rode the headless Union horseman. The torso raised its saber and swung it where its head should have been. Just as the blade came down, David jolted awake. He gasped to catch his breath, realizing, once again, his imagination had gotten the best of him. Slowly, he lay back. Unable to sleep, he listened to the wind rattle the shutters and shake through the skeleton-like tree limbs from outside the frosty, lace-covered windows.

Art Imitates Life

160915-designatedsurvivor
Yesterday on an episode of Designated Survivor, the debate over removing Confederate monuments made the leap from real life to primetime TV. Kiefer Sutherland, who plays President Tom Kirkman, solved the “crisis” easily and appeased the “Reverend Dale,” a Civil Rights leader on the show, by simply moving the statue to a lesser trafficked area. Bingo!

AND MISSISSIPPI MAY SOON DO IT FOR REAL

Oxford A_large
Lafayette County may relocate the statue at their  Courthouse, which has sat outside the Courthouse since 1907, with certain restrictions.

In a letter dated Oct. 2, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office told the Lafayette County Board of Superivors they could move the statue if they ever decided to but that: “A monument may be moved within the county jurisdictional limits to some other more suitable location on county property,” the letter stated. “A monument may not be removed from the county or from public property,” it continued.

Matt Reardon, who was arrested earlier this year while standing in support of the statue, said he hopes the County doesn’t take the State up on its offer to move the statue, even if it stays in Lafayette County. “There’s a chance in relocating it that they damage the statue. Why move something that’s been there for 110 years?” said Reardon.

An email was sent to the president of the Board of Supervisors to learn if the board was planning on moving the statue or if it was even up for serious discussion. There was no reply.

AND THE REAL SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Not the person who plays one on Designated Survivor, but President Trump’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands.

“Where do you start and where do you stop?” Zinke asked a Breitbart reporter in an interview published Sunday. “It’s a slippery slope. If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant.” “When you try to erase history, what happens is you also erase how it happened and why it happened and the ability to learn from it.”

download

IN A REAL LIFE “COMPROMISE”

We reported a few weeks ago that a San Antonio, Texas school district voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Very few of the students or parents wanted the name change. The District ordering the school to change the name over the strong desire of parents, students, and even teachers, to keep it.

So last Monday the Robert E Lee High School voted to rename itself the Legacy of Educational Excellence High School – LEE High school

For now, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee still stands in the school, and the caricature of the Confederacy’s most prominent leader has yet to be displaced as the mascot. The overwhelming majority of the school’s students have told news agencies that they are proud of the name Lee and plan to maintain the traditions of their school.

bc913d08-30ba-490e-8ea0-29f7a9a7f607-large16x9_4f56357bb3714d69b025050cd39d9b56large16x9_PKGLEEHIGHSCHOOLNAME_frame_391
(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 13, 2017 ed.)

Loving Falltime

autumn-aspen-trees--populus-tremuloides--and-sneffels-range--mount-sneffels-wilderness--uncompahgre-national-forest--colorado--usa-740527311-59dec05daf5d3a001052fe6c

I’m a big fan of autumn, especially since I moved back to Colorado. The golden aspens shimmering against the blue, snowcapped mountains is a sight nothing less than astounding. Fall brings sweater weather, football, and cozy settings. The food is great, too! I love cooking soups and stews in the crock pot, as well as apple cider. Living in the southwest, one of my favorites is green chile. One of the old recipes of the south is Hopping John.

Here is a sample from my upcoming novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is due out next month.

A week before David planned to leave, he decided to break the news to his family. He had waited as long as he could, since he was apprehensive about the event and knew they would try to talk him out of it.

His mother set steaming bowls of Hopping John in front of each of her children, who had gathered around the table. Josie grabbed a spoon and went to take a bite.

“Josephine Summers, you wait till we say grace,” her mother firmly scolded her.

“Sorry, Ma.” Josie set the spoon down.

Carolyn seated herself. She folded her hands, rested her elbows firmly on the table, and glanced around, waiting until her brood had all closed their eyes. “Lord, thank you for this food which we are about to receive. Bless this family, and give us a prosperous year. We pray in your name, Amen.”

“Amen,” her children echoed.

Carolyn passed a plate of fried cornbread to Rena.

“I don’t see how we can prosper this year, Ma, what with the Yankees breathin’ down our necks, and now a tax-in-kind bein’ imposed on us,” David remarked, swirling his spoon around in the bowl of bacon, rice, and sarsaparilla stew. He scooped up a purple-hulled pea, an onion, and some red peppers, but let them fall back into the thickness.

“The army is entitled to whatever we can provide them,” said Carolyn. “If they want us to tithe a tenth of everything we grow, then that’s what we’ll give them.”

“But what if we have a bad crop this year?” asked Rena. She looked across the table at her brother.

“The Good Lord will provide for us, dear,” Carolyn said confidently.

Rena watched her brother swirl his spoon around without taking a bite. “David, ain’t you hungry?” she asked.

Josie snickered. “That would be a first.” She grinned at her brother before shoveling another spoonful into her mouth.

David hesitated. “There’s somethin’ I want to say to y’all.” He let go of the spoon and looked directly at his mother. “I’m fixin’ to jine the army.”

Carolyn immediately stopped eating. He felt like he had put a knife into her heart by the way she glared at him.

“David, I need you here,” she said softly.

“I have to go, Ma.” His voice grew defiantly stronger. “You know I do.”

“No, you don’t, David,” Josie said in a high pitch. She reached across the table, grabbing hold of his wrist. “You don’t have to go.”

“Well, I want to, then. I’m fixin’ to go and that’s final.” He took a deep breath. What had been building up inside of him for weeks had finally been released. The whole episode made him irritated. His mother was about to protest, he knew she would, but he had to make her understand.

“When?” She stared at him with her big hazel eyes.

Feeling his anger subside, his lower lip quivered slightly. “April third,” he said, his voice softening under his mother’s gaze. “The day after my birthday.”

“That’s next week!” Josie exclaimed.

“What about your plans to go to Auburn?” asked Rena.

David snorted. “I can’t go to college now. Not with all that’s happened.” He looked down at his bowl and shrugged. “We don’t have the money, anyways.”

An awkward silence engulfed them.

“I ain’t hungry anymore,” Rena sobbed. She hurried out of the room.

David watched her leave. Guilt swept over him, but he couldn’t waver. He had a duty to fulfill. “Jake’s comin’ with me,” he mumbled.

“Oh, he is, is he?” his mother asked.

“Yes’m.”

“Do his folks know about that?”

“I reckon so.” He glanced over at Josie, who was still eating, but staring at him blankly.

“What about the crops? Have you considered that?” His mother set her spoon down on the table. “It’s more than we can manage, David. You know we have over a hundred acres out yonder.”

“I know, Ma,” he said, his voice softening even more. “Jake’s folks will help out, or their slaves will.”

“Did you speak to them about it?” Carolyn frowned.

He stared at his bowl. “No, but I’m fixin’ to…tomorrow.”

His mother sighed, picked up her spoon, and took a bite. He reluctantly did the same. The mantle clock ticked repetitiously, accentuating the quiet.

“I’m done, Ma,” Josie announced. “May I be excused?”

Carolyn nodded, so Josie rose from her place at the table and departed to the adjoining cabin.

“I’m done, too, Ma.” David said. “May I be excused?”

“You can help me with clearin’ the table. I ain’t done with you yet.”

David clenched his teeth. Under normal circumstances, he usually evaded clearing the table, since he considered it to be women’s work. This was his mother’s way of showing her disapproval, he knew.

Avoiding eye contact, he stood, gathered the dishes, and followed her out the back door. His two coonhounds, who had been waiting patiently, sprang to their feet, their tails wagging furiously.

“Caleb, you ole mutt. Si, you scoundrel,” he greeted them affectionately. He scooped the leftovers into their dish and patted his hounds in an effort to postpone the confrontation with his mother, but finally forced himself to face the inevitable. Leaving the dogs to eagerly devour their food, he entered the small wooden kitchen building. Heat from the cook stove engulfed him; the smell of fried bacon still lingered. He set the empty bowls down next to the wash basin near a burning kerosene lamp. As he turned to leave, Carolyn grabbed hold of his forearm, compelling him to look at her.

“I know I can’t talk you out of this, because you think it’s your duty and you want to do it for your pa.” She stared deeply into his eyes.

He slowly nodded, and bowed his head. It became apparent to him that his sagacious mother had known his intentions all along, for she could always read his thoughts and feelings.

“David, look at me when I’m speakin’ to you,” she instructed.

He timidly obeyed.

“That horse of yours will die of a broken heart if you don’t take him along. And besides that, he knows how to git out of his stall, and he’ll jist go chasin’ after you.”

She gave him a sad smile. He faintly smiled in response.

“Jist promise me one thing.” She held tightly onto his arm. The flame flickered, punctuating the uncomfortable, sudden stillness.

“What’s that, Ma?” he asked quietly.

“That you and Jake will git in with the cavalry. I’d feel a whole lot better if you did.”

“But, Ma, how will we kill any Yankees if we’re in the cavalry?”

She frowned. “I reckon you’ll find a way.”

David chuckled, but seeing his mother’s hardened gaze, quickly let the smile fade from his lips. “I don’t know if ole Stella can make the journey,” he said.

“Ole Stella will do jist fine. Now, you promise me.” She grasped tighter onto his forearm to the point where it was starting to hurt.

“All right, Ma. I promise.”

She released her grasp. “And you make sure Jake promises his folks. I know ya’ll think it’s one big romp, but I can’t lose you.” She turned away, stirred the cinders in the wood-burning stove, and started heating up water for the dishes.

“Ma, I’ll be all right.”

He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. His mother didn’t react. He turned, exited out of the kitchen, and glanced back. She was still facing away from him. Sauntering across the yard, he passed the well and the two outhouses and went into the house. Respectfully, he tidied up the table for her before retreating to his room. He could hear his sisters’ muffled voices seep through the wall as he plopped onto his bed and positioned a down pillow under his head. The entire episode had left him exhausted and emotionally drained. Tomorrow will be another day, he reasoned to himself and closed his eyes. Lying across the bed with his feet hanging over the edge, he drifted off.

War Is Hell (Even When It’s Not a Battle)

1304701148-half-mast-flag

The tragedy that happened in Las Vegas last Sunday was terrible and possibly avoidable. How one psycho can premeditate such carnage is beyond my comprehension. The Vegas Strip suddenly became a war zone, changing hundreds of lives forever. My heart and prayers go out to all the people and their families who were effected by this disturbed individual.

It’s interesting how, when such a terrible thing happens, people come together to defend and protect one another. This is an admirable part of human nature. There are many reported instances of this happening in wartime. During the Civil War, Clara Barton risked her own life to go out onto the battlefield and help wounded Union soldiers. Although they fought on different sides, soldiers crossed enemy lines to assist one another.

One such soldier was Confederate Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland. Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Kirkland risked his life by crossing the Federal line to give suffering northern soldiers drinks from his canteen. His actions were so revered that a statue was erected depicting his selfless act. Sadly, Sergeant Kirkland was killed less than a year later at the Battle of Chicamauga.

800px-Moment_of_Mercy_(3412860347)

Here is a brief excerpt from my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, describing Sergeant Kirkland’s actions. This description takes place following the Battle of Fredericksburg.

It had stopped raining, but bitter cold replaced it. Upon returning to camp, Bud and his comrades learned that they had lost five, with seventeen wounded. Their regiment didn’t fire a single shot. The Yankees, it was estimated, lost over nine thousand after making fourteen assaults that were all beaten back. The men heard of one brave soul, Sergeant Kirkland of South Carolina, who acquired a reputation as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” for crossing enemy lines and benevolently tending to the Union wounded by providing them with blankets and water. John Pelham, an Alabama son who was in charge of Jackson’s artillery, received praise from General Lee for bravely executing an effective barrage by deceiving the Yankees into thinking his numbers were far greater than they actually were, and holding their lines in the process.

The Alabamians were told that Fredericksburg had been left in terrible condition. The Yankees were allowed to freely loot, ransack, burn, and pillage anything and everything, which infuriated the Rebels.

Is This Awesome Or What!?

IMG_0066

Over the weekend, I was informed by my United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) chapter’s president that I won an award at the annual Mississippi convention. What an amazing honor! I am so humbled to receive this special award for the publication of my two books, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and Horses in Gray, during the past year, and to win the award for my UDC chapter, Varina Howell Davis #2559.

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion       Horses in Gray Cover

(Click on books for purchasing info.)

The annual Mississippi UDC convention was held last weekend in Gulfport. This is a beautiful city near Biloxi. I can’t thank the Mississippi UDC division enough for this very special honor.

IMG_0067

To learn more about the Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy, please visit: http://mississippiudc.homestead.com/.

Visit my UDC chapter’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1327342747312231/

Moving Day (Again)

IMG_3669-264x300

This is moving week for my husband and me. It has been crazy so far, but luckily, we haven’t broken anything (yet). We have managed to lose a few things, but hopefully, they will turn up. In the past four years, we have moved nine times, and we’re not even in the military! It has been a crazy ride but we have met a lot of wonderful friends along the way.

Moving is never an easy task, but it had to be much harder for Southerners who lived during the Civil War and were forced to evacuate before the invading army came along to steal their belongings and do unspeakable things to civilians. Marauding Union soldiers burned and took everything, leaving only what they thought was inedible and/or unsalvagable.

It was also very difficult to be in the military and be told to move in a moment’s notice. My novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, is soon to be re-published, so stay tuned for a new book cover and some updated edits. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from the book, describing how the Confederate cavalry had to move quickly and without much notice.

sellsheet_cover

(Original Book Cover)

On Tuesday, June 16, General Stuart departed with the brigades of Beverly Robertson and Rooney Lee, now under the command of General John Chambliss. Before he left, the general issued a congratulatory order to his remaining troopers, which was read to the men during roll call.

“With an abiding faith in the God of battles, and a firm reliance on the saber, your successes will continue. Let the example and heroism of our lamented fallen comrades prompt us to renewed vigilance and inspire us with devotion to duty.”

The cavalrymen were informed that they was to serve as a counter-reconnaissance screen, thereby preventing Pleasanton’s Union cavalry from discovering General Lee’s objective, which was to cross over into Pennsylvania. Within a few days, General Hampton’s brigade, after being told to prepare three days rations, broke camp and departed north.

The day was extremely hot and humid, but the men did their best to distract themselves from their discomfort. While they rode, the Georgians sang at the top of their lungs.

 

“Sittin’ by the roadside on a summer day,

Chattin’ with my messmates, passin’ time away,

Lyin’ in the shadows underneath the trees,

Goodness, how delicious, eatin’ goober peas!

 

“I wish this war was over, when, free from rags and fleas,

We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts and gobble goober peas.

Peas! Peas! Peas! Eatin’ goober peas!

Goodness, how delicious, eatin’ goober peas!”

 

The Georgians sang with such exaggerated conviction that David couldn’t help but chuckle. Once he’d learned the lyrics, he happily joined in, and boisterously sang along, too.

Later on in the day, the horsemen learned that General Stuart and his brigades had engaged in a battle near the small towns ofAldie and Middleburg. Heros Von Borcke, Stuart’s Prussian aide-de-camp, had been seriously wounded, and was expected to be incapacitated for quite some time. Upon hearing the news, David became greatly disappointed, since he had been looking forward to the day when he could race the colonel. Now he wondered if the opportunity would ever present itself.

The troopers continued their quest. Encountering a pontoon bridge that the Confederate cavalry ahead of them had constructed, David and his comrades crossed the Chickahominy River. That evening, a skirmish broke out between Hampton’s brigade and a Union regiment, but fighting ended when a rainstorm rolled in, covering the countryside with complete darkness as it burst open in a thunderous downpour. The Rebels were driven into the woods, where they were forced to spend the night wet, cold, and miserable.

Rain fell incessantly throughout the night and into the morning, drenching the men to the core. It was replaced by sweltering heat and humidity that afternoon. As night fell, a hailstorm erupted, pummeling the horsemen with stones the size of hens’ eggs. Unable to set their tents up in time, some of the men pulled heavy overcoats over their heads, which provided their only shelter. With only prepared rations to eat, they shivered in the chilly rain while they waited for morning to finally arrive. When it did, the overcast sky constantly released drizzle. The cavaliers mounted up and continued their march, reaching General Stuart’s brigades later that afternoon. No fighting had taken place this Saturday, May 20, due to the inclement weather, so they rested and cared for their horses, seeking cover in the woods behind a stone parapet. The cavalry was now over five thousand strong. Officers instructed the troopers not to release any information about their mission if they were captured.

Post Navigation