J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Civil War”

Strange and Interesting Facts About the Civil War

Stonewall

Did you know that in the Civil War, General Stonewall Jackson walked around with his right hand in the air to balance the blood in his body? Because he was right-handed, he thought that his right hand was getting more blood than his left, and so by raising his hand, he’d allow the excess blood to run into his left hand. He also never ate food that tasted good, because he assumed that anything that tasted good was completely unhealthy. 

During the Civil War, glasses with colored lenses were used to treat disorders and illnesses. Yellow-trimmed glasses were used to treat syphilis, blue for insanity, and pink for depression. Thus we get the term, to see the world through rose-colored glasses. 

Centuries before and decades after the Civil War, including the war itself, doorways were wide, not because of the width of women’s skirts, but so coffins could be passed through, with a pallbearer on either side. 

funeral

Did you know that the average American in the 1860’s could not afford to paint his house, and a painted house was a sign of affluence? In order to keep up appearances, they used cedar clapboards. 

Did you know that when a woman mourned for her husband in the 1860’s, she spent a minimum of two-and-a-half years in mourning? That meant little or no social activities: no parties, no outings, no visitors, and a wardrobe that consisted of nothing but black. (Shame on Scarlet O’Hara) The husband, when mourning for his wife, however, spent three months in a black suit. 

Surgeons never washed their hands after an operation, because all of the blood was assumed to be the same. 

Did you know that during the Victorian era, the dead were either laid out in their parlors, or, as the Southerners preferred, in their bedrooms? There was no such thing as a funeral home; death was a part of life, and the dead remained in the house up until they were buried. The tradition of flowers around the coffin comes from the Victorians trying to hide the scent of the deceased. Did you know that when a child died, parents would have a photograph taken of the child? They wanted to preserve the memory for as long as possible. A lot of photographs taken of sleeping children are actually of deceased sons or daughters. 

After the Battle of Gettysburg, the discarded rifles were collected and sent to Washington to be inspected and reissued. Of the 37,574 rifles recovered, approximately 24,000 were still loaded; 6,000 had one round in the barrel; 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel; 6,000 had three to ten rounds in the barrel. One rifle, the most remarkable of all, had been stuffed to the top with twenty-three rounds in the barrel. 

Gettysburg

Did you know that President Lincoln had a mild form smallpox (varioloid) while he gave the Gettysburg Address. On the train back to Washington he quipped, “Now I have something that I can give everybody.” 

Did you know that President Lincoln’s favorite tune was “Dixie”? 

The Civil War was also known as The Brothers’ War, the War for the Union and the War of the Rebellion. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, had twenty-nine horses shot from beneath him during the war years. 

Forrest

Lastly, this is my favorite. I laughed for a while about this. One of the most popular questions park rangers get when giving tours around Civil War battlefields is: “Did the soldiers have to fight around all of these monuments?” They could only smile and say yes: They knew exactly were to die.

Article courtesy of the “Bowling Banner,” Pvt. Wallace Bowling Camp # 1400, Sons Of Confederate Veterans, Post office Box 2355, La Plata, MD 20646

New Cover Reveal for A Beckoning Hellfire

A Beckoning Hellfire Book Cover

It came to my attention that the book cover wasn’t attached to my blog post yesterday, so I’m re-sending it out. Please let me know what you think! Thanks so much for all your support.

 

New Cover Reveal!

I’d like to officially announce that my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, has a new cover! This is in conjunction with my acquiring a new publisher.

It has been so much fun to reinvent my book and to breathe new life into it! A Beckoning Hellfire has been re-edited and improved. This book has received several awards and has earned many five-star reviews. It is the second book in the Renegade Series (the first is A Beautiful Glittering Lie). Stay tuned, because the third book in the series, A Rebel Among Us, will soon come out with a new cover as well.

Thanks so much for your continued support and interest in my books. I’m always fishing for reviews, so if you are interested, please let me know and I will send you a PDF!

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.

flag

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.

Lee

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.
flag

Is It Really Worth It?

Here is yet one more example of what I deem to be another ridiculous endeavor to get rid of anything related to our past history, especially as it relates to the Civil War and the Confederacy. My question is why? Seriously. Why?
Blvd
We are not for sure if this is simply a misguided attempt to maintain the “moon landing” hoax, an attack on our heritage, or both. The City Council of Hampton City, Virginia has scheduled a vote to rename Magruder Boulevard, named for Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder, to Neil Armstrong Parkway.
The only points of objection seem to be cost and time.
Changes to directional signage would take at least two years and would require three sign changes along Interstate 64 and about 25 city street signs, ground mounted and overhead signs.
The new city signs would run $150,000. On I-64, the Virginia Department of Transportation would design and install new markers that will cost Hampton at least another $40,000 to $60,000.
VDOT would need to close off sections of the interstate lanes at night, a process that could take 120 days.
As many as 11 businesses have addresses along Magruder. The city offered a proposed cost estimate for those businesses would be roughly $7,500 ― for changes to letterhead, websites, identification signs and other administrative items.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Feb. 29, 2020 ed.)

You’ve Just Crossed Over Into the Twilight Zone

eyeball

Stranger things have happened. Coincidences, whether we admit it or not, are common occurrence, as are daja vu, although when they happen, we sometimes disregard them. I love watching old movies and late night TV. While watching an episode of the Twilight Zone the other night, I discovered something surprising.

It seems that one of the soldiers who was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn was named David Summers. I found this freaky, since this is the name I chose for the antagonist in my Renegade series. Upon further research, I discovered that Mr. Summers of the 7th US Cavalry was from Missouri, but my main character is from Alabama. Phew!

DS

Another weird coincidence happened to me while writing A Beckoning Hellfire (soon to be re-released). I chose a character’s name, William Williams, and learned that my character and a real person had the same name, and fought for the same cause with the same Confederate cavalry unit. Strange but true!

I love researching history, because I frequently discover strange things like these. It’s fun and fascinating. Now I have a new challenge: how to incorporate my newly-acquired knowledge about David Summers into my next novel.

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6086017/david-summers

They Ended Up in the Strangest Places

I found this article very interesting, so I wanted to share. It amazes me how people who lived during the American Civil War interacted, and what became of them after the war ended. This example discusses the life of one man who supported the Confederate cause.

Grave

CHARLES KUHN PRIOLEAU

The grave of a man who bankrolled the Confederate side in the American Civil War, and ended up costing the British government £3.3m in compensation to the victorious north, has been tracked down in a patch of brambles in a London cemetery. Charles Kuhn Prioleau, a cotton merchant born in Charleston, South Carolina, was based in Liverpool during the war, from 1861 to 1865. He disappeared from history in a bonfire of company records and correspondence after his firm went bankrupt, having sent supplies, funds, and blockade-busting ships to the Confederates. But his mortal remains have now been traced to Kensal Green cemetery by a US academic who is gradually unearthing the almost forgotten story of Confederate support in England, which takes in the highest ranks of British politics and society.

Tom Sebrell, a history lecturer at University College London, led a small gang of students into the undergrowth armed with pruning shears and cemetery burial records supplied by the Friends of Kensal Green. They literally fell over Prioleau’s broken headstone. His war efforts began as an attempt to save his business when the cotton trade crucial to the economy both of the southern states of America and the Lancashire mill owners collapsed. Prioleau’s contribution to the Confederate cause grew to sending supplies, weapons, and ammunition to those states, and finally to buying, equipping and crewing warships. Through agents, he acquired three of the most notorious privateers of the Civil War: the CSS Alabama and the CSS Florida, built on Merseyside, and the CSS Shenandoah, built on Tyneside. The first ship in particular, with a mainly English crew, caused such havoc that the £3.3m the British eventually paid the US government was known as “the Alabama claim.”

After the war, Sebrell says Prioleau simply vanished. His company, Fraser, Trenholm and Co., went bankrupt, almost certainly to pre-empt compensation claims. He has descendants in England, Africa and the US, but none knew where he was buried. One branch thought Belgium, another somewhere called Kelsall. The latter name led Sebrell and his team to Kensal Green. Prioleau was buried there in 1887 among grand neighbors including: the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel; Lady Byron, the poet’s wife; the novelist Anthony Trollope; and WH Smith of newsagents fame. But while some of their monuments are mini-cathedrals in grandeur, Prioleau’s, beside the Liverpool in-laws who moved to London with him, is comparatively modest. It certainly fails to match the millionaire style of his surviving home in Liverpool, now owned by the university. Also traced by Sebrell, the house features portraits of Prioleau and his wife, Mary, as well as elaborate Confederate decoration in all the main rooms.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/aug/10/grave-of-confederate-backer-found

(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)

 

COVER REVEAL!

As promised, I would like to reveal the new book cover for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. I’m so excited to share this with you! Please let me know what you think.

W1310_J.D.R. Hawkins.indd

This book has gone through quite a few transformations in the past few years. It was originally published by iUniverse, an “assisted” self-publishing company. Then it was published by a hybrid publisher. Now it is being published by Westwood Books Publishing, a new publishing company out of Florida. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Westwood Books Publishing family!

This book has received numerous five-star reviews, and is the recipient of the prestigious John Esten Cooke Fiction Award, as well as the B.R.A.G. Medallion. It also received special honors at the L.A. Book Festival.

I’d love to hear your feedback, so please, let me know what you think!

https://www.westwoodbookspublishing.com/books/a-beautiful-glittering-lie-a-novel-of-the-civil-war/

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-Novel-Civil/dp/1643619942/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+beautiful+glittering+le&qid=1581448921&sr=8-1

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.)

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