Archive for the ‘history’ Category

The Uniforms Arrived!

September 25, 2013


This morning the UPS man pulled up with boxes for Kevin and James. They have arrived a day early!

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And, what better thing to do when the uniforms arrive than to make hard tack?

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When I saw the boys in uniform, it gave me just  little glimpse of what those mothers in the 1860s must have felt.   I have read accounts, but seeing them in uniform, even if just to reenact, stirs up the emotions.  How did they get this big?  So young, yet so much more grown up than the last time I looked.  Would they ever see their sons again?  Hear from them?  Communication was nowhere near what it is today.  I am all too grateful that they are not going off to march in battle, but going to help people learn history.

We’re suppose to be going to a skirmish on Friday, living history on Saturday, and a marker dedication on Sunday after Mass.  Busy, busy!  Now, if only I could spend the next 2 days sewing, I might be able to get something done for the girls. If you have sky blue, gray, or butternut wool that you’re not using, please pass  it on so we can get John outfitted!  Thanks for reading!


Forrest Homecoming 2013

September 20, 2013

One of the interesting things we found out about at Elm Springs was the homecoming at the Nathan Bedford Forrest boyhood home.

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Being members of the Children of the Confederacy, we volunteered. The three older boys and MaryEllen went to work. We help set up a bit. The kids manned the place where drinks and snacks were being sold, yet the still managed to get around, learn, and have fun. (As a matter of fact, during the end of the school year interview, this event was listed as a favorite field trip.) I did what I could, helping to keep the bathrooms tidy and supplied. On this day we also met (finally) the group that we will be reenacting with!!! (Also, a note about Nathan Bedford Forrest… if you think he started the KKK, you need to learn your history! N.B. Forrest was a hero who risked his life and wealth fighting for what he believed was right. And I am not taking about slavery here! Please, I beg you, go to original sources and find out the truth for yourself!!! OK, end of rant!)

There were speakers, musicians, games, vendors, and demonstrations to keep visitors busy all day, and the weather was lovely!

forest homecoming 2013 023 John and James (“the Army guy”) helping to set up”

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forest homecoming 2013 026 On the back porch where drinks and snacks were sold

forest homecoming 2013 027 cannon demonstrations

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forest homecoming 2013 053 forest homecoming 2013 054 forest homecoming 2013 056 Talks and demonstrations on fashion of the time period a Confederate Women, featuring Emma Samsom

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forest homecoming 2013 058Vincent with a Nathan Bedford Forrest reenactor

forest homecoming 2013 063 MaryEllen in a hat that she just loved

In the museum room of the house…

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After the homecoming…

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A Dream Come True

September 18, 2013

While living in the Shenandoah Valley we had no shortage of battle fields to visit. We would spend days on end at Manassas, New Market, and others learning about that time period in history. There were many re-enactments and living history events to attend and we all wanted to be re-enactors. Then we moved to Tennessee. Virginia claims the record number of War Between the States battles. While Tennessee is second in line, there are not nearly as many events to attend, at least that we found out about. We searched and searched. Finally on a visit to Elm Springs, the headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, we got connected. There is a local group who does a lot of living history.

Today Kevin and James took some of their money they have been saving for years and ordered uniform pieces. We did a lot of measuring and research. The boys are ordering from Crescent City Sutlers. Today they both learned about money orders and the difference between them and checks. They learned about making decisions (blue or gray, etc) and filling in order forms. We learned that Kevin grew just under a half of inch since July and James grew a little more than a half of inch since then.

I’ll be trying to sew something up for the girls. I don’t know what we’ll do about John yet. We’ll figure out something. It should be really fun and the group that we are with are very family oriented which is just perfect for us. Look for some up coming pictures.

August 9, 2013

I’m trying to catch up here once again. One day in May for a little Children of the Confederacy outing, we went to Fayetteville, Tennessee to visit the courthouse. There is a confederate monument there. We also discovered a smaller monument that used to be a fountain erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. That fountain monument is dedicated to the Confederate woman who stayed back home and worked so hard to hold everything together. There is also an interesting story about some women holding a dinner party for the Federal men who were hunting some local Confederate boys. They held the dinner so the local boys could grab some horses and escape. The plan worked.

On the day we went, beautiful roses were in bloom by a bench at another location on the town square. We were able to get some pretty good pictures of the children that day. Enjoy!

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The Mager Book

April 3, 2013

Genealogy is a hobby that has always fascinated me. Before I was married, living at home with my parents and siblings, I used to love to look at the typed booklets that were made by my Aunt Babe that had my Dad’s side things. I was able to take one side of that family back one more generation. Someday I hope to find out more.7 mager book

On my Mom’s side there was talk of some book, “The Mager Book” that had the history of her Mom’s side of the family. When I got a bit older, my cousin Kelly was kind enough to make some copies of the relevant parts of the book for our family and translate some of it into English for me. The book is written in German. The original was published in 1935.5 mager book(My great grandparents, my grandmother and my great-aunts and uncles.)

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My Mother’s cousin Terese Schirmer Piccoli and her son, Martin, translated the 1935 version and the updated 1972 version into English. When my Aunt Gert passed away, her original 1935 book was given to me. It is filled with wonderful pictures and the charts of people, while the English translation is just the text of the book with no pictures and no charts with the names.

3 mager book(From the English translation 2006)

2 mager book(Inside the 1935 version)

6 mager book(I opened this page randomly, photographed it, and then read it.  On the bottom my aunts and uncles are listed, but not my Mom.  I guess she didn’t make it into that version.)

Today in the mail arrived the updated book! It was updated for 2013 by Friedrich Mager. He was kind enough to send us a copy because our Genevieve is the youngest Mager in the book! This updated book is a bunch of name charts, and written in German, but we found ourselves right away.

1 mager book (The updated book that arrived today.)

Perhaps someday I’ll be blessed enough to own a 1972 edition.  That was the year I was born.

A special thanks to cousin Kelly for letting us know about this and sending Friedrich our information. (I was a little busy having a baby when the request for our information came out.) Also, thank you so much, Friedrich, for mailing us a copy and for you well wishes.

Kansas Memorial Marker

August 31, 2012

On July 7, the children and I awoke bright and early to drive to Tullahoma, Tennessee to attend a Marker Dedication.  There is a nice Confederate Cemetery there that we found last year.  Just by chance, we found out about the Memorial Marker Dedication.  There are a few Confederates from Arkansas that are buried there and previously there was no marker from that state.  The good ladies from the United Daughters of the Confederacy from Arkansas found out about it and rectified that situation.  It was a lovely service and they had a few good speakers.  The event was held earlier in the morning due to the heat and they seated the crowd in the shade, which was very nice.  My children represented the Belle Boyd Chapter of the Children of the Confederacy.  The photographer that day was James.

The first photo shows how Vincent entertained himself before the service began.  He enjoyed hitting Veronica with his fan.

The Ladies from Kansas United Daughters of the Confederacy unveiling the marker:


After the service the children had their picture taken with Pam Trammel, former general director of the Children of the Confederacy:

Other May 2009 Events

May 31, 2009

Well, perhaps not events, but happenings. 

Falls Mill, TN

One day we took a field trip with our homeschool group to Falls Mill, Tennessee.  It was a lovely place to visit and we would really like to go back there again to learn a little more.  They still run the old mill with a big wharf wheel.  (Is that what they are called?) 

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Memorial Day

John and Kevin were in their first parade.  They were the flag holders for their boy scout troop.

memorial day 09 1 Waiting for the parade to begin.  It was raining lightly, but that soon stopped. 

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During the parade, our friends, the Jones Family, found us and sat with us.  Then they invited us over to their house.  That is always a treat.  When we left there we went to go see the Gabbetts.  It turned out to be a really nice day.

Arnold Air Force Base

June 6, 2007

On Sunday we took a drive to Arnold Air Force Base. Never have we been anywhere near an Air Force base and not stopped. Must be that retired Air Force in Joe that he just cannot pass one. Well, we found out that the history is much more exciting than anything else there. The base is a closed base, only military who work there are allowed in, except for the base stores, which are just inside the gate. They also do offer a FamCamp and other recreational facilities, but nothing that really thrilled us.

As you drive on the base through the public access road, you see all these concrete foundations that looks as if buildings had been there. You also see many roads that have been blocked off and not used in a while. Joe wondered if it was a thriving community at one time. Well, as we found out, it was during WWII. Back then it was Camp Forrest, named for the famous Confederate Calvary leader of Tennessee, Nathanial Bedford Forrest. This camp held detainees at the beginning of the war, but were then replaced with German POWs. I found this wonderful Tennessee history site that told the tale. There is also a lot of information at this site. Don’t you just love it when a drive turns into a fun educational adventure?

UPDATE: Since a comment was just posted and I’ve seen the website, perhaps it is a bit more exciting that originally posted. If we can take a tour, I’m sure there will be a nice post about it! (Yeah, more educational fun stuff!)

Also, since we’re talking military, don’t forget to check out and send a soldier a care package.