Archive for the ‘Military’ 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!


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.

Memorial Day Weekend 2013 at Shiloh

August 9, 2013

We missed being at Shiloh for the Anniversary weekend for the first time since we moved to Tennessee. They weren’t doing living history that weekend like they usually do anyway. When I looked and saw what they were doing for Memorial Day Weekend, I thought it might be an excellent opportunity to go. So, we did! We were not disapponted. They were having military demonstrations from all time periods in the U.S. History, from Revolutionary War to the present day. As as matter of fact, the gun demonstration was probably the best program we have ever been to at a National Park. The soldiers representing each time period came out and talked about their wars (or conflicts.) Then they loaded and shot their weapons. At the end, all loaded and fired. The newer soldiers were finished before the older ones were even loaded. They had a wonderful display of military things, a lot of which the children could touch. They had very knowledgable people there for the visitors to speak to as well.

One of our goals that day was to visit all of the Confederate burial pits (that’s right, pits. The Federal soldiers remains we dug up and properly buried in the National Cemetaries and the Confederates were left in pits…and you wonder why the Southerners still hold grudges!) We had flowers to decorate the pits, honored those brave fallen soldiers and prayed for the repose of their souls. As a side note, we were a bit disturbed to find all the U.S. flags all over the pits. That was not the flag that those brave men died for. It is a pity that our country’s history is being erased due to political correctness. It is also a disgrace.

Please enjoy the pictures.


shiloh may 2013 036MaryEllen “driving” an Army vehicle

shiloh may 2013 038 Some of the demonstrations

shiloh may 2013 039It was a beautiful Day

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shiloh may 2013 052 Confederate Burial pit.

shiloh may 2013 053 One of the Confederate burial pits.

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shiloh may 2013 068 Replica of Shiloh Church

shiloh may 2013 073 What’s everyone looking at in the cannon?

shiloh may 2013 074 A bird’s nest

shiloh may 2013 077One of the Confederate burial pits.  Not a Confederate flag to be found.  So sad.


shiloh may 2013 081 The Confederate Monument

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shiloh may 2013 045All the soldiers at the firing demonstration.

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:

Catholic Care Packages

September 13, 2011

Welcome to our bedroom!

 The children are waiting in “line” to start packaging.

Today we took the time to put together several Catholic Care Packages.  We have been doing this about 8 years now.  The organization used to be, but now is Mission Capodanno (same organization, new name, greater outreach).  Soldiers or people close to them request the a package be sent.  Over the years, we have received several notes of thanks.  We understand how tight things are for everyone right now, but if you can spare a little donation, it is a very worthy cause.  Our U.S. Military, both soldiers and families of soldiers sacrifice so much for all of us!

While filling these care packages, the children were questioning me about how long we’ve been doing this and who is in charge, etc.  One child asked if I told anyone who helped me fill these packages.   When they were told that I was going to post these pictures today, one child (no names, but the third boy) suggested that kisses be requested for their service!  What do you think?  ; )  What was also mentioned was thanks to Mom for volunteering because, “we love doing this.”

We are so grateful for this opportunity to give back to the soldiers just a little bit.

There was a post about this years ago and you can find it here.  As you might notice, the children have grown just a little since then.

Please join us in praying for our military and their families.

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.