Thursday, May 3, 2018

Outrunning Her Discretion at Camp Randall

March is typically when my spring break falls.  And I have no idea why, but it seems that Mark and I tend to go somewhere colder for some reason - like the Midwest where he is.  This year, we visited the great, white tundra of Wisconsin.  With snow still on the ground, we made our way north to the state capital, Madison, the location of Camp Randall.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Introducing My Book: "Behind the Rifle: Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi"

I am pleased to announce that last week the University Press of Mississippi officially notified me that they are going to publish my book, Behind the Rifle:  Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi.  They are anticipating March 2019.  Check back for updates!

In the meantime, you can read more about my book by clicking [HERE].

Until next formation...rest.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Flags of the 95th Illinois Infantry

Civil War soldiers revered their battle flags.  Crafted by ladies from their homeland and presented in patriotic ceremonies, these banners were the lifeblood of the unit and tangible bridges to their loved ones soldiers left behind.  As a result, a soldier developed a fierce loyalty to his (or her) flag and would sacrifice life and limb to protect it as it became an embodiment of hearth and home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

"Ye Female Volunteer"

From the Cleveland Daily Leader, March 6th, 1863, 155 years ago today:


The fact that such an article appeared in the newspapers demonstrates in part the extent that women soldiers appeared in the public's consciousness.

Until next formation....rest.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mardi Gras 155 Years Ago

Mardi Gras is huge here along the Gulf Coast region due to our French Catholic heritage.  It was Mobile and not New Orleans where Mardi Gras began.  And the tradition eventually gravitated west.  As for me, I'm not a Catholic and do not celebrate the holiday.  But my sweet tooth heartily embraces king cakes, and I greatly appreciate the two days off from school.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Manuscript Update!

On Groundhog's Day, I received another year on my age, word that the rodent has declared that this infernal winter will last six more weeks, and positive remarks from the peer reviewers regarding my manuscript on women soldiers!  I announced back in November that I had submitted it to a university press and that they were interested.  Click [HERE]. And now, upon the reviewers' recommendation for publication, the university press has offered me a contract!  Happy birthday to me!!!

What's next?  I have to submit a project description and my response to the reviewers' comments by March 1st along with other tasks.  The editorial board will still have to approve publication, which would be at their meeting in April.   And so I will wait to give more details about my manuscript at that time.

Until next formation...rest.





Monday, January 29, 2018

What's in a Name?

The very first thing we often learn about a person is his or her name. Our name is an intimate part of who we are.   It comprises our identity, and we make connections between our name and identity every day.   As for people long gone who we are researching, it will all we will ever be able to learn about them.  In some cases, we learn enough to develop some sort of perception of their personality.  But it's not the same as actually getting to know them.  So we have to rely on names.  I've been researching women soldiers for over ten years now and have encountered lots of names.   

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Town She Left Behind, Part 2

In my last post, I provided a glimpse of La Moille, Illinois, the town woman soldier Frances Hook left behind when she enlisted as a soldier.  Click [HERE] for the post.  In this article....which is more like part 1.5 instead of part 2....I discuss the means in which she left her small town, bound for Chicago.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Town She Left Behind - Frances Hook's La Moille, Illinois

Mark and I stopped by woman soldier Frances Hook's hometown yesterday.  Located in Bureau County in northern  Illinois, La Moille was settled in the 1830's and named for the Lamoille River Valley in Vermont.  Yes, Lamoille is another spelling.  I have also seen it listed as LaMoille with no space.  As for the pronunciation - well, I discovered I had been saying it "wrong" the whole time.  Down here along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the French Canadian influences can be readily seen and heard in the names of our towns and surnames of the people.  So I naturally wanted to pronounce La Moille like what I was used to.  Nuh uh.  It's la - MOIL, as in the last part rhymes with oil like you put in your vehicle.  And now it's going to be difficult to change the way I say it because I had been pronouncing it a certain way for so long.  Plus, we  Southerners have problems saying "oil."  Just ask us.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Spanish Fort: Two Women Soldiers Experience One of the Last Engagements of the War

In the spring of 1865, the Confederacy was in its final death throes.  Lee was being run into the ground by Grant in the east.  And then in the west, the Federals had turned their attention to capturing Mobile, which was one of the best fortified cities in the Confederacy.  Admiral David Farragut damned the torpedoes and, on August 5th, 1864, made a run past Forts Gaines and Morgan which guarded the the entrance to Mobile Bay.   This is ironic because Farragut spent his childhood on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, about 30 miles from Mobile.  He was born in Tennessee but moved with his family to the Gautier area.  You can pronounce it as either GO-shay or GO-chay.  Both will work.  But some sources say it wasn't Gautier anyway but Pascagoula.  My research points towards Gautier.  There is a Farragut Lake north of Gautier, and there are still descendants of the admiral's in the area.  Matter of fact, I have played tennis with/against one.