Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Talk at Beauvoir, 10-15-16

Well, my enjoyment of a flawless presentation experience appears to have been relegated to a singular event.  Unlike at the Pascagoula Public Library, the haints possessed my equipment once again for my talk at the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library located on the grounds of Beauvoir.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Talk at the Pascagoula Public Library-10/4/16

Here's a bit of trivia.  Ninty-five percent of Pascagoula was under water after Katrina.  Almost all of my friends and family who live there lost everything.  I'm very glad to say that they have all rebuilt and doing extremely well today.

Another bit of trivia.  Pascagoula was also the location where a squirrel went berserk per the Ray Stevens song.

Well, I can't believe it finally happened.  I can honestly report that nothing crazy happened at my presentation last night at the Pascagoula Public Library.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Talk at the Manship House, 9/24/16

My talks are always an adventure.  Whether it's challenges that arise in getting to the site or dealing with haunted equipment, you can pretty much bank on something crazy happening. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rising Tides and Fallen Heroines at Alton

What was to become the military prison at Alton, Illinois began as a state penitentiary in 1833.  However, Dorthea Dix declared the facility unfit to house inmates due to its dirt floors and unsanitary conditions.  It closed in 1860, and the prisoners were then transferred to a new facility located in Joliet outside Chicago. It reopened two years later as a military prison with the first Confederate prisoners arriving by steamer from the overcrowded Gratiot Street Military Prison in St. Louis, a little over 20 miles south of Alton.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Women Civil War Soldiers: Digging up the Evidence

Fellow blogger, Ann Marie Ackermann, recently asked me to compose a guest post for her.  Since her writings center around historical true crime, I thought I'd write about the detective work behind researching women soldiers. 

Click (HERE) for the post.  

Please check out other content on her blog.  She's got some interesting information! 

I am eagerly awaiting the release of her book, Death of an Assassin:  The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee to be released in 2017!  Sounds fascinating!  You can read a little more about her project by clicking (HERE).  You can also sign up to receive updates.

Until next

Friday, July 15, 2016


 No, not the explorer.

Dora of the Cumberland; although, she did some exploring  as a Union spy, sometimes in male clothing, sometimes in female garb.  Her prowess led some to compare her to Pauline Cushman.  And, like Cushman, Dora was born a Southerner.  While the former woman was born in New Orleans, the latter was born in Tennessee, east Tennessee to be precise. And, like many in that area, harbored Union sympathies.   

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My Indiana Talks, 6/13 and 6/14/16

Everything was going as planned.  I got home from church, ate a quick sandwich, loaded everything in the car, and headed west to the train station.  I left the same time I always leave, which means I would arrive the same time I always arrive, typically 30-45 minutes prior to boarding.  And then came the congestion on I-12.  Traffic is always heavy in places on the interstate, but I had never just come to a complete stop before.  And it happened in two different areas....both due to wrecks.  One involved five vehicles.

"Brave as a Lion"-Alfred J. Luther....Or Someone Else?

On April 6th, 1863, while stationed at Lake Providence, Louisiana with the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery, Fred L. Haywood wrote to his sister, Loesa, .

"One of the members of the 1st Kansas Reg't died in the Hospital yesterday after a very short illness.  After death the somewhat startling discovery was made by those preparing the body for burial, that their companion, beside whom they had marched and fought for nearly two years was a woman.  You can imagine their astonishment.  The Reg't is camped near us and I went to the Hospital and saw her.  She was of pretty good size for a woman with rather masculine features.  She must have been very shrewd to keep her secret for so long when she was surrounded by several hundred men.  The 1st Kansas was one of the first Regiments that entered the service two years ago.  This girl enlisted when they went to Missouri, so they knew nothing of her early history.  She doubtless served under an assumed name.  Poor girl!  Who knows what trouble, grief, or persecution drove her to embrace the hardships of a soldier's life.  She had always sustained an excellent reputation in the Regiment.  She was brave as a Lion in battle and never flinched from the severest fatigues or the hardest duties.  She had been in more than a dozen battles and skirmishes.  She was a Sergeant when she died.  The men in the company all speak of her in terms of respect and affection  She would have been promoted to a Lieutenancy in a few days if she had lived."

Friday, May 27, 2016

Remembering the Forgotten on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.   We pay homage to all of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice throughout our history.  As you visit their final resting places, you may be surprised to learn that the grave you are gazing upon is that of a Civil War woman soldier.  Many of them took their secrets to their graves.  Because these women were forbidden to serve, they had to remain hidden within the ranks as disguised men.  And because they were hidden, they've largely been forgotten, along with their sacrifices.  These women are resting right next to their male counterparts with whom they stood shoulder to shoulder upon the bloody battlefields of the Civil War.

So this weekend, honor them, so that they will not be forgotten.

I have added a tab at the top of my blog that lists the cemeteries where these women warriors lie.  I've just started with National Cemeteries and will add more later.  It is a work in progress.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Oxford, MS Talk-5/21/16

I met Ms. Reba Greer in April 2015, when I spoke at the Delta Kappa Gamma state convention in Olive Branch, Mississippi.  After that, she worked tirelessly to set up something where I could come speak in Oxford where she lives and volunteers.  I wish I had as much energy as she has!  So after locating a venue at the Burns-Belfrey Museum and Multicultural Center, the group of sponsors, which included the Oxford Newcomers Club, Cedar Oaks Guild, and the Oxford-Lafayette County Retiree Attraction Program, set out to promote my presentation.  And they did a fabulous job!  They advertised by newspaper, social media, radio, and this very nice poster!