November 22, 2008

How the South Won the Civil War


The post with these photos is not telling any sort of story... just mental drool today, sorry. However... I thought I would share the pictures to give me something fun to do on vacation. Everyone seems to have instantly turned in to a vegetable. I can't stand the sound of snoring or Star Wars video games... so I opted to hear my fingers click on the keyboard instead. I thought I was going to enjoy ten days of mindless vegetation this Thanksgiving holiday, but I find myself wishing I was back at home on our regular routine instead. Isn't that crazy? Last week I was wishing I could be relaxing at Pop's house. This week I'm wishing I was home with the cat, the laundry pile, and our familiar busy-ness. That proves that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence - no?


Another thing I wasn't counting on this vacation was my mood. Not sure if it is the pregnancy hormones or the tail end of this nasty cold getting to me, but I'm just a big ball of emotions lately. I feel like everyone is ignoring me, I'm ultra sensitive to the slightest glance or word, and I erupt into puddles over silly stuff. Now is not a great time for a chick-flick, that's for SURE. Still, I'd rather be this way than as sick as I was yesterday! I'm sure I've confused my poor husband... but he'll get over it. Men tend to bounce back. The past 16 years have probably done well to desensitize him to my mood-swinging tendencies while pregnant or sick. Or whenever else I feel like it.


Instead of whining like a martyr, I figured I'd do something beneficial and share my favorite pictures from yesterday's Civil War reenactment that we went to. I was bummed beyond belief when I got home and discovered that my worst fears had come true... I was right about the angle and the sunlight - and only about 20 shots out of 200 are worth honorable mention. I was mad about the way the visitor viewing area was set up, but I should have used my criminal mind to sneak off into the bushes and get photos from the woods on the other side of the field. After all, that is just what the pro photographer with the EOS professional and lens hood did (I'm still daydreaming about his camera and photo gear).


Being the one with the camera glued to your cheek at field trips really limits how much 'fun' you can have with the family... but the photos are such a delight... and taking them is as much enjoyment as the field trip itself. My brood have resigned themselves to being patient as mom disappears in the crowd to snap a shot of some obscure object. The kids have learned to stay with Daddy. Yesterday was no different. I'm not sure they would have missed me much if I had slipped away behind the cavalry and wound up on the other side of the battle.


As for the title of this post... the reenactment was in Texas, and we southerners like to even the playing field. Who knows, maybe there's still a tad of resentment over reconstruction and the end result of the Civil War, ya thunk? Either way, we had a large crowd of Yankees and Rebels alike watching from the sidelines. I wanted to take a poll, but political correctness got the better of me. Helped to know that my husband would have smacked me, too. He's Mr. Polite. Everyone seemed to get along just fine as they gulped down fresh lemonade and grazed on funnel cakes with enough powdered sugar to send kids into diabetic shock. Highlights of the day were few (my nasty cold made the event hardly bearable - raw red noses and congestion do not mix well with smoke, horse dander, dust, or pollen). The two things I enjoyed the most were singing along with "The Bonny Blue Flag" and getting to see the South win Friday's skirmish. It gave a little thrill to see their hands go up in surrender. Made me wonder if the tables had turned... how many of us would be eating cheese grits for breakfast? Funny, as a Texan, I do love the South... but I've traded my grits for breakfast tacos. Blame it on our Mexican heritage and neighbors (many of which live here as Mexican Nationals). There's nothing like pico de gallo and eggs to keep you going until lunch.

When in Texas, do as the Texans do. Then learn some Spanish cuz you'll need it... if for nothing else, you'll be able to figure out the TexMex menu better.


I really like the civil war era in history - it is such a rich reading topic. With family on both sides, I wish I could have read all the letters that they saved before they ended up burning in Uncle Ned's log cabin up North. I like getting the history from the people of the time... letters, stories, biographies, living history, etc. Just listening to people who put on these living history displays is a treat. Two of my favorite movies about the era are Gods and Generals and Cold Mountain. History flicks are normally what I'll rent if given a choice. If you have a good Civil War book to suggest, I'd love to hear about it. Leave it in my comment section.


Thanks for reading my decongestant-and-sinus-pressure induced drivel. Hope you enjoyed your Texas-style photo tour of the alternative ending for the Civil War. In honor of our triumph, I'll be expecting you to add the word ya'll to your vocabulary if you live North of the Mason-Dixon line. It does wonders for time management. And really, the grits won't kill you. Although... if you aren't used to spicy foods - you'd do well to avoid the pico or at least work yourself up to it real slow-like. It helps to have a glass of milk handy.


Adios, amigos.

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Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't want to shamelessly self promote, but I am from Gettysburg, Pa. and was attracted to your site by your reenactment photos and your heritage - with relatives on both sides of the War Between the States. I just love hearing stuff like that! Anyway, I am the author of Shades of Gray, which is a novel that really gets into the reasons why both sides fought - entertaining and educational, I hope. You can see it on Amazon (search by author is easiest). If you want my web address you can email me:

Sprittibee said...

Hi Jessica! ;) Love your name. I'll refrain from calling you a Yankee if you send me a book to review. ;) Your book sounds delightful! I sent you an email.

Sherry said...

Killer Angels and Gods and Generals, of course, but I'm asuming you've already read those since you like the movie so much. I really like Gettysbury (the movie) better because Pickett's charge always seems so poignantly tragic. (Not a movie for hormonal times either. It makes me cry when when I'm "normal".)

Anyway, other civil war books:

Ann Rinaldi's Mine Eyes Have Seen is about abolitionist John Brown, and she's also written several other YA novels with a Civil War setting. She's one of my favorite authors of YA historical fiction. Patricia Beatty is another favorite who wrote a couple of titles about a girl named Hannalee.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I won't call Jessica a Yankee either if she sends you her interesting sounding book to review.

Good chatting with you last night!

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Great photos. Praying for you and all your wild hormonal, pregnancy, emotional, medicated stuff! I hope you can enjoy your vacation. And get some rest. And just hang out and relax with your family!

love ya'!

Anonymous said...

A good book for you to read to your kids that helps to see the Civil War from both sides is also called Shades of Gray, but this one is by Carolyn Reeder. My kids aged 10-17 enjoyed it.
And I'm sure you know about Across Five Aprils. That's another good one for Jr. High and above.

Hope you're feeling better!



Mrs said...

As they say in the South, "Muchas Gracias, y'all!"


(Stuck in Florida, which really isn't the South.)

One of my favorite authors is Lynn Austin. She did a Civil War Series and it's great. Candle in the Darkness was one of the trilogy, don't know the others.

Anonymous said...

We are still waiting to see one of these reenactments. Can you believe we've lived in Texas for 7 years and still not been to one?

My husband tried to take the kids one day while I was at work, but they couldn't find it. I'm thinking they were on the wrong road, because this stuff is a big deal here. ;)

Anonymous said...

My kids and I really enjoyed "With Lee in Virginia" by GA Henty.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Hands down, the best, best, best book I can recommend is actually covering a period of time just before the Civil War, but it's must reading in order to make sense of the claims about the causes of the Civil War.
It's called Arguing About Slavery by William Miller. If I had the money, I'd make this one available to every homeschooler I know. It seems impossibly thick, but his writing is so engaging that you won't notice the size of the book once you start. I have my kids read it in the tenth grade. And everybody I have ever convinced to read it who has gotten back to me on it has nothing but good things to say about it. It's an amazingly good read, well documented and sourced, and I guarantee you won't regret reading it.

Yvette said...

Well, as and African-American I am really relieved that one of the "end results" of the civil war was the end of slavery...which included the regular raping of women and young girls, men being beaten within minutes of their lives for not answering "yes, sir" quick enough.



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