Posted in History

Quotes from General Lee and General Grant

In celebration of the anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox earlier this month, I thought we’d take a look at some famous quotes from both generals. You could certainly spend all day reading the various quotes from each man. There was so much that I wanted to share. Words on army life, each other, honor, life, God, country, etc. But I chose to keep it short and sweet. Enjoy!

244Robert E. Lee:

“I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.”

“It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.”

“I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”

“The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”

“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or to keep one.”

“I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it.”


*I picked up these mugs in Virginia three years ago. I love the quotes and the graphics. The front side shows a picture of the general. But what I love most are the signatures. The one on the left is Grant and the right belongs to Lee. 


Ulysses S. Grant:

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”

“My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent.”

“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.”

“Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.”

“I know only two tunes: one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’, and the other isn’t.”

“I don’t know why black skin may not cover a true heart as well as a white one.”

I hope you enjoyed this small sampling of both men. Let me know which quote was your favorite or any that surprised or inspired you. 

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Pictures from Appomattox: Part 5 Stacking of Arms Ceremony

The Stacking of Arms Ceremony. The very reason why I, and hundreds of others, made their way to Appomattox, Virginia. 150 years ago on April 12th, Lee’s army marched between 2 rows of Union soldiers and surrendered their weapons. It was a solemn moment for everyone involved. You can read 2 first-hand accounts of the event that I shared here on my blog.

I was able to see the ceremony twice that weekend. Once in real time. It was a wonderful experience!

The Union Army filing in:







The Confederate Army filing in:








Touching the flag for the last time:




Prepare and Stack:






Surrendering Ammunition:



It is finished:




Walking away:





The End:

















The long awaited homecoming:




I hope you enjoyed the entire Experiencing History series. You can catch up on anything you missed by clicking on the “#ExperHist” tag on the right. 🙂

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Pictures from Appomattox: Part 4 Museums

Today, I’m bringing to you a collection of interesting displays from various museums. I hope you enjoy. And don’t forget you can catch up on the entire series by clicking on the “ExperHist” tag on the right. 🙂

This is one the flags that laid across Lincoln’s coffin during his funeral procession. His procession lasted 2 weeks.



This is the doll nicknamed, “The Silent Witness.” There are several books written about the doll’s experience and you can buy replicas today, but here is the original doll, once owned by Lula McLean. Before Lee and Grant met in their home, Lula accidentally left her favorite rag doll in the room. After the men left the room it was found by one of Grant’s officers and dubbed, “The Silent Witness.”


This is Lee’s copy of the surrender terms penned by Grant himself. What lovely handwriting he has!



Below is a picture of a cracked plate. It may not seem like much, but the story behind it fascinated me. It was once owned by Emily H. Booton. Family legend has it that a detail of Union raiders visited her home looking for food. When a soldier picked up the plate of bread and butter, she snatched the plate away and hit him in the face with the plate. It’s said that the plate cracked and the hit knocked him out cold. Another Union soldier stepped in to protect the woman from the angry soldiers. 😉 I have a feeling a similar story will find its way into the pages of one of my novels someday.


Lady’s glove pattern


Below is a bodice sleeve pattern made from a newspaper page. This was just one of several ways the southern women made due with what they had.


A corn shuck cap


Lol this doll became the joke of the weekend. It’s hard to imagine her ever being a lovely play toy, but she certainly led an interesting life. She was used to smuggle medicine into the South during the war.


In this xray, you can see the hole cut into the doll’s head where they hid the medicine.


This is called the Bullet Rosette. A Union and Confederate bullet met and formed this rosette. It was found on the Spotsylvania battlefield.


Before Valentine cards were commercially made, they were homemade. This beautiful card was made by an unknown Confederate soldier.


And here’s another lovely example of a homemade Valentine. This one was made by a Confederate soldier while in the hospital. I can’t make out everything it says, but it starts off saying, “Valentine BUT by a Confederate soldier in…” The way he included the word “but” leads me to think he might have given it to a nurse, likely a Union nurse. And it doesn’t sound as if he knew her personally. I can’t help but wonder what the story behind this Valentine is…or better yet, what story I might create based on it. 😉
It is very lovely and very well done. You can see that in the close-up pictures below.




Posted in History

Experiencing History: Pictures from Appomattox: Part 3 Soldier Life

Today, I’ll share a collection of photos about the life of a soldier.


Can you imagine, opening  your front door and finding this on your lawn? Everywhere they went, they were on someone’s property. Someone’s field. Someone’s barnyard. Someone’s home.






The men used tents of various shapes and sizes. Basically, whatever was available. Here’s a nice example of a group of men that chose to throw their lot in together and build a palace.



If they were lucky, they had hay. Our friends in the picture above didn’t.





And here we have the kitchen.






We complain about school food, but they had it far worse. Since they didn’t have the food preserving technology that we have now, their rations were often served with maggots. It’s sad but true.


Infantry Drill:








The United States Christian Commission was a vital operation to the soldier. There were several other organizations like this one, but the USCC is the most well known and the most organized during the war. Their purpose was to collect and distribute common items like: food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, and Bibles. Here are a few pictures showing these angels at work.

🙂 In this picture, the men are enjoying a game of cards, but don’t worry, they’re not gambling! And yes, I did ask. 😉







Artillery Demo:






Cavalry Demo:




One of the most important people to any regiment was their flag bearer.






But not all their fighting was done on horseback.


Last but not least. Another important member of the army was the band. No army was complete without one. These men helped give orders, wake up calls, and boosted morale.



Posted in History

Experiencing History: Pictures from Appomattox: Part 2 Personal Collection

Today’s blog post is a miscellaneous set of pictures from the weekend. You’ll find a few selfies, breathtaking scenery, and historic buildings. Enjoy!

First,  those lovely mountain shots….





The hills were just as lovely as the mountains. 🙂


I took some wonderful pictures of American flags at Civil War graves a couple summers ago, so I was thrilled to add these to my collection. 🙂



Historic Buildings:

I snapped this picture at a red light in Richmond.


The next 3 photos were taken inside a summer kitchen




The next 4 are from the inside of 2 different slave quarters.





A general store:






The next 3 pictures are of the Courthouse.




The next 2 pictures are of the McLean home. This is the home where Lee and Grant met, and where Lee actually surrendered. I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside the home, but I can tell you that it was MUCH smaller than it looks in the pictures.

There were so many people around the house at all times. Tons of yellow rope and things that ruin pictures. Lol I did the best I could.


You can’t see much of the house here, but I love the view of the brick home from behind the pink-blooming tree.


I forget which building they used to print the paroles, but here are a few pics from the inside. Each man in the Confederate army needed a parole certificate. They hung ropes across the room and draped the paper across until the ink dried.




I found this music box in a gift shop in Richmond. If you’ve read Where Can I Flee, you’ll remember that Frank sent Claire a small music box for her birthday. This was also the same day she walked past the Haynes mansion and saw…someone she’ll never forget. 😉 But what a pretty little box!



I also took time to try to blend in 🙂


Here’s a picture of me with my two traveling buddies. The one up front is my aunt Mary and the other is our friend, Sandra.


But not everything was fun and games. I brought my work with me and took the time to keep track of the giveaway I was running that week. Here’s my desk away from home.


You can click on the “#ExperHist” tag on your right to catch up on the Civil War blog series that I ran earlier this month and the previous photo albums. 🙂

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Pictures from Appomattox: Part 1 Reenactors

I love attending living history events, but the hardest thing about these events are the civilians. Lol I know, I know, I’m one of them, but hear me out. It takes a great deal of patience to wait for the perfect moment, the perfect angle, to shoot the perfect picture withOUT any civilians in the background. I was pretty fortunate to have walked away from an event this large and actually have some really terrific shots without civilians and/or modern junk in the background. So as you scroll through these pictures, please excuse anything that slipped in that doesn’t belong, and when you find those pics that are without modern influence, be amazed. 😉 I know I was!

This whole post will be dedicated to the those beautiful shots with the reenactors. They really do a wonderful job bringing history to life!! Please, continue following the blog all week as I bring a new collection of pictures every morning.

We’ll kick this post off with a pic of Grant and Lee posing for a picture.


This is one of my favorite shots. Through various journals, I read about how both armies mixed and mingled after the surrender and this picture captured that idea beautifully.


Ok, man on a horse may not seem like much, but look! No civilians…or yellow rope around the house in the background. Lol


I love the simple shots like this. It puts such a refreshing idea on life. It wasn’t just drill and march for the soldier; they had chores to do too!


Another amazing shot! Can’t we just imagine Frank, George, and Eddie palling around by the fence?!







I love this pic!! This is a good example of a soldier during the down time.


This was another example of a beautiful shot ruined by a busy, modern background. 🙂 I think I took six pictures before getting this one. Does this scene remind you of anything? Think back to Frank’s opening camp scene in Where Can I Flee, where he’s sitting under a tree beside Eddie and George with a group of men sitting off the side? Ok, so they’re totally in the wrong uniform, but it’s still a neat resemblance.




This is one of my favorite pictures of the weekend! So simple. So beautiful. The story behind this picture is kinda funny. I was standing in line at the bookstore (notice the armed guards in the picture above 😉 ) when I noticed that only reenactors were visible in the doorway. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity! So, paying no attention to the long line of strangers behind me, I dropped to my knees and took a few pictures. I’m so glad that I did!




I hope you enjoyed the first of five blogs featuring my pictures from Appomattox. I ran a blog series featuring the major events surrounding Lee’s surrender to Grant earlier this month. Click on the “#ExperHist” tag to your right to read the series. It’s too late to enter the giveaway that accompanied the series, but it’s never too late to enjoy history! 😉

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Reliving the End of the Civil War, Moment by Moment: 4/13

93The Union army will soon depart while Lee and his men will begin their trek home. It is fitting to share Lee’s Farewell Address with you now, although, it was written on the 10th.

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865.
General Order

No. 9

After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them.

But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.

With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

— R. E. Lee, General, General Order No. 9

*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a mystery souvenir from Appomattox! Earn entries by sharing this blog link (comment below with your link), follow my weekly blog, and/or talk to me in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your email address at least once during the giveaway. WE ONLY HAVE 3 DAYS LEFT!!  It’s never too late to enter, so click on the #ExperHist tag to catch up. 


Posted in History

Experiencing History: Reliving the End of the Civil War, Moment by Moment: 4/12

92The terms of surrender were simple: They were to stay in Appomattox until they were paroled and have turned in their arms. Days after their surrender, Confederate soldiers publicly surrendered in the Laying Dow of Arms Ceremony. Solemnly and quietly, they paraded between two rows of Union men and one by one, surrendered. There were no shouts of joy like those that were heard days earlier, this was a solemn event for all that attended it. Those that surrendered were treated with great respect. Hear the account from two different eyewitnesses:

“General Longstreet’s entire corps marched from their camps and formed in line in front of the First Division of this corps and stacked their arms, flags, &c., when they slowly and sorrowfully returned to their camp. It is a sight that cannot be pictured properly to those who have not witnessed it. General Longstreet wore a smile on his face while General Gordon’s expression was very different. General Pendleton disliked to give up Lee’s artillery but did so.”

“The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply…Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;—was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured? Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier’s salutation, from the “order arms” to the old “carry”—the marching salute. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!”

— Joshua L. Chamberlain

*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a mystery souvenir from Appomattox! Earn entries by sharing this blog link (comment below with your link), follow my weekly blog, and/or talk to me in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your email address at least once during the giveaway. It’s never too late to enter, so click on the #ExperHist tag to catch up.

Sources: The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Reliving the End of the Civil War, Moment by Moment: 4/11

91As the news of Lee’s surrender spreads across the country, naturally, it’s met with mixed feelings. From a Union supporter, the experience resembled this account:

“To-day, at ten o’clock, the gratifying news that Lee has surrendered was received at General Steedman’s headquarters, creating the wildest excitement. As the news spread the men gathered in crowds and rent the air with the most vociferous cheers. The Twenty-ninth Indiana was ordered to “fall in” without arms, and then followed a regimental “three times three” that would have done your heart good to hear. At noon the forts that crown the crests of the hills about town fired a salute of one hundred guns, the whistles of the locomotives and machine shops screamed, while everybody feels good.”

But from a stout Confederate supporter, we read:

“After supper we went into the parlor and had music. We tried to sing some of our old rebel songs, but the words stuck in our throats. Nobody could sing, and then Clara Harris played, ‘Dixie,” but it sounded like a dirge.” The same writer goes on to remember the night Georgia seceded. “I shall never forget that night when the news came that Georgia had seceded. While the people of the village were celebrating the event with bonfires and bell ringing and speech making, he (her father) shut himself up in his house, darkened the windows, and paced up and down the room in the greatest agitation. Every now and then, when the noise of the shouting and the ringing of bells would penetrate to our ears through the closed doors and windows, he would pause and exclaim, ‘Poor fools! They may ring their bells now, but they will wring their hands – yes, and their hearts, too – before they are done with it.'”

It’s also amazing to note that neither account was given on the 9th. The first account received the news on the 10th and the second on the 19th.

*The towel in the picture was used by the Confederates as a flag of surrender at Appomattox.

*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a mystery souvenir from Appomattox! Earn entries by sharing this blog link (comment below with your link), follow my weekly blog, and/or talk to me in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your email address at least once during the giveaway. It’s never too late to enter, so click on the #ExperHist tag to catch up.

Sources: The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle by Robert E. Denney

The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl 1864-1865 written by Eliza Frances Andrews

Posted in History

Experiencing History: Reliving the End of the Civil War, Moment by Moment: 4/10

2050_1231spring20140308Daniel Chisholm describes the day in his journal as only an eye witness can. We’ll turn to his account now:

“Monday, April 10th

We had a rain last night. This morning both armies busy cooking and eating what little grub we have. We have stacked arms a few yards apart. The boys in the Blue and in the Grey are trading everything that is tradeable. Hats, Caps, Penknives, Coffee, Sugar, Tobacco, Hardtack is scarce…The late hostile armies seem to have forgotten they were enemies yesterday morning, and are mixing and chatting the hours away in a very friendly manner. So the time flies. I feel to day that it is good to be here, when I look over our thinned ranks and miss the boys that stood side by side with us let it be rough or smooth. If we could only have them here to day to see what they helped to make possible; but alas! they are sleeping that long last sleep that knows no waking, scattered in unknown graves among the battlefields of Virginia or absent in the Hospital with shattered Health, wounds or amputated limbs.

Our rations that were due us to day came up and were given to the Johnnies and we wait another day without murmuring, for we were very short ourselves, and that makes me think that we are all Americans of the Old School of our Fathers. Oh! shaw, let things go. The Fair is still going on. The Blue and the Grey are all glad it seems to me that the cruel war is over — what a change a few short hours has made. The Shades of night comes on, all is quiet, all quiet on the lines, all quiet, and we try to sleep but cannot for the war is over and we feel so glad, so proud of ourselves, and so sorry for our comrades that have fallen by the wayside, that sleep is almost impossible.”

*All excerpts in this series was copied exactly how the author wrote them…bad grammar and misspellings included. 😉

*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a mystery souvenir from Appomattox! Earn entries by sharing this blog link (comment below with your link), follow my weekly blog, and/or talk to me in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your email address at least once during the giveaway. It’s never too late to enter, so click on the #ExperHist tag to catch up. I hope you’re enjoying this series, but we’re not done yet. The series and giveaway continues through 4/15.

Source: The Civil War Notebook of Daniel Chilsholm: A Chronicle of Daily Life in the Union Army 1864-1865