"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, February 6, 2012

Daffodils ~ and the Civil War Bivouac

A flock of  origami birds over Indianapolis, IN
Photo by Loree Huebner

Can you believe that I have daffodils coming up? This mild winter has totally boggled my garden. Some of  my daffs are 6 inches high, and one bunch has buds on them! That Pennsylvania ground hog can't be right...here in Indiana, spring looks to be here soon. Of course, about one year ago at this time, we had an enormous blizzard. In the month of February, there's always that chance lurking around the corner.

Anyway, last Friday I realized that this month is the first anniversary of my blog. A blogi-versary! My blog is one year old this month. I can’t believe it’s been one whole year! I’ve met so many wonderful writers, readers, and history buffs through blogging. I can’t tell you all how much I love to read your comments, and make my visiting rounds through the blogosphere.

In honor of one year on the blog, and Valentine’s Day, next week I’m going to show you some of the things that I’ve won from visiting some of my favorite blogs—I’ve had a pretty good lucky streak in the past couple of months. ANDI’m going to give back and give away a prize, or maybe two! So make sure to stop in and visit!

Also, few weeks ago the wonderful and talented, Gwendolyn Gage, awarded me with the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award - Take a look at that yummy-looking award hanging on my side bar. Make sure to go visit Gwen’s blog – Gwendolyn Gage ~ Serving Through Words. I pass this award on to EVERYONE - from me! Take it and hang it in a good spot.

Anyone else have flowers coming up early in your garden? Did you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday? Anyone up north see a Robin yet? 

Between you, me and the gatepost,

AND NOW ~ It's the first Monday of the month, and it's time to go back 150 years ~ that brings us to ~

The Civil War Bivouac with Eric Huebner

A cursory glance at the map will show the importance of rivers for any Union force invading Tennessee in 1862. The road and rail network was limited and supply lines would necessarily lengthen with any forward advance. The Federals rapidly constructed a fleet of gunboats and transports, but the Rebels just as quickly fortified key positions along the Mississippi River. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers could also provide protected arteries for invasion into the Deep South, so the Southerners began construction of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson to block those routes.

On February 6, 1862 a force of Union gunboats began a furious shelling of Fort Henry on the Tennessee. The Rebels fought gamely, but the fort was poorly situated. CSA Col. Heiman withdrew his brigades before U. S Grant could bring his ground forces into the fight.

Fort Donelson on the Cumberland proved to be a more difficult objective. Once again, On February 14, the Federals brought up their gunboats, hoping to batter the fort into submission. This time, after closing to within 350 yards of the fort, the gunboats were driven away and with loss. Unaccountably, CSA Brig. General Floyd with some 18,000 troops remained passive in the fort while Grant brought up his 15,000 (later reinforced to over 20,000) men and invested the fort.

Recognizing their error, the Confederates decided to fight their way out. The next morning, the rebel attack was initially successful and the way out was open, but the Southern generals did not take advantage of the opportunity provided by their hard fighting soldiers. Federal resistance was stubborn, notably by the 31st Illinois under John “Black Jack” Logan. A counter attack spear-headed by the Zouave brigade of Brig. General Lew Wallace (author of Ben-Hur, a Tale of the Christ) sealed the escape route.

Seeing the way blocked, Generals Floyd and Pillow decided to escape on two steamers which they loaded with troops. The rest of the Confederates were to surrender. The facts the 2 highest ranking CSA officers would abandon their comrades, and that nearly all of the escaping troops were Virginians did not sit well with the other Southerners. Nathan Bedford Forrest refused to surrender, so he led his command through an icy backwater and escaped.

When asked by CSA Brig. General Simon Buckner for surrender terms, U. S. Grant replied, "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” When news of the surrender of 12,000 Rebels reached the North, “Unconditional Surrender” Grant became the hero of the land. The South was open to invasion along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The Confederates were flanked out of Strongholds at Bowling Green, Nashville, and Columbus. Western Tennessee was under Union control.

Unfortunately, and heart-breaking, many of the Confederate prisoners were sent to the notorious prison at Camp Douglas in Chicago. Camp Douglas was one of the worst prisons, period.


According to Wikipedia ~"Goober Peas" is a folk song mostly known in the Southern United States. It was very popular with the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and is still sung frequently in the South to this day.
The words of "Goober Peas" are a pretty accurate description of daily life during the last few years of the Civil War for the Southerners. After being cut off from the rail lines and their farm land, they had little to eat aside from boiled peanuts (or "goober peas") which often served as an emergency ration.
I remember singing this song in elementary school ~ Loree


Sitting by the roadside on a summer's day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.
Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.
Verse 2
When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, “Mister, here’s your mule!"
But another custom, enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.
Verse 3
Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now."
He turns around in wonder, and what d'ya think he sees?
The Tennessee Militia, eating goober peas.
Verse 4
I think my song has lasted almost long enough.
The subject's interesting, but the rhymes are mighty tough.
I wish the war was over, so free from rags and fleas
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.

Tennessee Sunrise near Columbia, Tennessee
Photo by Loree Huebner


Sandra Orchard said...

Yup, up in southern Ontario, Canada we're seeing daffs and robins and lots of sunshine. I love it!!! Congrats on your award it looks yummy!

Keli Gwyn said...

Happy blogiversary, Loree, and congratulations on your award.

Brandi said...

Congratulations on your one-year blog anniversary, and your new blog award!

Yes, I think we've all had a mild winter this year.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Congrats on the award--it DOES look yummy! You deserve it, Loree.

I hope we don't have another one of those ice storms. That was a nightmare!


Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Loree! Happy blogaversary! I'm looking forward to your post next week! I has been a strange and mild winter, hasn't it? Texas has seen a lot of days in the 70s! Thanks for the shout-out, and I like your idea of passing on the award to everyone -- I hate having to pick only ten or fifteen.

Goober peas...I don't think I've ever heard that song before. It sounds pretty funny though!

Jessica R. Patch said...

Goober peas. Interesting. Sounds like something I would call my kids! :)

Congrats on your blogisvary! Woo hoo! It really does fly by doesn't it?

Daffodils are one of my FAVS!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I noticed flowers popping up too. So strange. And congrats on a year of blogging! I've enjoyed getting to know you. :)

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Yes, this winter has been so strange! Congrats on your first year--how fun! I've enjoyed visiting here!

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

Happy blogiversary Loree! Hope the year ahead makes your dreams come true.

We are having a very mild summer here. I haven't even been swimming. My eyes are on the desperately cold weather in Europe at the moment - I'll be there in 3 weeks so hoping it warms up a little!

Lynda R Young said...

Happy blogiversary!!
The weather is strange here in Oz too. It's supposed to be summer but we've only had a handful of summery days.

Deana said...

I love the word Goober Peas:)

KY winter has been practically nonexistent too. I can't say I totally mind, though I do like the snow.
Congrats on your year of blogging. What a year you've had!

Loree Huebner said...

Sandra: I thought I saw 2 robins the other day. I was in shock! So soon!

Keli: Thanks!

Brandi: Thanks! and yes, the winter has been very mild.

Jeanette: Thanks! You guys had the ice storm, we had the snow!

Gwen: Thanks for the award! 70's would be nice. We've been hitting 50 degrees. I bet it's a relief from that hot weather you had last summer!

Jesse: Thanks! I don't know where the time has gone. I love daffs - they remind me of my mom.

Sarah: I've enjoyed getting to know you too. Yay for Hoosiers!

Melanie: Thanks! and I've enjoyed visiting your blog. I just joined the Indiana chapter of ACFW!

Charlotte: That's right, you are in summer there! Lucky duck! Enjoy Europe! Bring warm clothes.

Lynda: Thank you! and welcome here! Summer? I can only dream of summer right now.

Deana: Thanks. KY does share most of the same weather as IN. Today is dreary and damp, but not too cold.

Everyone, thanks for chiming in. I love reading your comments!

Jayne said...

I'm always amazed by how far and wide the Civil War spread. For some reason, I never think about Tennessee having been affected, but boy, were they ever.

Happy blogaversary, Loree! Definitely a milestone to celebrate. :D

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I noticed daffodils coming up in front of my Mom's apartment building. We're expecting some snow over the next few days. I hope they survive.

Congrats on reaching the 1-year mark! The years fly by when you meet so many terrific people. :)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Happy blog anniversary! Maybe those daffys are coming up in celebration?

And we sure did watch the Super Bowl--but then, we live in NJ, so you know we enjoyed the game. : )

troutbirder said...

Happy one year blog birthday Loree. And the winter here has been amazingly warm and snowless.
Eric: great post on the rivers, the war and Tennesee. Too bad the founder of the KKK got away from Fort Donaldson.

Loree Huebner said...

Jayne: Thanks!
Tennessee had some pretty big battles take place there. Eric will be bringing those up in later posts.

Susan: We got about an inch of snow last night. The daffs are don't seem fazed by it.

Cynthia: Thank you for the blog wishes! The Super Bowl was a good game. I bet you enjoyed it rooting for the Giants! Isn't their stadium in NJ?

trout: Thanks for the blog wishes! I agree, Eric wrote a great piece on the war in Tennessee!

Thanks for your wonderful comments everyone!

Stacy Henrie said...

We've had a mild winter here too, so I took a peek in my flower beds the other day, but nothing yet. Congrats on your blog's one year anniversary!

Jessica Nelson said...

It is def. an odd winter. I'd never heard of boiled peanuts until I moved down south. Happy Blogiversary!!

Loree Huebner said...

Stacy: Those flowers will be coming up soon!

Jessica: Thanks for the wishes...I've want to try boiled peanuts now.

Stacy and Jessica, thanks for popping in today! Always love to hear from you.

Misha Gericke said...

Oooh happy bloggerversary.

Our flowers also came out early-ish when winter came to an end, but now it's almost winter again. :-)

Loree Huebner said...

Misha: It's supposed to be cold here over the weekend - 20's - and then back in the 40's next week! Thanks for the bloggy wishes!

Melissa Tagg said...

Hi Loree, thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm so glad to have found yours, too! (I know this is a late comment, but stil... :) ) So, here in Iowa winter has been nearly nonexistent...and I'm sooo not complaining. No daffodils yet, but only the barest layer of snow...the perfect winter. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Melissa: Welcome here! I enjoy your blog! and it's never too late to comment here! We are getting some lake-effect snow today. Some of the squalls are pretty fierce with wind and big flakes. It will all melt this week when we get back into the 40's again. Thanks for popping in!

Julie Jarnagin said...

Happy anniversary to your blog! I have mums in my front flowerbed that bloom several times a year, even though I never touch them other than to cut off the old blooms. I don't have a green thumb, so maybe I should just fill the flowerbed with mums. :)