Sunday, October 31, 2010
In the meantime, Dale Cox has posted links to some Arkansas ghost stories on his excellent blog, Arkansas in the Civil War.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Vicki Betts, a librarian at the
I received your kind letter in February and was very glad to hear from you all again[.] I would have writen to you before now but the mal is stoped crossing the river[.] I have a chance of sending this across by hand my health has improved a great deal since I wrote to you though I am not well yet[.] I have no strength and the least exposure make me sick[.] times are hard here and a fair prospect of being worse[.] the Federals are on the Mason Hills within fiften miles of us and will be here as soon as the water gets out of Beof river bottom which will be about June[.] there has been a great many negroes Brought in here from the river and the fedrel troops say they are coming after them as soon as the waters fall and there is nothing to hinder them from coming[.] we have no troops in the country and I hope will not have for if we had we would [have] two evils instead of one and my experience is that the southron troops injures a country as bad as the federals[.] the only differece is the Southerons take all that people has to live on and then Burns the cotton when they here of yankees coming and is taken with a leaving but they leave the negroes and the yankees comalong and find nothing els and they locate on Mr niger and so it goe[.] I have been a close observer of passing events since this war Broke out and have become disgusted withe the whhole concen under the title of Confederate States from the venerable head down but it will soon be over with and then I am afraid our country will suffer from jahawkers than we have from honerable war for we have plenty of men that have no honer and they only want an opportunity to rob and plunder and will be strend [?] by the absence of law[.] I have heard plenty of men say in the army if the south faild that they would jahawk as long as they lived and men of that class dont care who they rob
I think if I remain at home I will be over to se you in the summer when I can come through the swamp if I do not I will come as soon as the war is over[.] we have had a very wet cold Spring there is nothing planted here yet[.] I have all my corn land ready to plant and will plant this week[.] we had a severe storm last night and is very cold to day
So far we have plenty to live on corn is worth a dollar Bacon 30 cts Sugar 35 cts flour $80 per bbl coffee none Salt is worth $2.50 one hundred miles from here at the Salt works it has sold there as high as ten doller per bushel write to me and it may get here some time
Yor Brother Henry Bass
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Recently, I read Albert Castel’s book, Civil War Kansas: Reaping The Whirlwind and found it to be a well-rounded account of that troubled place. My copy of the book is a reprint edition published by the University Press of Kansas in 1997, and it is notable for its new preface penned by the author. Castel explains that he did most of the research for his dissertation (the basis for the book) in the fall of 1954. He lived at the YMCA in
If you have never read Civil War Kansas then I heartily recommend that you pick up a copy sometime. It is of reasonable length (232 pages of text), is well written, and presents a colorful cast of characters and events. In those 232 pages of text, I do not believe that Castel once described a person of integrity. James G. Blunt, D. R. Anthony, Thomas Carney, Marshall Cleveland, Charles R. Jennison,
Civil War Kansas does a good job of reminding readers that the Civil War era was an incredibly tumultuous period.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Diseases took their toll during many marches and in many encampments during the war. Although
Numbers can be difficult to grasp, so here is an account written near the end of the campaign by Sergeant Alfred B. Peticolas of the Fourth Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers that puts a more human face on the problem of disease:
“Monday, 12 May 1862 [
Still lying in camp. Talk of a baker to bake bread for the Company. The Paymaster has been up a week and is busy paying off the troops. Coffee is making out a muster roll; a tedious job.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Work responsibilities have led to a decline in the number of my postings of late—hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up the pace again later this month.