Category Archives: Holidays

‘Tis the Season…for Slaughtering Hogs?

The Tyler Ordnance Works was a Confederate arsenal in northeastern Texas. It was founded with equipment evacuated from the Little Rock Arsenal and was contracted by the state of Texas to produce thousands of rifles. Especially by the last year … Continue reading

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Black Fridays at the Start of the War

As the opening acts of the Civil War played out, a pattern emerged with most of the notable events all occurring on a Friday. Some newspaper editors even dubbed the unfortunate coincidence “Black Friday,” eight years before the 1869 gold … Continue reading

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Pairings, Partridges, and Pear Trees—Drink Up #5

Pairings were NOT a thing in the 1860s. Red meat/red wine, white meat/ white wine, and pork/rose were about as far as anything went unless you were a sommelier and had to know extra things. One could afford imported wine … Continue reading

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If Aunt Elizabeth from New York Shows Up…Drink Up #4

Not everyone drinks alcohol. Some folks are too young. Some do not care for it, and some have personal, medical, or religious reasons. Some are ill and concerned with drug interactions. These are all modern reasons to refrain from imbibing … Continue reading

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Civil War Cooking: “Anxious To Have A Chicken Pie” For Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Time travel through the 13th Vermont Infantry Regiment’s regimental history for a Thanksgiving camp scene from 1861: On our return from Union Mills and Bull Run, where we had been for two weeks doing picket duty, the boys … Continue reading

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Eggnog? You’ll LOVE It!—Drink Up #3

Eggnog has been part of our history since the colonies even had a history. Originally a “posset” in Europe (particularly England) was a hot drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale. It was beaten to smooth out its … Continue reading

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Frankly My Dear, I’d Love a Mint Julep!—Drink Up #2

The iconic Confederate drink, then and now, is the Mint Julep. Captain Frederick Marryatt (1792-1948) was a Royal Navy officer, a well-respected novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens. He often wrote about America, which he had visited several times. … Continue reading

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Happy Holidays from 1862—Drink Up! #1

To complement Sarah Kay Bierle’s outstanding work concerning holiday food, I thought I would chime in this year with a few posts about drinking–for the holidays, of course. America was founded as a nation of drunkards–er–drinkers. After all, water wasn’t … Continue reading

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Sheridan’s Veterans: Returning To The Shenandoah Valley

In the 1880’s a Union veteran’s organization known as Sheridan’s Veterans Association made several trips to the Shenandoah Valley. These “excursions” gave comrades a chance to reunite and revisit their old battlefields in the Valley. Some veterans brought their families, … Continue reading

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A Ghoulish Relic from a Horse’s Death along the Valley Pike

There are weird things in American Civil War history…and then there are weird things. It’s October 31st and time to retrieve something very strange or ghoulish for discussion, so how about the preserved hoof of a horse? That’s right. A … Continue reading

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