Cooking in one pot

You might have a hard time imagining how creative one could be cooking with one pot or skillet over an open fire—no matter how creative you were in scrounging up the makin’s from sometimes pitifully small rations.

Comes Clarissa Clifton to help you out. Her good recipe book “One Hearth, One Pot” is short but valuable, and her explanations will help you conjure a full picture of a 13th soldier or his mess’s servant/slave cooking in camp or at makeshift stops on the march from one battle to the next. Chicken, hoe cakes and sweet potato biscuits. Yum.

“Remember,” she writes in her introduction, “most of the basic home recipes we cook today come from the open hearth…This cookbook focuses on the techniques of cooking used by slaves and the yeoman class of farmers.”

Ms Clifton, who does living history, open-hearth cooking demonstrations for visitors at foundation-owned historic plantations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Roswell, Georgia, has a second cookbook in the works.

Posted in Slavery, The Journey | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mississippi uniform buttons


Apparently from a solider in I Company, which was the letter name of the 13th’s Minutemen of Attala, though I have no idea whether the buttons are from one of them.

UPDATE:  Winston Cameron of Winchester, Virginia, a descendant of Captain Hugh Cameron and First Lieutenant John Cameron, both of the Alamutcha Infantry, thinks the I on the buttons more likely stood for Infantry.

Posted in Mississippi, The Minute Men of Attala | Tagged , | 1 Comment

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, Battles: Gettysburg, Captured at Saylor's Creek, Gen. William Barksdale | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“…a good tactical history…”

TOCWOC’s review of Phillip Thomas Tucker’s new Barksdale’s Charge is more than complimentary.

“This is a detailed history of the men that charged and those who stopped them. The author lets them tell the story with extensive quotes from their letters and diaries. Additionally, he quotes a number of respected historians to support the idea that this is the ‘High-water Mark’ of the Confederacy.

“This is solid old-fashion battle history where heroics are commonplace. Some may complain about ‘purple prose’ but some history must be written that way. Purple prose or not, this is a good tactical history of how regiments and brigades fought. The author is careful to detail the tactics used giving the reader a better understanding of command and control in the smoke filled, confused and incredibly noisy environment that was battle.”

We descendents of the 13th Regiment of Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade can be pardoned for sharing such sentiments about this best-so-far analysis of their Gettysburg charge—as we did even before TOCWOC’s approbation. But it’s very nice to have it to point to as well.

Read all of the review here.

Posted in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, Battles: Gettysburg, Gen. William Barksdale | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas from the 13th Mississippi


The regiment spent its first Christmas Day, 1861, in camp near Leesburg.

Private Mike Hubbert of the Minutemen of Attala wrote in his diary: “Camp is in quite a stir this morning. The boys all feel gay from the effect of the fashionable old drink Egg Nog.”

Posted in Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, Battles: Leesburg, Mike M. Hubbert Diary, The Minute Men of Attala | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginians compare themselves with the 13th Mississippi

Or so Clinton Hatcher of the 8th Virginia Infantry told lady friend Mary Sibert in an August, 1861, letter. He was speaking of their brigade drills under Colonel Nathan “Shanks” Evans at Leesburg.

“The men have just been drawing comparisons between the line of battle marching of our regiment and the 13 th Mississippian. Our regiment really beats them awfully. In fact we have been drilling over rocks and hills so long that now our men are getting to be quite soldierlike.”

Hatcher, who apparently alternated between a hotel in Leesburg and the regiment’s camp, wasn’t any more prejudiced against the Mississippi frontiersmen than most Virginians and perhaps even less so. He had stopped to pick up one of them who had fallen out on a march.

“…as he got in the carriage with me to ride I recognized him to be one of Judge Ferry’s sons whom I had met at Georgetown college. One of the old Columbian students is also in our brigade from Mississippi. It is so pleasant to meet old acquaintances in that way out in the army.”

Read more of Hatcher’s opinions at the Valley of The Shadow web site at the University of Virginia, a collection of Civil War era letters, diaries and memoirs by Virginians and Pennsylvanians.

Posted in Correspondence, Gen. Nathan G. Evans | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Where Gen. Barksdale died

hummelbaugh_house-0603Gen. William Barksdale was wounded several times near Plum Run on the Gettysburg battlefield in the late evening of July 2, 1863. He was carried to this home of shoemaker Jacob Hummelbaugh on Cemetery Ridge by several Union soldiers who’d been detailed to find him.

Here he was laid out in the yard to await his turn with the surgeons who had tranformed the home into a hospital. Finally, one of them, Alfred T. Hamilton of the 148th Pennsylvania, came out, looked Barksdale over and pronounced his chest wounds mortal. He died that night and was buried in the yard until his remains were retrieved in 1866 and taken home to Mississippi. He was reburied in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson.

Via Mississippians In The Confederate Army.

Posted in Battles: Gettysburg, Gen. William Barksdale, Mississippi, The Commanders | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A piece of the 13th’s puzzle saved

“Today, on the 152nd anniversary of the battle, the Civil War Trust is proud to announce that we have successfully saved the site of the Jackson House at Ball’s Bluff. Thanks to the generosity of our members we have raised the $50,000 needed to preserve these three acres where the Battle of Ball’s Bluff began.”

Among the units fighting at the house on Oct. 21, 1861, and on the somewhat larger battlefield later was the Minutemen of Attala. They were the 13th Regiment’s only involvement in the relatively small fight on the bluff near Leesburg. Its political repercussions would haunt the Lincoln administration and the Union army for the rest of the war.

“My company continued to advance until we reached the fence just left by the enemy who continued to fire upon us from the field and house, the fire being constantly returned by my men.” —from Captain Lorenzo Fletcher’s after action report on the Minutemen.

Posted in Battles: Leesburg, The Minute Men of Attala | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment