1863: “We Are Making History”

October 13, Tuesday (In Clarksburg)

Read the diary of an English officer who was in the Pennsylvania Campaign and at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was evidently penetrated with the Southern views on that occasion but his account of the battle is graphic and interesting. He scorns the idea of the Southern power being broken in that battle, but his account differs from what I hear in Virginia at Martinsburg. Continue reading

1863: “This Fight Will Not Make Any Difference In The Issue Of The War”

[spelling and punctuation is original]

HdQrs. Stonewall Brigade

19 Oct 1863

Dear Robby,

Your very interesting letter of the 4th inst. was received yesterday and I wrote an answer to it last night but was prevented from sending it by unavoidable circumstances. I suppose our campaign, from which we have just returned, will entertain you most, so I will give a brief account. October 8th we attempted to flank Meades Army by Madison C.H. and Warrenton. Meade fell back rapidly and in good order. Several cavalry fights took place, in which we always wounded the enemy, taking in all 1500 prisoners, killing probably 60, losing ourselves some 30 men killed and wounded. It seems that Genl Lee wished to avoid a general engagement, for he laid at Warrenton half a day, and at other places he loitered considerably. Continue reading

Tea With Sarah: Summer’s End

Good afternoon, it’s time for tea!

I realize I missed a tea two weeks ago. My apologies. I’ve been working a real job and finishing a manuscript and that weekend I also needed to attend a history event. Writing time has not been as regular as usual, but it’s good to be “here” today.

Now that we’re in the middle of September, summer is definitely coming to an end. (The first day of autumn is actual on the 22nd of this month.) So we’ll be talking about our favorite summer memories and goals for the coming season.

If this was a real tea party, I think we’d have iced spice tea and apples with caramel sauce… Continue reading

Holiday History & Craft – November 2015

P1030797Gobble, Gobble…Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Whether you prefer turkeys in the wild or on your dining room table, you have to admit they’re part of Thanksgiving in America. Let’s learn little more about the holiday and make a craft.





Artist's idea of the first thanksgivingHoliday History

“The First Thanksgiving” was in 1621. The Pilgrims of Plymouth (in Massachusetts) decided to have a celebration to enjoy the harvest foods and socialize with their friends.

Throughout American history, leaders set aside certain days for prayer and thanksgiving. It was usually a day to attend church and be extra reverent and grateful. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving – this was first step to making it a national holiday with everybody celebrating on the same day.

In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Thanksgiving Day an official American holiday and announced that it would always be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of each November.

Now, here’s a fun fact about American turkeys… Did you know Benjamin Franklin voted to make the turkey our national bird? Do you know what our national bird is? (It’s the Bald Eagle!) Which do you think the better choice for a national bird and why?

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Craft: Harvest Turkey

Today we’ll decorate a turkey with some of the “harvest from the fields.” I hope you’ll enjoy this autumn craft.

What You’ll Need:


Printer or Copy Machine

A Turkey Coloring Page (I found my example turkey here http://www.coloring.ws/turkeys1.htm  PARENTAL GUIDANCE strongly advised. There were ads on this website).

Colored Pencils

A variety of dried seeds, bean, or rice (I used popcorn, black beans, kidney beans, rice, and green split peas)

Wet Glue

Begin by finding a Turkey Coloring Page (see above for suggested website) or draw your own.

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Color the turkey with colored pencils and decide which parts are going to be covered with the beans/seeds/rice.





Holiday History and Craft, November 2015Put a moderate amount of wet glue on the area or line you want to cover with beans/seeds/rice and place the items on neatly to cover the area. Continue until all desired areas are covered.



Allow to dry complete.

Display your Harvest Turkey and wish your family “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Holiday History and Craft, November 2015

Holiday History & Craft – October 2015

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinHappy Fall Y’all! To celebrate one of my favorite seasons of the year, here’s our latest holiday history and craft blog post for kids.

Holiday (Seasonal) History

Autumn is the season of harvest in the northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere? Yes! You see, there’s an imaginary line running around the middle of the Earth, and that imaginary lines is called the equator. Above the equator is the northern hemisphere and below is the southern hemisphere.

Did you know the earth tilts (leans) toward the sun? When the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, it is summer there, but it is winter in the southern hemisphere. So guess what? When it’s autumn in North America (which is in the northern hemisphere), it’s spring in Australia (which is in the southern hemisphere.)

1280px-Autumn--On_the_Hudson_River-1860-Jasper_Francis_CropseyBy the time autumn comes in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to harvest the crops. Seeds planted in spring, grew into plants in the summer which produced great fruits or vegetables…ready to be harvested in the autumn.

In the olden days, people used to have gatherings and help each other harvest the fields and gardens. Sometimes they would host a corn-husking. The dried husks of corn had to be removed and they would have a “work-party”; the corn would get husked and there were games or dancing.

Autumn is the time to bring in the pumpkins from the fields and get ready to make pumpkin pies. Do you like pumpkin pie?

Today, we’re going to celebrate the autumn season by making a pumpkin decoration!

Craft: Yarn Pumpkin

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinWhat You’ll Need:



Marker pens

Wet glue

Orange yarn

Scissors (Be careful; scissors are sharp!)

Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinStart by drawing the outline of a pumpkin on the cardstock. Pumpkins have “character” so if yours is a little crooked or uneven, don’t worry! Add the curved lines to the center of the pumpkin. Make sure you draw the stem and make add a vine.



Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinUsing your markers, color the stem (and vine, if you drew one) of the pumpkin. I used a combination of green and brown.





Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinNext, measure the length of the inner lines and cut orange yarn to the correct length. Trace the lines (one at a time) with the wet glue and gently press the yarn onto the glue. Repeat on all the inner lines. Let it dry well.

Trace the outer edge of the pumpkin with glue and press orange yarn into the glue. Let it dry well.


Holiday History and Craft October 2015 - Yarn PumpkinYour pumpkin is now ready to display and admire.

Happy Autumn!