Category Archives: Recent Entries


A traveller, passing through one of the counties of Tennessee on horseback, stopped at a modest cottage on the roadside, and asked for shelter, as it was quite dark and raining. The “head of the family” came to the door, and accosted the traveller with,–

“What do you want?”

“I want to stay all night,” was the reply.

“What are yer?”

This interrogatory was not fully understood by the traveller, and he asked an explanation.

“I mean, what’s yer politics?” rejoined the former. “Air yer fur this Union, or agin it?”

This was the poser, as the traveller was not certain whether the “man of the house” was a Union man or a secessionist, and he was anxious to “tie up” for the night; so he made up his mind, and said,–

“My friend, I am for the Union.”

“Stranger, you kin kum in.”

Originally posted 2008-04-08 14:28:04.

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A Committee of the Louisiana State Convention, appointed to prepare a flag and seal for that State, thus expressed their opinion of that Pelican which had so long been the cherished emblem of Louisiana: “On consultation, and especially with those descended from the ancient colonists of the country, the Committee found that what has been considered the symbol of Louisiana, commands neither their favor nor their affection. The pelican is in form unsightly, in habits filthy, in nature cowardly.” The Committee also learned from Audubon, to their amazement, that the story of the pelican’s feeding its young with its own blood is, in expressive phrase, “gammon.” Therefore they did not commend this water-fowl as a fit subject for their flag, but rather as one of loathing and contumely.

Originally posted 2008-04-07 15:34:39.

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An army letter gives the following description of the manner in which a veteran soldier makes himself comfortable in camp:

“It is a trite remark that a man never knows how much he can do without until he tries it, but it is more to my present purpose to say that he never knows with how little he can make himself comfortable until he makes the experiment. Nobody possesses this invaluable knowledge so much as a veteran. Put a recruit into a forest of pine trees, with his shelter tent, and if he have nobody but recruits about him, ten to one you will find him under his shelter tent three weeks from that time.

“Not so with the veteran. If he be camped in the pine forest, give him an old axe, a boot-leg, a mud-puddle, a board or two, and a handful of nails, and he builds him a house, and a house, too, comfortable and commodious, and not wanting in architectural beauty. First he fells his trees, then cuts and notches his logs, and lays them together to the required height. His roof he puts on, giving it a great slope, and thatching it with the green of the pine trees.

“He has been careful to leave window spaces, and tacking pieces of his shelter tent over these, he has provided light, but he keeps out the nipping air of winter. Then with his board he makes the door, and the boot-leg supplying the hinges, it soon swings into its place. Then he fills the spaces between the logs with soft earth from his mud-puddle, and his house is done, except the chimney, and the forest and the mud-puddle soon provide that, for his chimney is nothing but a pile of sticks, plentifully plastered without and within with mud. Then with his old axe he manufactures out of pine logs a full assortment of furniture,–bedstead, chairs, table, wardrobe, and generally adds a mantel. Then, with a bright fire upon his hearth, he is prepared to laugh at winter, and generally does.”

Originally posted 2008-04-07 02:51:34.

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A Virginia slave, who had heard of the President’s promise concerning the proclamation to be issued on the 1st of January, then only a few days in the future, was heard praying, and with great earnestness and a deeply affected heart, thus:

“O God Almighty! keep the engine of the rebellion going till New Year’s! Good Lord! pray, don’t let off the steam; Lord, don’t reverse the engine; don’t back up; Lord, don’t put on the brakes! But pray, good Lord, put on more steam! Make it go a mile a minute! Yes, Lord, pray make it go sixty miles an hour! (‘Amen!’ ‘Do, good Lord!’ responded the brethren and sisters.) Lord, don’t let the express train of rebellion smash up till the 1st of January! Don’t let the rebels back down, but harden their hearts as hard as Pharaoh’s, and keep all hands going, till the train reaches the Depot of Emancipation!”

Originally posted 2008-04-05 20:18:22.

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