Tag Archives: Civil War

Your Childs Education

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History2I have to tell you, right up front that this post is strictly a commentary on my part. I belong to a Historical Fiction group on LinkedIn and yesterday during a history discussion the direction of the conversation turned and my mouth hit the floor (so to speak). It seems that during my absence from the educational system for myself and my children the system has taken a giant leap backwards.History3

I was not aware that history is no longer taught in the schools as it once was. I could not get my mind wrapped around that thought. How could our future not be taught about the past of our country and of the world? And if they are taught it is skewed.
History
I am going to be posting the statements made by the people of the group. That way you can read and make up your own mind about how HISTORY should be in our educational system.

Carole Schutter
Owner, Carole Whang Schutter
I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Christine Gibbs commented on a discussion in Historical Fiction.

I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Lu Ann Worley
Book Review and Marketing

I know a wonderful History teacher who took an early retirement because there is no real history in the new history books…He refused to teach this farce of a history curriculum. These books were presented during the Clinton administration. Tax dollars were withheld from any school not agreeing to the new History & English books (In the English books the students only have to look up the answers to two out of seven questions at the end of a chapter. Basically, the students do not have to search for answers and learn to think for themselves- many students did not even look up the two questions…many didn’t even read the chapters!)
We are definitely in a “Dumb down America” that most parents are not even aware of because of the way it is presented to them. history4

ART HENDRICKSON
WRITER OF FICTION AND COMEDY

On the morning of 9/11, I was teaching in a Bakersfield, Ca school. When news of the first tower invasion was relayed to me by another teacher, I immediately switched on the TV and found a channel covering the event. What a great learning experience for my kids. The TV was on for about five minutes when the principal entered the room and demanded that the set be turned off and kept off and for us to get back on curriculum. Seriously? I was dumbfounded. How could she (later I found that it was a district ultimatum) deny observing history in the making. She did and I made formal protest as did some students in other classes. The district backtracked in the coming days and even blamed the teachers. It was their choice to watch or not watch or so they said. I wrote a editorial letter of response to the district whitewash and was promptly admonished…with no union backing. I retired the following year when even more restrictions were placed on the teaching of history in the Bakersfield Middle schools.

M.N. Stroh
Freelance Writer with Her View from Home

Sadly, these facts are all too common. History was barely taught in my school. My last high school class covering American history was a joke. The teacher didn’t even teach from the books. Lessons were totally on his lectures of HIS perception of history. The downgrading of history and education in general is one of the prime reasons that I homeschool my children.

Now that you have read a few of the statements made, how do you feel about it? I think a big disservice is being done to the children of this country and that is very sad. How can are children really understand what and why things have happened the way it has if they are not taught in our educational system.

Do you believe?

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Statue of David Glasgow Farragut at the Vicksb...

Image via Wikipedia

I have begun looking at a topic that I didnt ‘t believe.  I’m sure there are millions who don’t believe either, but come to find out there are millions who do.  For some people this is ranked right along side UFO’s.  Reincarnation is the belief you keep coming back to this earth until you have learned the lessons you need to learn.

I just completed reading a book by Brian L.Weiss, M.D. called  “Many Lives, Many Masters”. It is a true story of Dr Weiss who is a prominent psychiatrist and one of his patients.  Dr. Weiss had tried all the conventional methods of therapy which didn’t work on this trouble woman.  He decided to try Past-Life Therapy since he’d been reading about it.  That therapy changed the life of the woman but also his belief system.  It is a book worth reading.

I have had an experience in my life that I couldn’t explain, but after reading and talking to other people, I know think it is explained.  Let me tell you the story and you judge for yourself.  I have always liked to travel and see new things but I have always been drawn to National cemetaries.  I have visited many and I have always experienced a profound, almost numbing sadness.  I would walk among the tombstones reading the names, one after another.

I was working as a contract nurse in Greenwood Ms. in 1995.  I decided on my days off that I was going to go see the Vicksburg National Park. I made the tour of the park with a heavy heart thinking how could men do this to each other and the land they were supposed to have loved.  I had no intention of going to the National cemetary, but I was drawn there like a moth to light.

You drive through the gates and on each side of the road is row after row of marble markers.  I could hardly drive because of all the emotions bubbling inside of me.  When I reached the last row of stones on the left hand side, I had to stop and get out of my truck.  I started walking and reading names,  when I came upon one Confederate officer grave (I can’t remember his name) I broke down into hysterical crying.  I remember my mind telling me this is crazy but I couldn’t stop.  When I got back in my truck  I spoke out loud, “this man is the other half of me”.   I have never been able to explain my reaction.  I haven’t  had the need  to visit another National cemetary, but that experience has never left me.  My question is, “Was he my husband during the Civil War?  What do you think?

Ever Lasting Love (Short Story)

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I have always been blessed or cursed with being drawn to the supernatural things of this world.  I can’t put a name to it, but I know it is always with me.  The telephone will ring and I know who is calling, or I know something is going to happen before it
does.  This preference of the unknown forces of this world has caused me to experience things that have caused me great pain as well as joy.

April 1, 1992 is a day I will never forget. It starts as any other day, except it is my day off which makes it special
for me.  After I work twelve hour shifts, three or four days in a row I am more than ready for my time off.  My name is Janice Smith, and I work as a labor and delivery nurse in Greenwood Mississippi.

Today I am driving and sightseeing to just have a relaxing day.  I am going to visit the national park in Vicksburg.  I have lived in this state all my life, and I have never visited the battlefield.  I always have this unsettled feeling whenever the battlefield is mentioned around me.

I am the fourth generation from Mississippi. My great-great-grandparents owned a plantation, right in the middle of
what is now Vicksburg National Park. Back in the early 1800’s it was known as Magnolia Springs, because of the magnolia trees and fresh water from the numerous springs scattered over the land.  After the National Park Service took over the property, it became known as the Shirley House.

I visit the Park Information Center gathering information and looking at astounding pictures of men and action during the Civil War.  I leave the center starting my driving tour.  The closer I get to the Shirley House the heavier the feeling of gloom surrounds me.  I feel like someone is talking to me, but I can’t understand what is being said.

I am the only one on the road, which is a good thing because I just do not feel right.  I pull up in front of the Shirley property, get out of my car and start walking towards the house.  I can see the dugout areas in the side of the hill where the Confederate Soldiers camped and tried to defend the property.

I suddenly find myself in a ball gown on the front porch of the house.  My head is spinning and I feel very unstable on my feet.  Something is happening to me.  The world around me has changed.  I am in the same place but a different person.

“Amanda, where are you?  Amanda, there you are, what are you doing on the porch?  You should be inside dancing with your young man.  He is going to be leaving soon.  Amanda, are you all right?”

I see this woman walking towards me, and I have to assume she is speaking to me.  I actually know what is going on and who she is.  “I am not feeling well, so I stepped out on the porch for some fresh air.  All the cigar smoke in the house is making me feel faint.  This blasted corset is killing me.”

Amanda Shirley, watch your mouth.  You are a lady, and ladies do not swear.  Get your fresh air and come back inside.  You
have guests to attend to.  This is your engagement party, you know.”

“Yes mama, I will be come inside in a couple of minutes.  I want to stay on the porch with the cool breeze, and the smell of magnolia trees in the air.  This is such a wonderful time of the year.”

Mama goes into the house and leaves me alone.  I can’t imagine what our world is coming to, especially if this war happens,
as everyone says it will.  I don’t want my world to change. It is just too wonderful as it is.

I leave the front porch, and go back into the ballroom. I am immediately met by Lieutenant Patrick Allan Coker.  He looks
so dashing in his uniform.  I am fond of the bright red sash around his waist.  It makes him stand out from everyone else in the room.

He sweeps me out onto the dance floor, and we waltz, just floating in each other’s arms.  We will be man and wife in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait.  He has been my love for as long as I can remember. He grew upon the Coker plantation, which is just up the road from where I live. We spent many hours together playing, and then later,  planning our future.

We dance until the party is over and everyone has left.  Mama and Papa have gone upstairs for the night.  A couple of the servants of cleaning things up so the furniture can be brought back out in the morning.

“Amanda, you are the love of my life, and I will love you for all eternity, I swear.  I can’t wait for you to become my
wife.  We will have such a long happy life and many children.  No one will be as happy as you and I.”

Patrick, I love you also.  Kiss me and go home, it is getting late.  I do want to get a little sleep before the sun comes up, and the air starts getting hot.  Besides I want to get out of this dress.”

Patrick kisses me good-bye, and I close the door as he mounts his horse.  I turn to start up the stairs, and the next thing I
know, I am standing at the top of the stairs in my wedding gown.  What has happened?  Am I losing my mind?

My father is at the bottom of the stairs, and has his arm out for me.  The wedding march is starting as I go down the stairs.  I walk into the parlor holding on to Papa’s arm, and he takes me to Patrick.   I am going to be his wife now.  Whatever is going on is a blessing.

Patrick and I are finally man and wife.  The pastor tells him to kiss his bride and as his lips touch mine, I find myself back in my car in my modern clothes.

Oh my God, I have to get back to Greenwood.  I am losing my mind.  I remember everything about the house and the wedding.
What am I supposed to do?  I start the car and begin driving.  I end at the Vicksburg National Confederate Cemetery.
I don’t want to go inside, but something keeps pulling me in that direction.

I drive down a couple of the gravel roads they have built between the graves. The dread gets heavier, the longer I drive.  I have to stop.  I get out of my car, and walk to my left, to the second row of stones.  I hear a scream, and I am back at the Shirley House.

I am standing on the front porch screaming as Mama and Papa comes rushing out.  I can’t even catch my breath.

“What child, what is wrong?”

“Excuse me Ma’am, but I am Corporal John Jones from the 1st Mississippi.  I just gave Mrs. Coker some bad news.  Her husband, Lieutenant Coker died last week. One of those damn Yankees shot him.  I am so sorry to have given you this news.  Please accept my condolences Mrs. Coker.  I must rejoin my regiment as we are heading north today.”

“Blessing to all of you Corporal Jones, we will keep you in our prayers,” Mama said.  “Amanda honey, come in the
house.  I will watch Junior for you, while you go upstairs and lie down.”

The tombstone reads: Lieutenant Patrick A Coker, CSA, born July 3, 1840, Died April 22, 1862.

I know I was his wife, and the war left me a widow with a child.  My ancestor wanted me to know about her life and the love she had for her husband. May they rest in each other’s arms forever.