Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Next Generation of Addicts


I am hanging up my badge and gun.  This week I investigated my last case.  No more cancelled plans, no more middle of the night phone calls summoning me to see something that I would rather not, no more flashing lights, no more sirens, no more witness interviews or suspect interrogations, no more missed meals, no more digging through burned out homes looking for some small sample of an ignitible liquid that may or may not even be there.  After many consultations with my wife, my doctors, my trusted friends, and even a priest, I have come to the realization that my degenerated discs will no longer allow me to do this line of work.  It puts my safety at risk and, more important, the safety of the citizens who rely on people like me to protect them from themselves and others.  So I am trading in my badge and gun for cane.

I never thought I would have to make this decision until I was ready to retire, but the gods have conspired against me.  I could be angry and question why this had to happen to me, but what good would that do?  I have accepted it and now it is time to move on.  So what does all this have to do with the Civil War?

Well, being a Civil War Addict does not pay the bills.  One must do something as a source of income.  Luckily my wife is employed by a school district that pays quite well by our state's standards.  I too will be picking up the chalk again......okay, actually it is a flash drive, but you get the point.  Starting this fall I will be teaching at a couple of local community colleges.  I'll be teaching 8 classes, which is quite a bit, but a few are online which should ease the burden a little.  Standing is the one thing I can do which doesn't hurt my back and since you can't teach sitting down (or at least not very well), I am fortunate to have this opportunity.  And the opportunity comes with 3 day weekends!

I'll have the chance to influence the next generation of Civil War Addicts.  Who knows, maybe the next great Civil War historian or novelist will be one of the smiling faces I have greeting me when I walk (hobble, actually) into the classroom in a few weeks.  I have taught fairly regularly in the past but it has been a semester since I was last in the classroom.  Hopefully I haven't lost my magic touch.  The reduced strain on my back might help me to reach a full recovery, but the odds are against that.  However, it should help with the day to day pain levels.  At this point, I'd be happy with just a 25% improvement.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who is both excited and apprehensive about the path that fate has led me down.  I don't know what the future will hold anymore.  Frankly, I don't give a damn.  I know that no matter what new hurdles are placed in my path, I'll be facing them with the best friend a man could ever hope for, my cat Simon.  (And my wife too of course!)

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Night With My Ancestors


As many of you know, I struggle with degenerative disc disease.  It isn't really a disease and it is only partially degenerative, but that is what "they" chose to name it nonetheless.  A couple of nights ago I was in a lot of pain.....a LOT of pain.  I wasn't able to sleep.  Luckily I have books for those times.  I recently ordered a copy of Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.  I decided to read it, as it wasn't like I was going to be able to sleep.  As I read those pages, my pain faded into the background and I became engrossed in the story.  It is a novel, based on the family experiences of the author.  It follows a fairly typical Irish family in Galway from the horrors of the Great Hunger (I refuse to call it a famine!) to the streets of Chicago and then on to the battlefields of the Civil War.

Yes, it is the story of her family.  But in a way, it is also the story of mine.  My ancestors also fled the disease and starvation in their native land, which they loved as only an Irishman could.  They threw in their lot with their respective states when the Civil War began.  Some fought for the North and some fought for the South.  The simple fact that the coffin ship that left on Tuesday landed in New York and the one that left on Wednesday landed in New Orleans dictated the side they fought on.  Their blood, spilled on numerous battlefields throughout our land, paid the price for our acceptance into society.

As I read the book, I felt the presence of my ancestors standing guard over me, telling me that if they could handle centuries of oppression, then I could handle chronic pain.  They have a point.  My 8th great-grandfather was "Silken" Thomas Fitzgerald who was hanged, drawn, and quartered on orders from Henry VIII for rebelling against English rule in Ireland.  What's a little back pain compared to having your intestines pulled out while you are still alive?  But in all seriousness, I felt them with me as I read a story that could have very well been their own.

I am proud to be an American.  I am prouder still to be an Irish-American.  And I am prouder yet that my Irish ancestors fought so willingly and valiantly for their adopted country.  Their spirit lives on in me, my brother, and our sons.  It is fashionable now to be "Irish".  But my family has always been Irish and not just on St. Patrick's Day.  It is both a blessing and a curse.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who would like to say 

                            FAUGH A BALLAGH!

Friday, July 26, 2013

An Angry Addict


I am making Saturday's post one day early.  I am not a happy Addict.  I want to know what a$$hat thought it would be funny to vandalize the Lincoln Memorial?  Now, I really doubt that the person (or persons) who did such a thing read my blog, but if you are the guilty party and you happen to read this, I have the following message for you.  I hope that the US Park Police find you and remove your genitals (if you have any) with a rusty spoon.  Afterwards, I hope you are locked in a small room and forced to watch Gods and Generals nonstop for seven days.  Beginning on the 8th day, I hope that you are forced to stand at the Lincoln Memorial every day for one year wearing a sign that says "I'm the a$$hat who vandalized this monument."

I don't care what your reason for the vandalism was.  I don't care if you were making a political point or simply engaging in teenage buffoonery.  You did something very, very bad and I hope you suffer the wrath of the Federal Government.  This ranks right up there with Ozzie Osbourne urinating on the cenotaph at the Alamo.  There are some things you just don't do.  I'm sure you found your prank really funny at the time.  Let's see how funny you think a jail cell is.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who doesn't suffer morons who deface national monuments gladly.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Post Gettysburg Hangover


Let me preface this post by saying two things.  I apologize for the late hour.  Second, I haven't had an adult beverage in so long that I can no longer remember the last time.  I do, however, remember what a hangover feels like.......and thus we have the subject of today's post.

Were any of you, like me, pleased with the amount of media coverage that the 150th Gettysburg event received.  It almost seemed as though, for a few days at least, the Civil War mattered.  We even had an article in the Houston Chronicle about it.  (Or the Houston Pravda as I call it!)  For an all too brief moment, the eyes of many folks in the nation were transfixed by the events in a far away town in Pennsylvania.  In a way that is somewhat reminiscent of when the battle was fought if you think about it.

But now all that has past.  I spent three days in July pondering the significance of those days in my own life.  I then spent the next day pondering the significance of the fall of Vicksburg.  I guess it was such an emotional "high" for me that I am feeling sort of let down lately.  I don't really know how to describe other than it is sort of like a Gettysburg hangover.  In a way it feels like I always felt during my reenactor days when the event ended and I realized that I had to return to the 20th Century.  Remember the line in the movie Patton when George C. Scott says "God how I hate the 20th Century."  I can surely understand his sentiment.

Am I alone in feeling this way or are any of you suffering from a post Gettysburg hangover?  I'm going to the 150th of Sabine Pass in about 5 weeks, so that will be a certain cure.

And the funniest 150th quote belongs to a colleague of mine, an educated person with a college degree, who when asked by me what he knew about Gettysburg responded with "Wasn't that Custer and the Indians?"

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who works with folks who wouldn't know Stonewall Jackson if he jumped up and kicked them in the bottom end.  (Or threw lemons at them)

EDIT: Also, dear readers, I'll hit 6000 views with this post!  And all that in three months.  THANK YOU!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Question for My Readers


Today was a red letter day of sorts.  When I got home from work, I found that I had three new books waiting for me.  All of them are somewhat massive tomes.  I covered all of the literary bases, I think.  One is a novel about Irish immigration, one is a non-fiction book about the Battle of Britain, and the last one contains the complete works of the poet Randall Jarrell.

For those of you not familiar with Jarrell's work, he is best know for writing the short poem Death of the Ball Turret Gunner which deals with the untimely demise of a ball turret gunner on a B-17 during World War Two.  That is the one normally included in high school literature least it was back when the kids still had to read!  However, my favorite poem of his, also about World War Two, deals with a bomber pilot.  Jarrell wrote "In our bombers named for girls/We burned the cities we had read about in school."  To me, there is no finer piece of writing to sum up the Air War during World War Two.

So what does that have to do with the Civil War?  Simple.  Have you come across a particularly good poem that sums up the experiences of the Civil War?  It could be written by a participant or a more modern person.  Maybe you wrote it!  If so, I'd love to get some ideas for Civil War poems to check out.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who doesn't know poo from a shovel when it comes to poetry.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Confederate Thermopylae


September 8th marks the 150th Anniversary of another Civil War event.  It won't get as much coverage as Gettysburg.  In fact, outside of the local area, it won't get any coverage at all.  There will be a reenactment there September 6-8.  However, few will probably notice.  The event doesn't even get covered in a lot of history books about the war as it is, so it should be no surprise that it won't even register and the national radar.

What happened that day in the mosquito infested swamps of Sabine Pass, Texas was as improbable as it was memorable.  44 Irishmen under the command of their fellow countryman, Dick Dowling, turned back a 5,000 man invasion force by sinking two Federal gunboats and killing or capturing 200 sailors without suffering a single casualty in return.  Talk about the luck of the Irish!  Their commander, a bar owner in Houston prior to the war, had the men place stakes in the channel to mark the distances so that when the Federal gunboats arrived, they opened fire with deadly accuracy.

As a side note, the veterans of the Battle of Sabine Pass each received a medal, hung on a green ribbon (of course!) which had the date of the battle engraved on one side and the other side had the letters "D.G." for Davis Guards and either a Maltese Cross or a CSA Flag.  You can see a picture of one here.  It is thought to be the only medal authorized by the Confederate Congress during the duration of the war.

I grew up just a couple of miles from this battlefield.  It is a State Historical Site today, though hurricanes have wreaked havoc with it over the years.  If you would like further reading on the matter, I would suggest you check out Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae by Ed Cotham which you can find here.  It is an excellent introduction to this little known battle.

On a side note, I attended my first reenactment as a spectator here in 1985.  Later, I attended my first event as a participant here.  As many of you know, I have severe back problems now.  However, I will be attending the reenactment this year as my last hurrah.  There will be no more reenactments in my future and I think it fitting that I go out the same way I came Sabine Pass.  I'll be portraying a Regimental Surgeon.  So if you are in the area on September 7, stop by and check it out.  You can even meet Mrs. Civil War Addict and I.  Click here for more information.  Hope to see you there!

Dick Dowling of County Galway. Source.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Married to a Civil War Addict


Have you ever wondered what it is like to be married to a Civil War Addict?  Our special guest poster has graciously offered to share her viewpoint.


My husband and I are considering purchasing a new TV, which in our house is a big purchase.  Today I received a text message about a 1940s Hangar Dance that will be held in our area.  The text message read "I could get a new uniform instead of the TV."  That got me thinking about what it is like being married to a Civil War Addict.

Here are just a few of the things that have come up in our five years of marriage which might be signs that you too are married to a Civil War Addict.

1.  If you have ever heard the phrase "It isn't a costume.  It is a uniform."
2.  If you have ever heard ANY quote from Gods and Generals.
3.  If your Thanksgiving Dinner includes hardtack and/or grog.  
4.  If you have ever heard "It is NOT a man purse.  It is a haversack!" 
5.  If your husband's idea of a romantic getaway includes destinations like Franklin or Shiloh.

Then you will know that you are married to a Civil War Addict.  I have enjoyed being married to my Civil War Addict very much!  It probably helps that I am a history addict too, although I enjoy different time periods.  It isn't everyone who gets to share their passions with the one that they are passionate about.

I am Mrs. Lee Hutch and I am married to a Civil War Addict.

Mrs. Lee Hutch

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Teaching the Civil War


See, I set a posting schedule and I've already had to break it.  Originally this post was for tomorrow, but I'll be getting another injection in my back tomorrow afternoon.  They give me "twilight sedation" which knocks me out cold.  Rather than run the risk of posting under the influence, I thought I'd just go ahead and do this today.

My normal daily title at work is "Deputy", however, I also have another title.  I have taught US History survey courses for several years now at a local community college, thus also earning the moniker "Professor" which is kind of amusing seeing as how I still remember sitting in those same seats myself many moons ago.  Naturally, I have the term "Adjunct" in front of my name which is almost like an epithet to some.  But not to me.  I'll be branching into Western Civ this fall as well.

Teaching a survey course, be it US, Western Civilization or World History, is rather like firing a shotgun loaded with buckshot at the past.  You'll hit some things and miss others by a mile!  Taking two US history survey courses (divided by the year 1877) in my state is the only history course the vast majority of college students will ever take.  Often times these courses are taught by adjuncts like me.  We impart what little bit of historical knowledge these students will ever get from college.  The rest will come from Pawn Stars and Dan Brown novels.  How do we compete with that?

I have taught, off and on, for six years.  (Including one year of teaching 8th grade social studies and, yes, coaching football.  I do live in Texas after all.)  Though we may bemoan the lack of general historical knowledge in the American public, I have found that students DO enjoy history.  But only if it is taught the right way.  Naturally, this includes the Civil War.  In fact, my students are fascinated by it.  There is not a dry eye in the room, mine included, when I describe Pickett's Charge.  The class erupts with laughter when I tell them about General Sickles and his somewhat amusing life.  When I talk about sacrifice and hardship, they get it.  They can understand that because, in their own way, they have faced it themselves in their day to day lives.  (Particularly our growing population of young veterans attending college.)

Am I "Professor of the Year"?  Not hardly.  After all, despite trying, I have not gotten a full time teaching position at a community college, though I have been a finalist a few times.  Academia says that military history doesn't matter.  I disagree.  When teaching about the Civil War, if they even get to it in US 1, a lot of folks spend their time discussing everything BUT the military.  They talk about politics and society.  It is almost as if the actual war was insignificant.  All those things are important.  But you have to talk about all of them.

Here is what I do and honestly, I do it because it seems to work with my students.  After all, everything I do is for them.  TALK ABOUT THE PEOPLE!  Tell their stories.  Let the students connect with them as individuals.  Make them human, not some black and white picture in a textbook.  You can cover everything and reach the majority of your students by simply talking about the people as if they are alive today.  Don't just tell them what happened.  Tell them about the people who made it happen and who lived through it.  You can't expect a student to give a coyote's rosy red behind about Pickett's Charge unless you tell them SOMETHING about the men who both made and repulsed the charge.  What were their hopes and dreams?  What about their families?  Otherwise, it is just meaningless information and numbers.

You know, I've done a lot of cool things in my day job.  I've gotten to see a lot.  I've closed major felony investigations and sent some bad hombres to prison.  I've been in a few tight spots as well.  But nothing compares to the feeling of walking into a classroom on the first day and seeing all those faces looking at you.  Those of you who have experienced that firsthand know exactly what I mean.

I apologize for delving into matters pedagogical, but if history were taught the right way, there would be more people interested in it.  After all, isn't history really one big reality show!

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who means no offense to those who don't teach like me since we all have our own quirks!  And the "History Teacher of the Year" award should go to my beautiful wife who is a high school teacher and coach.  And a d--n good one at that.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Humerous Anecdotes


Despite all of the seriousness of the Civil War, there were some rather amusing tales to come out of it.  Throughout my life I have heard funny quotes and stories pertaining to the war.  Do any of  you remember the story that the late (and great) Shelby Foote told about the war?  It was in the first volume of his trilogy and he also repeated it on the Ken Burns miniseries.  It involved a young private who was startled by an owl while on picket duty.  When the owl said "Who!  Who!", the young soldier said "I'm Private So and So, a friend of yours!"  Now I don't know Mr. Foote's source for that quote, but it is still funny, even if it is not in fact true.

When I was in college I attended a symposium at the community college in Hillsboro, Texas.  I heard Dr. Woodworth from TCU give a presentation.  He shared a story about General Theopilus Holmes.  One day during the Peninsula Campaign, his troops were being shelled by Federal gunboats.  The noise was deafening.  General Holmes wandered out onto the front porch of the home he was using as his headquarters and asked "Do I hear gunfire?"  Little wonder his troops called him "Granny".

And who can forget General Pope!  When he started signing his dispatches "Headquarters in the Saddle", his soldiers said that his headquarters were where his hindquarters should be.  Robert E. Lee referred to him as a "miscreant" and told General Jackson that "he (Pope) must be suppressed."  General Lee was not known for using language this blunt, so it that should tell you how much disdain he had for the man.  Needless to say, Pope was suppressed at 2nd Manassas!

After the suppression of Pope, Burnside took command of the Army of the Potomac and left little impact on history, other than giving us the term sideburns.  (He did sport an impressive set of whiskers!)  After he was fired, Joseph Hooker took command.  He felt the need to continue the foot-in-mouth disease which Pope suffered from.  Hooker declared "May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none."  That statement ranks right up there with declaring the Titanic unsinkable!  Of course, as well all know, General Lee mauled Fighting Joe's troops badly at Chancellorsville.

Perhaps he should have stuck with whiskey and.....well.....hookers!
(Though evidence suggests that the term "hooker" did not in fact come from his name.)

Those are just a couple humorous anecdotes from the Civil War.  Do you have any you would like to share?

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict who enjoys telling a good (or inappropriate) joke at the right or wrong time!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Onward Christian Soldiers: Civil War Religion


My wife and I are having supper with our priest tonight, so I have been pondering religious matters.  Naturally, anytime I think about any subject, I always try to find a connection with the Civil War.  One of the interesting things about the Civil War is that both sides prayed to the same God.  Both thought that God was on their side.  They both spoke the same language.  Though the first time I met a Bostonian, I wasn't sure that we actually did speak the same language!  I mean no offense to those from Boston.  It is a beautiful city. And they could say the same about my accent.

Consider this.  Northern ministers used the Bible to condemn slavery.  Southern ministers used the same Bible to defend it.  Both could point to passages to support their point of view.  The slavery question caused denominations to split apart.  Some ministers such as Bishop Leonidas K. Polk, joined the fray as an officer. In Polk's case, he was a general.  Polk was far from being the Confederacy's greatest general.  It makes me wonder if it is really true that God called Polk to be his sword arm.  Bishop/General Polk was killed in action  during the Atlanta Campaign.  Along the same lines, another Episcopal Bishop, Charles Quintard, is also well known in Civil War circles.  He was asked to serve as the Regimental Chaplain for the 1st Tennessee Infantry.  He accepted, despite his initial pro-Union stance.  Quintard was also a medical man and helped with surgeries as well.  Several of my ancestors served in this regiment.  They were all Irish Catholics, but I have no doubt that they found something familiar in the 19th Century Episcopal "high church" mass.

And speaking of Irish Catholics, I have to mention my favorite chaplain of the wartime era, Father Corby of the famed Irish Brigade.  He ministered the the needs of one of the elite brigades in the Union Army.  Catholics in the United States, and Irish Catholics in particular, were not very well thought of in the urban areas of the Northeast.  But the same North that despised their very existence relied on the prowess in a tight spot.  At Antietam he rode back and forth on horseback in front of the 69th New York as they advanced on the Sunken Road blessing the soldiers.  He is best known from granting "conditional absolution" to the men of the Irish Brigade, both Catholic and non, on the second day at Gettysburg shortly before they entered the fight at in the Wheat Field.  This scene is immortalized the movie.  There is a statue to him there which you can view by clicking here.  The statue is said to be placed on the same rock where he stood.  There is a similar statue of him at Notre Dame where he served as president.

Irish Brigade Chaplains: Father Corby is seated at the right.

There is an old saying that there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.  Civil War soldiers sought comfort in religion while on battlefields that must have resembled hell on earth.  When we think about the Civil War, we often neglect to mention the chaplains who often braved shot and shell to minister to their flock.  Men like Father Corby and Bishop Quintard are true American heroes and should be remember as such.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict.

Monday, July 8, 2013

What is Your Specific Obsession?


I apologize for the lateness of this post.  I was busy buying a car for my wife this evening.  My new posting schedule will be the Civil War blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and the Great War blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  (At least that is the plan!)

Now, on to business!  The vast panorama that is the American Civil War gives Civil War Addicts all sorts of areas with which to focus our interest.  You could spend a lifetime just studying one battle and still not know everything there is to know about it.  Some focus their interest on the political arena and others on social aspects.  There are even smaller genres, if you will, such as medicine or even fashion.  Our American Iliad gives everyone plenty of room to carve out his or her own niche.  That is what draws new addicts each generation.

In addition to meeting my beautiful wife, I spent my grad school days studying Military History.  That is not a "cool" specialty in graduate school anymore.  (Though it is more so now than it was ten years ago.)  I loved reading and studying weapons and tactics.  Plus, my time as a reenactor complimented this pursuit as well.  When I taught US History survey courses during my adjunct days, I constantly had to remind myself that it was a survey course, lest I get bogged down in tactical minutiae that perhaps only one student in the classroom actually cared about.

There is one particular subject that I can't read enough about.  That is the Battle of Franklin.  Perhaps it isn't appropriate to say that a battle is your "favorite", but Franklin is the one that holds my mind captive.  What I wouldn't give to see the Army of Tennessee march across that valley with bands playing and flags unfurled.  When I close my eyes, I can see.  Or at least what I imagine it looked like.  I cannot get my hands on enough materials about this battle.  If I had one specific obsession, it would be this.

So my question to your, dear readers, is this.  What is the specific area of the American Civil War that holds you interest the most.  Is it a battle?  Or politics? Or 19th Century music or religion?

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a somewhat poorer Civil War Addict after purchasing the below.  (But my wife's happiness is far more important to me than money.)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beyond Gettysburg


Typically Civil War Addicts have been to some pretty cool sites off the beaten path.  That is the subject of today's post.  Not satisfied with merely visiting the same sites as all of the other tourists, Civil War Addicts seek out new places to see.  I have been to many Civil War battlefields in my day.  Some of the best ones are not National Battlefield Parks, but rather State Parks or State Historic sites.  And I've been to some interesting non battlefield places too.  Here is but a small sampling.

Port Hudson, Louisiana, Nov. 2009

Original Centenary College site, Jackson, Louisiana

And there are several others with no pictures readily available.  They include Sabine Pass, New Market, Perryville, Prairie Grove, and the Myrtles Plantation.  Though if I had to pick one non-national park as my favorite site, it would have to be New Market, Virginia.  I haven't been there since I was a teenager, but I've never forgotten it.  So assuming it hasn't changed in the past 20 years, it still holds that honor.

So I leave you with this question, dear readers.  What is your favorite non-national park site?  (It can be either a battlefield or non-battlefield site.)

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict.

(Photo credits go to my wife.  They can be used with proper attribution to this page.)

EDIT:  I can't believe that I forgot to mention that last week I hit the FOUR THOUSAND view mark!  Not bad for the first two and a half months.  Thank all of you so much.  Let's see how fast we can hit five thousand!  (And no, that doesn't count my own views.)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Unvexed to the Sea


Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the surrender of Vicksburg.  I'm sure that will be overshadowed by all of the attention focused on Gettysburg this week.  The Western Theater battles often get overlooked by folks who prefer to focus their attention on the Eastern Theater.  However, it is my firm belief that the South lost the war in the Western Theater (or the North won it there, depending on your viewpoint).  I had hoped that the western campaigns would get equal coverage during the 150th, but that may not be the case.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my wife and I spent a lovely week in Vicksburg two and a half years ago.  I really enjoy the town and the people.  My goal is to one day go back and hike the battlefield, but I fear that my back will not allow that now.  Vicksburg happens to be the closest National Battlefield Park to my house...though it is a 7 hour drive.  Pea Ridge is second and it comes in around 8 hours or so.  That is the problem with being a Civil War Addict in Southeast Texas.  It is hard to get your Civil War "fix" by visiting battlefields.

So here are my questions for the day.  1.  Is there an Eastern bias in mainstream Civil War history/students. 2.  If there is, why might that be?  This is what I will be reflecting on today.  Along with the gratitude that I don't have to live in a town under siege.

I will leave you with a quote from this Lincoln fellow who said that "Vicksburg is the key."  The next update may not be until Saturday evening or Sunday.  I have to work 3-12 tonight followed by 730(am) to 4:30 tomorrow.  So if you leave or post a comment and I don't get back to you right away, be not offended!  I will as soon as I can.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict.

Texas Monument at Vicksburg
Photo by N.E.H.
May be used with attribution to this page