A New Piece of Civil War Art

Today, I purchased a framed print at a little yard sale in Monroe’s Garden District. I’ve attached a photo of the print. According to this site:

“Organized as the Southern Rights Battery in Perry, Houston Co., Georgia in March of 1862, this battery would later become known as “Palmer’s Battery” and then as “Havis’s Battery”. Most of the officers and sergeants were recently discharged veterans of company C, 1st Ga. Infantry (Ramsey’s) who had seen service in Virginia. The battery was mustered in to Confederate service, 14th Battalion, Georgia Light Artillery, by Captain Joseph T. Montgomery at Perry, Georgia on April 26, 1862.
The unit went to camps of instruction at Griffin and at Calhoun. As the best drilled battery in the battalion, Southern Rights Battery was selected to join Bragg’s army in the invasion of Kentucky (Battle for the Bluegrass), receiving their baptism of fire at Perryville, October 8, 1862, attached to Brown’s Brigade, Anderson’s Division of Hardee’s Corps.

Mounted as horse artillery and now known as Palmer’s Georgia Battery, they accompanied John Hunt Morgan and his famous Morgan’s Raiders on his Christmas Raid, distinguishing themselves at Elizabethtown, December 27, 1862.

Relinquishing their cannoneer’s mounts and losing the gallant Palmer through promotion and reassignment to Cheatham’s Corps, Havis’s Battery reunited with their old mates from the 14th, Anderson’s Battery, and, along with Lumsden’s Alabama Battery became the Artillery Reserve of the Army of Tennessee, under Major (later Brigadier-General) Felix H. Robertson. As one wag put it, ” we are called Reserve Artillery because we are never in reserve.”

The Reserve Artillery saw action in the Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauaga, the Siege of Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, and all the battles of the Atlanta campaign. In the spring of 1864 Major Palmer returned to take command of the Reserve Artillery, and after the fall of Atlanta most of Hood’s artillery was sent to Macon where were located the Confederate Macon Armory and an Arsenal. The rest of the Army of Tennessee marched off to their ill-fated meeting with Thomas at Franklin and Nashville.

In the spring of 1865 Havis’s Battery marched to North Carolina to rejoin the shattered remnants of the army, surrendering with Joe Johnston at Greensboro, N.C. April 26, 1865, three years to the day after mustering in on the steps of the Houston County courthouse.”

If you like Southern art, and art on the War Between the States, you can find more information on Stand Strickland, the artist here:

Haviss Battery by Stan Strickland

Havis's Battery by Stan Strickland

Guenevere: A Poem by Sara Teasdale

Sometime ago, in my study of Arthurian legend, I discovered this poem and this poet. I like Teasdale’s work generally, but after reading and viewing a page of the Pre-Raphaelite Society about Guenevere (there are about three spellings to her name) I decided to post this one. It tells the love story with Lancelot from Guenevere’s point of view.


I was a queen, and I have lost my crown;
A wife, and I have broken all my vows;
A lover, and I ruined him I loved: —
There is no other havoc left to do.

A little month ago I was a queen,
And mothers held their babies up to see
When I came riding out of Camelot.
The women smiled, and all the world smiled too.

And now, what woman’s eyes would smile on me?
I still am beautiful, and yet what child
Would think of me as some high, heaven-sent thing,
An angel, clad in gold and miniver?

The world would run from me, and yet am I
No different from the queen they used to love.
If water, flowing silver over stones,
Is forded, and beneath the horses’ feet
Grows turbid suddenly, it clears again,
And men will drink it with no thought of harm.
Yet I am branded for a single fault.

I was the flower amid a toiling world,
Where people smiled to see one happy thing,
And they were proud and glad to raise me high;
They only asked that I should be right fair,
A little kind, and gowned wondrously,
And surely it were little praise to me
If I had pleased them well throughout my life.

I was a queen, the daughter of a king.
The crown was never heavy on my head,
It was my right, and was a part of me.
The women thought me proud, the men were kind,
And bowed right gallantly to kiss my hand,
And watched me as I passed them calmly by,
Along the halls I shall not tread again.
What if, to-night, I should revisit them?
The warders at the gates, the kitchen-maids,
The very beggars would stand off from me,

And I, their queen, would climb the stairs alone,
Pass through the banquet-hall, a loathed thing,
And seek my chambers for a hiding-place,
And I should find them but a sepulchre,
The very rushes rotted on the floors,
The fire in ashes on the freezing hearth.

I was a queen, and he who loved me best
Made me a woman for a night and day,
And now I go unqueened forevermore.
A queen should never dream on summer eves,
When hovering spells are heavy in the dusk: —
I think no night was ever quite so still,
So smoothly lit with red along the west,
So deeply hushed with quiet through and through.
And strangely clear, and deeply dyed with light,
The trees stood straight against a paling sky,
With Venus burning lamp-like in the west.

I walked alone amid a thousand flowers,
That drooped their heads and drowsed beneath the dew,
And all my thoughts were quieted to sleep.
Behind me, on the walk, I heard a step —
I did not know my heart could tell his tread,
I did not know I loved him till that hour.
Within my breast I felt a wild, sick pain,
The garden reeled a little, I was weak,
And quick he came behind me, caught my arms,
That ached beneath his touch; and then I swayed,
My head fell backward and I saw his face.

All this grows bitter that was once so sweet,
And many mouths must drain the dregs of it.
But none will pity me, nor pity him
Whom Love so lashed, and with such cruel thongs.

Under a Texas Sky by Hugh Morrison: A CD Music Review

Hugh Morrison is a Scotsman living in Texas who plays button accordians, and he plays the instrument very well. I first heard Hugh at a live venue at Enoch’s Irish Pub in Monroe, Louisiana. He was with Murder the Stout that night (their website is here). I and the rest of the crowd were  delighted with Morrison’s performance and his energetic performance.  Since that time, I’ve often heard him at festivals, where he plays with noted musicians I’ve also featured on this site, such as Jed Marum.  His newest CD collection features both solos and songs with other musicians–Jed Marum, vocals, guitar/banjo; Kendall Rogers, keyboards, bodhran; Jonathan Chamrad, drums/percussion; and Trish Strain, cello. The variety of songs on the CD are an indication of how much Morrison loves music.  Some of them were new to me, but I enjoyed listening to every one of them. Morrison plays with energy and as you listen you’ll find yourself thumping the table or wanting to dance a jig or reel. Here is a listing of the songs on the CD :
1   Aidan’s
Ali MacGregor’s Jig
Made in Texas
2   Song – Come by the Hills
3   Calum’s Road
A Tune for Jimmy
4   Welcome to Skye
Mary of Skye
5    Burn’s Farewell
Old Pipe Reel
Ale is Dear
6   Song – McPherson’s Rant
7   Dun Eistein
8   Father John McMillan of Barra
Glen Caladh Castle
9   Song – Red River Valley
10   Rebecca’s Reel
Granny’s Kitchen
11   Kiloran Bay
Wade’s Welcome
to Inverness
12   Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfain Ce Hi
Baidin Fheidhlimidh
The Sea Around Us
13   Wee Man from Skye
Angus MacKinnon
Atholl Highlanders

Hugh Morrison’s website is here:

I encourage you to visit his websites and listen to some samples. If you’re a lover of the button accordian in Irish music (and who wouldn’t be) you’ll likely want to obtain this CD, Under a Texas Skye. If you play or wish to learn to play the accordian, you may be interested in Hugh’s book, “Ali MacGregor’s Music Collection,” which he wrote to honor his accordian teacher. That’s a story I’m going to save for another post.  Contact Hugh directly via e-mail (hugh@hughmorrison.co.uk) with regard to any questions on bookings, button boxes and music in general.

Under a Texas Skye

Under a Texas Skye

Pittman Book News from the Ozarks

Saturday, I was at the Rapides Parish Library. Here is a photo of me at the Kent House Plantation on Bayou Rapides Road in Alexandria where I’ll be performing as a musician in the future. Following that is a grave on the grounds of a fellow in the 12th Louisiana, a unit I have reenacted with.

Tonight, I’m in Paris, Arkansas at the Cottage on the Creek Bed & Bath. I just finished a program for the parents and teachers at the middle school, and tomorrow I have a very full day with the elementary school students.  I’ll be presenting Civil War programs and Scots-Irish programs. Tomorrow, I’ll be on my way back to east Texas for my program at Harleton, then on to Houston where I’ll be storytelling on Saturday and Sunday and Monday at the Heather & Thistle Organization.

Paris is such an interesting area.  Here are some photos I took today with my iPhone.  First is the Logan County Museum. It used to be the jail here. Male prisoners were upstairs in the left hand side and women prisoners downstairs, while the jailers and their families lived in the right side of the building. Next to the building is the gallows. The last hanging in Arkansas took place here, July 15, 1914.  His name was Arthur Tillman.

Believe it nor, evidently the Vikings came to Arkansas. Here is a rune stone that’s been translated. When translated the runes say, Nov. 12, 1011. Unbelievable–the Vikings found Arkansas?

Weekend Author Event

I’ll be presenting two Civil War programs in the brand new library Rapides Parish facility in Alexandria this Saturday. Here is the ad the library ran on their website:

Rickey Pittman at the Westside Regional Library

Join us Saturday May 9, at 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. Author, story-teller, and Musician Rickey Pittman will give two performances celebrating our heritage and teaching important lessons from our region’s history. Mr. Pittman’s children’s book Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House tells the fascinating and little known story of a young black orphan who was raised with Jefferson Davis’ family. It is currently on the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award list. Mr. Pittman’s other works include the novel Red River Fever and the short story collection Stories from the Confederate South.

While both performances are family events, the morning performance will feature entertainment especially for children and the afternoon program will include readings from Mr. Pittman’s adult literary work.

A Poem for the Clan Cumming

Here is a poem for the Clan Cumming. I wrote it for the event (Sam Houston Folk Festival) and read it to the crowd at the opening ceremonies. I think it will also likely be read at the Houston Highland Games and at the Scottish Festival at
Arlington. Their representative, Dawn Burgess–with her grandchild, Marjorie–is pictured below.

The Clan Cumming

The illustrious Clan Cumming,
Rivals of the Bruce for the crown,
The story of their troubled history
In Texas blood can be found.
For their sons died in the Alamo,
And languished in Mexican prisons
After thirsting in the desert
On the Santa Fe Expedition.
The ground was splashed with Scottish blood,
Wounded in America’s Civil War,
And soothed by a nurse named Kate,
Who healed hearts and bodies sore.
Today they are the honored clan
Of their Scottish kith and kin,
And today let us honor them,
The Cummings of old Scotland.

Day 3, Sam Houston Festival, Huntsville, TX

Today is the third and final day of the Sam Houston Folk Festival. I was able to visit the Sam Houston Museum here, and was amazed at the life of this man. I know there’s stories there. Am in a rush. I must go to the festival grounds to meet Jed Marum and help him pack up, as it looks like the rain and storms are going to end the festival early. Anyway, here’s a photo of me and a couple of the Southern Belles at the festival who helped me demonstrate the “Language of the Fan” that I mentioned on an earlier post as well as photo of the cannon at the festival, a reproduction of one of the two cannons that Sam Houston had with his army at the battle of San Jacinto. I’ve got pages of notes and thoughts on the festival. I’ll likely make another post tonight.

Notes from the General Sam Houston Folk Festival in Huntsville

I’ve been so remiss in posting for my blog. I’m in Huntsville, TX this weekend. The festival’s attendance of school kids suffered terribly from the media and political hype surrounding the swine flu.  Here are some photos of the event that I thought you’d like to see. Here is me with Calamity Jane, followed by some Southern belles, followed by the Punch & Judy Show!  I go from here to Brownsboro, TX ISD for some programs there. Back to Monroe late Tuesday night.