The Revelation

Mrs. Noland did not care much for the twelve apostles. Of course, she never told anyone that–how could you? But if you’re honest, you’d have to admit the apostles didn’t measure up too often. Here’s Peter sinking under the water because of his lack of faith. Here are James and John arguing over who getsContinue reading “The Revelation”

Send Ole Pinkerton Home

Billy Morgan couldn’t sleep. The night was pitch outside, and only a lantern now and again lit some of the rooms or corridors while cooks, nurses, and doctors kept doing their work. Of course, there were still moans coming from the sickest or most wounded patients. Sometimes, a man having a nightmare would scream out.Continue reading “Send Ole Pinkerton Home”

Ain’t My Land, Ain’t Your Land

The old woman rocked slowly in the dwindling summer evening. She gazed out over the cotton fields and listened to the midsummer evening crickets and the creaking wood of the rickety porch. Her husband, brother, son, and daughter were all out there in the distance, shades in the sun, stooping and rising, swinging hoes, andContinue reading “Ain’t My Land, Ain’t Your Land”

The Orphan of the Orphan Brigade

“Excuse me, ma’am,” a weak voice said as she passed up the aisle. Kate turned around. “Yes, sir?” she said, a pile of fresh bandages in her arms. At first, she wasn’t sure who had even spoken. The men all lay with eyes closed, but one of them shifted. “Private Fugate, ma’am. Fifth Kentucky,” theContinue reading “The Orphan of the Orphan Brigade”

A Story Hardly Known

Years after Kate Cumming published her diary, she returned to it to write an author’s introduction. While still lamenting the outcome of the war, her emotions had cooled somewhat, and she reflected on causes of the South’s failure. As she did, she also extolled the virtues of many people she had worked with, saying, “WholeContinue reading “A Story Hardly Known”

A Stranger and a Foreigner

“Miss Cumming, you may wish to attend to Private Smith at your earliest,” said the doctor. “I do not expect him to make it through the day.” “Where is he, sir?” Kate said. “Upstairs,” said the doctor. “Memphis boy. 6th Tennessee Volunteers.” “Tennessee. Very well,” said Kate. She moved toward the stairs. “Miss Cumming?” saidContinue reading “A Stranger and a Foreigner”

My Brother’s Playmate

Eight days after The Battle of Shiloh had concluded, Kate Cumming was walking through the largest ward of the field hospital at the Old Tishomingo Hotel when a young man called her by name. She paused. “May I help you?” “Do you not recollect me, ma’am?” said the young man. He was laid out likeContinue reading “My Brother’s Playmate”

A Great Prejudice Against Ladies

When Kate Cumming embarked on her journey to serve in hospitals, she and her traveling crew of other women immediately met resistance. On the way to Corinth, Kate met other women who had been to the hospitals to serve and recorded, “It seems that the surgeons entertain great prejudice against admitting ladies into the hospitalContinue reading “A Great Prejudice Against Ladies”

Resting at the Old Tishomingo Hotel

In the 1860s, Randolph County, Alabama, abutted the heart of the Black Belt of Alabama–a region of rich black soil that first produced food. In time, as the cotton market expanded, food crops were swapped for cotton, and enslaved people were brought to the plantations to cultivate the land, giving the regional nickname a tragicContinue reading “Resting at the Old Tishomingo Hotel”