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”

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”

Two Unknowns

About ten percent into my revisiting of Kate Cummings’ recorded dead, I am stumped so far by two people. The first is a German man named Ernest (as she spells it). She does not indicate for sure whether that is his first or last name. She does say that he wished her to write hisContinue reading “Two Unknowns”

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”

To Defend One’s Home

At 5 am, the Confederate army had every reason to believe that they were on the cusp of a great victory. On April 6, 1862, they had caught the Union army under Grant unaware and had driven them to the edge of the Tennessee River. Twenty-seven-year-old John Ashby was in an ideal position. A memberContinue reading “To Defend One’s Home”


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