Battle for Decatur, Alabama

Decatur is located on the banks of the Tennessee River.  During the Civil War, it was a key transportation point, because both the Memphis and Charleston railroads crossed the Tennessee River in Decatur.  Decatur also had a national road (US Highway 31) that went through the city.

The Confederates were determined to stop the Union Army from taking the city.  They knew without Decatur it would be extremely difficult for the Union to get supplies, artillery, and reinforcements to their troops.

The Confederate Army fought fiercely for four days with General Hood in command.  General Hood was confident that Decatur would not fall to the Union Army.  He said, Decatur was a “hard nut to crack.”  General Hood employed the use of mounted troops, gunboats, and a vast number of infantrymen.

General Robert Granger was in command of the Union troops, which included the 14th United States Colored Troops (USCT) led by Colonel Thomas Morgan.  The USCT was able to drive back the Confederate troops and take control of the city.

Most of Decatur was destroyed during the war and only five buildings remained.  Four of those buildings are still standing today:  the Old State Bank, the Dancy-Polk House, the Todd House, and the McEntire Home.

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Source:  Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

National Military Brats Day

Today is National Military Brats Day.  Being a military brat made my childhood unique in many ways.

  1. Where am I from?  That is a hard question to answer.  I was born in Fort Bliss (El Paso) Texas, but we left when I was only a year old.  I can’t say I am from there.  I spent the majority of my childhood in Germany, but I am not a German and I can’t say I am from there.  Maybe, I am from nowhere or maybe I am from everywhere.
  2. I didn’t get to know my extended family as a child.  Since I grew up overseas, I rarely got a chance to visit them.
  3. I learned all the words to the National Anthem while I was still in elementary school.
  4. As a child, I could see tanks outside my bedroom window.
  5. At school we celebrated Military Appreciation Day.  They would fill the parking lot with military weapons, tanks, trucks, and helicopters.  The kids were allowed to climb on everything.  It was a ton of fun.
  6. We got to do fun things other kids would never get a chance to do, such as operating flight simulators and tank simulators.
  7. We also got to sample MREs.  That wasn’t so much fun.
  8. Occasionally, we ate holiday meals at the Mess Hall.
  9. Taking a bus to Paris for the weekend was a thing, so was skiing in the Alps on a field trip.
  10. I learned to be adaptable at an early age.
  11. I also learned how to properly fold a flag.

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Happy Military Brats Day

Huntsville Veteran’s Museum

The Huntsville Veteran’s Museum has an impressive collection of exhibits.  They also have information cards, so you can learn about the history of the exhibits.  I really enjoyed this museum and recommend it to anyone that happens to visit Huntsville, Alabama.

 

Old Stuff Day

This is Old Stuff Day.  When I think about old stuff in my house, the first thing that comes to mind is this washboard.

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My grandmother, Edith (Stevens) Lynn, purchased the washboard in 1957, from Carabaos Store in Anchorage, Alaska.  My grandfather was in the Army and he was stationed there at the time.

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It’s amazing to think about how different their lives were from mine.  I can’t even fathom how long it would take to do laundry for an entire family with a washboard or how much elbow grease was involved in that task.

Life for them was hard.  They moved constantly with the Army and sometimes spent less than one year at a location before moving again.  They raised four kids and would sacrifice to provide the best possible life for their children.

My mom remembers in the early years, when my grandfather was just a private, my grandmother would skip meals.  She sat at the table and said she wasn’t hungry.  However, the truth was she didn’t have enough food to feed everyone.  She decided her husband needed a good meal, since he was a soldier, and the children needed food to grow, be healthy, and do well in school.

The washboard now hangs in our laundry room, but it’s more than a decorative piece.  It is a reminder of my family legacy.

The sacrifice and hard work of my grandparents, gave my mom the chance at a good education and an example of how to survive in the world.

Mom passed that legacy down to her children.  Today my life successes are a reflection of that tradition and I try to teach Gwen the same values I learned from Mom.

It began over 60 years ago, a tradition of hard work, dedication, and love for your family.  It still continues to this day, thanks to my grandparents, Frank and Edith Lynn.