Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Hallowe'en is my favorite personal holiday, and I have some very fond memories of October at California's Fort Tejon. As a former re-enactor, I usually went up early and camped an extra day for the October Civil War Weekend. It was the last get-together at the Fort until Spring, so it was special. When the October moon rose, the hauntings began, and lots of tricks were played by our soldiers, on everyone! I certainly got my share!!
One of my favorite memories was of the jack-o-lanterns carved by the re-enactors and their families. It seemed each group would try to outdo the others in creativity and humor. All the generals were carved, lots of flag images, and of course, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln.
It was glorious to stand there at the top of the little hill and look down into the camps, with their cooking fires and glowing jack-o-lanterns. Warm cider and gingerbread scents wafted along the cool autumn evening breezes, and sometimes there was kettle-popped corn with caramel for making popcorn balls. I truly loved those evenings.
In scouring my sources for information about Hallowe'en and the Civil War, I thought I had completely failed. I found a pumpkin carved like Lincoln, but nary a Confederate jack-o-lantern did I discover. Then my searching paid off! Co. Aytch, or, A Side Show of the Big Show, by Samuel Rush Watkins, came to mind. The book is just fun to read, and I figured ol' Sam might have something to say, since Elisha Rhodes Hunt was mum on the matter.
Corinth, Mississippi: This is where I first saw a jack-o-lantern (ignis fatui). That night, while Tom and I were on our posts, we saw a number of very dim lights, which seemed to be in motion. At first we took them to be Yankees, moving about with lights. Whenever we could get a shot we would blaze away. At last one got up very close, and passed right between Tom and I. I don't think I was ever more scared in my life. My hair stood on end like the quills of the fretful porcupine; I could not imagine what on earth it was. I took it to be some hellish machination of a Yankee trick. I did not know whether to run or stand, until I heard Tom laugh and say, "Well, well--that's a jack-o-lantern!!"
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
This lovely model, luckily not runway-starved, is modeling a ladies' version of a Zouave jacket. The year of this piece of ephemera is 1859, I believe, so it is not a direct result of Ellsworth's Zouave Tour of 1860, but it does predict a trend toward Zouave mania.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Here is a guy only a mother could love. When I saw this image, I just wasn't sure what I was looking at. Is he stoned? Is he a nineteenth century Sid Vicious? I know bleached hair when I see it, and dyed hair as well--this guy is rocking both! Plus the eyes! EEEK!
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
It is portentous, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
Near the old court-house pacing up and down,
Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards
He lingers where his children used to play,
Or through the market, on the well-worn stones
He stalks until the dawn-stars burn away.
A bronzed, lank man! His suit of ancient black,
A famous high top-hat and plain worn shawl
Make him the quaint great figure that men love,
The prairie-lawyer, master of us all.
He cannot sleep upon his hillside now.
He is among us:—as in times before!
And we who toss and lie awake for long,
Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.
His head is bowed. He thinks of men and kings.
Yea, when the sick world cries, how can he sleep?
Too many peasants fight, they know not why;
Too many homesteads in black terror weep.
The sins of all the war-lords burn his heart.
He sees the dreadnaughts scouring every main.
He carries on his shawl-wrapped shoulders now
The bitterness, the folly and the pain.
He cannot rest until a spirit-dawn
Shall come;—the shining hope of Europe free:
A league of sober folk, the Workers' Earth,
Bringing long peace to Cornland, Alp and Sea.
It breaks his heart that things must murder still,
That all his hours of travail here for men
Seem yet in vain. And who will bring quiet peace
That he may sleep upon his hill again?