Monday, October 15, 2012

Women's Fashions During the Civil War

The women during the Civil War had to keep things going at home while the men were away fighting, and they had to go to great lengths sometimes to do this.I am sure that all of you are familiar with Scarlett O'Hara and her "hi jinks". Who could ever forget the beautiful gowns she wore, prior to and after the War?
Ah the styles. We bow to them today, but at least we don't have to worry about the hoop skirts, the corsets and the evening gowns that  kept the men at a distance most of the time! There was always the danger of fire too so they had to beware standing too close to the hearth.
The feemale nurses during the war did not wear hoops under their dresses for safety reasons and for hospital regulations, according to wikipedia.
All the women wore corsets however - ugh, I am glad I did not live back then. The term "loose women" comes from the allusion to "loosening one's stays" (or corsets), indicating a lack of morality. Sarah Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Book,  considered a women's clothing to be: "an effective indication of her morality, and the corset was a requisite part of that appearance."
Remember how bedraggled poor Scarlett looked by the time she got her entourage back to Tara? No hoop skirts for her then, and I feel sure she had likely ditched the corset as well, when she declared she would "never be hungry again"!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Ode to the Confedserate Dead" by Allen Tate

Are you familiar with  the poet, Allen Tate? He was one of the group at Vanderbilt University that wrote about loving the South and taking a stand for it They called themselves "The Fugitives'. He was also a contemporary of Hemingway and others in Paris in the 1920's.
He wrote "Ode to the Confederate Dead" during the 30's. If you love poetry and you love reading about the brave Confederate Soldiers, please take the time to google and read this poem. Here is one stanza to whet your appetite:
"Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.
Cursing only the leaves crying
Like an old man in a storm..."
We don't take the time to read much poetry anymore. We are too busy with our cell phones, our I-Pads and our computers, all the things that are supposed to save us so much time. Time to do what, I sometimes wonder?

"Forrest Gump" Coming To Speak

Great news! Winston Groom, the author of Forrest Gump, has graciously accepted our invitation to be our speaker at our Reception Fundraiser on May 2, 2013.
He will be speaking about his latest book, Shiloh, 1862. The battle of Shiloh was so very important because with the loss of 25,000 men, it set the stage for things to come. , Both North and South  had begun to realize that they had, in his words, "unleashed a vast monstrosity which would drench the country with blood for years to come."
Groom has also written another book about the War Between the States: Shrouds of Glory -  From Atlanta to Nashville: The Last Great Campaign of the Civil War, about John Bell Hood's last attempt to vanquish the Union on the western front during the final months of the War.
He has dedicated that book to his great-grandfather, Fremont Sterling Thrower who was in the 56th Alabama Cavalry, CSA. We are very excited about his coming to Montgomery to be our  special guest. Please mark your calendars to attend!