Friday, October 31, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Happy SKY WATCH FRIDAY and Happy Halloween
Be sure and stop into the main SKY WATCH FRIDAYPage for more great shots


Happy Halloween

Glitter Graphics

Can you guess what I am going as?

Happy Halloween!!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Barmbrack

Halloween Barmbrack

History: A seasonal favorite, the word barm comes from Old English - beorma, which means yeasty, fermented liquor. Brack comes from the Irish word which means speckled. This delicious bread is indeed speckled throughout with dried fruit and candied peel. What makes barmbrack so popular is that various small items or charms are wrapped up and hidden in the cake mixture -a wedding ring, a coin, a thimble or a pea. If someone gets the ring, they will be married within the year; a coin signifies wealth, the thimble foretells spinsterhood and the pea means poverty-

4 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups luke-warm milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup black raisins
1/4 cup mixed candied peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Sieve the flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter.
2. Cream the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of the warm milk until it froths slightly.
3. Pour the rest of the warm milk and the egg into the yeast mixture and combine with the dry ingredients and the sugar. Beat well with a wooden spoon or knead until the batter is stiff but elastic.
4. Fold in the dried fruit and chopped peel. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled. Knead again for another 2 or 3 minutes and divide between two greased 1 1b loaf pans.
5. Wrap the charms in greaseproof paper and then hide them in the dough. Be sure they are well distributed. Cover again and leave to rise for about 30 minutes to an hour or until the dough comes up to the top of the pan.
6. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour. Test with a skewer before removing from oven.
7. Glaze the top with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons of boiling water.
Turn out to cool on a wire rack. When cold, cut into thick slices and slather on the butter.

Note: This is a good keeper, but even when it's stale, Barmbrack
is delicious toasted and buttered.

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Samhain Eve Magic

I know most of my readers do not follow a Pagan Path, but for those who celebrate Samhain instead of Halloween tomorrow I thought they might be interested in the following, and before you ask, Yes it is a "real witches spell". I know this might make a lot of people uncomfortable or even afraid, but remember this has been posted in the spirit of the season.

Samhain Protection Powder

You will need equal parts:

Chili Powder
Black Pepper
Pumpkin Spice
Black Talc(Optional)
Oris Root (If making a lot)

Use a motor and pestle to grind into a fine powder add oris root (preservative) if you make enough to share. Hum the word protection as you mix.

At midnight on Samhain Eve hold a black candle in your hands and ask Spirit to remove all negativity away from you, from the present and throughout the coming year. Light the candle. Put the powder into a clean bowl-hold your hands over the bowl and say:
Witches lair and spirit wolf night
Ancient Ones bring second sight
Blood and bones of those before
Help with with this little chore
Herbs and talc and natural things
At my bidding safety being
North for earth, and east for air
I summon spirit to help me here
Sprinkle some of the powder around the black candle.
Let it burn completely.
Bury candle end off property
Sprinkle in the corners of rooms to overcome irritation and anger
Will help avert future fights and will cleanse the mind of all evil thoughts and negative emotions.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mulled Wine

I am sure you liked my Witches Tea that I posted about, but I started thinking that there might be a few of you who want something just a bit stronger..
If so Try this

The Banshee - Mulled Wine

One bottle of red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot or a Spanish red)
One peeled and sliced orange (keep peel to add zest to taste into cooking pot)
One peeled and sliced lemon (keep peel to add zest to taste in cooking pot)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
5 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar (or honey can be substituted)
2/3 cup brandy or cognac
1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has completely dissolved. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have blended well it is ready to serve. Ladle into mugs (leaving seasonings behind), garnish with a blood orange segment and enjoy!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

six random things

Amy over at Magical Musings has tagged me for a meme. The idea is to list 6 random things about myself.
Anyone who wants to do this feel free to play along. Let me know if you do and I will come by and read your list

1. I have been married three times...The first time was when I was 19, it lasted just a few months and a year and a half later I married husband number 2. He became the father of my two children, and I left him after almost 25 years to go meet a man I met in a Internet Chat room who I am now married to. (Yes I was crazy...long story that I don't talk about often)

2. I will not eat, spinach, cottage cheese, yogurt, or beets...The idea of these foods makes me gag

3. I love the smell of coffee, but can not stand the taste of it. Even coffee flavored candy makes me gag

4. I have NEVER been skinny dipping

5. I use to collect and still have chickens..Glass ones, wooden ones, stuffed ones, etc.

6. I believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Good Men and other fantasy creatures...

(sorry I couldn't resist throwing that one in)


The Witches Tea

I posted this last year about this time and thought it was worth repeating

Witches Tea

Make spice syrup:
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
In a small saucepan bring syrup ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. Syrup may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. I keep mine in a glass bottle, capped tightly in the refrigerator.
Brew up your favorite tea and add a few drops to your cup of tea to taste. You can use a cinnamon stick to stir and add some extra cinnamon taste.


Manic Monday

I don't think I participated in Manic Monday before, but when I found out the word for today was GHOST you know I had to jump on the band wagon and play along. So I am inviting everyone from there to go over to my Paranormal Blogand read not only about my adventures but also about other haunted places.
You might find This Post interesting. It is about my first personal experience.
Just make sure you go by Manic Monday to read
What others have to say.

My Morning

Dear Neighbor
Thank you so much for waking me up at 7:30 this morning with your music. It was so kind and thoughtful of you to think of others at this time of morning. You can expect a thank you call from the office when I let them know about it.

Your loving neighbor

That is what I put on my upstairs neighbors door this morning.
I should have added....It was especially nice that you turned it off after I knocked on the ceiling four times, then waited a few minutes and turned it back on.
I know you wanted to make sure I hadn't just drifted off again...

Damn Apartment life!

*update...I went up and took the note off the door. I know I should have left it there and let the chips fall where they may because it was really rude of them but I know these type of people and all it would do is start a war but ohhhhhh one of these days!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Sunday

Today found us at Pamplin Historical Park.
"Located on the site of the April 2, 1865 "Breakthrough," the battle that ended the Petersburg Campaign and led to the evacuation of the Confederate capital at Richmond VA. and to the final surrender of Robert E. Lee a few days later ending the American Civil War."

Our first stop was the National Museum of the Civil War Solider
In there we choose a “Soldier Comrade” from a group of thirteen real Civil War soldiers. We were given a personal MP3 player and the story of our solider was told as he described his experiences as a soldier. At the end of the tour, you learn the wartime fate of your solider.
I am sad to tell you that my man did not make it through the war. He died of Cholera in his home state of Georgia, not far from his family home He was 21 years old and the grandson of a devout preacher. I felt a bit of a connection with him because I had three great grandfather's that served with the men from Georgia during the Civil War. I think it could have been any of them that did not make it home.

After we left that area we went outside where the park was holding the annual Old Time Fair.
This was a lot of fun. Men and women were reenacting life just as it would have
in 1862. They played fun games and showed us what home life would have been like.
They had a petting area with pony rides, and farm animals. As you can see from the slide show above my grandson had a fun time chasing the chickens. All of us got into the act and as you can see we each had a chicken in our arms before we left.
We also toured "Tudor Hall Plantation. The house, built circa 1812, has been carefully restored to its wartime appearance and furnished with period antiques. The house was home to the Boisseau family, ancestors of the Pamplins, and during the Civil War was used as the headquarters of Confederate General Samuel McGowan"
On the plantation is a working kitchen and a blacksmith shop, tobacco barn and slave quarters.

Just down the path from here was the winter quarters of the civil war soldiers and beyond that was "The Breakthrough Trail, where you could go exploring the hallowed ground where the decisive April 2, 1865 Breakthrough occurred"
We took the side trail to Hart Farm where the fighting occurred in October 1864.

The white tents you see in this area are part of a real Civil War Adventure Camp where groups of 20 or more can sign up to be their choice of a Union or Confederate uniform, drill in the way soldiers fought, eat the food soldiers ate,and learn about the hardships soldiers endured.

We also were able to visit an exhibit of Civil War Photography and saw some of the early photos of the 1800's.
The Park also offers a restaurant and bookstore, where we spent a few minutes browsing before we left. On the way out we were given a special code to get in the gate of a home just down the road called
The Banks House, which served as Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters following the Battle of the Breakthrough on April 2, 1865. He spent the night at this home just before going to Richmond to meet with Abe Lincohn as the union soldiers took over the city.

We really enjoyed our day and learned a lot about the history of the area and also of the war.
I hope you have enjoyed it also.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

chit chat

I had planned on talking a bit more about the Civil War in my neighborhood, but got behind in planning my post..I have to work today and tomorrow we plan on taking the trip to Pamplin Park so I will postpone talking about my area for awhile..
In the mean time a friend sent this to me in email, so I will share it instead

How to Make a Vaseline Candle
This is a step by step process on how to make a candle out of everyday household products. The candle is lightweight, easy to use, and great for outdoor adventures; it can also be doubled as a fire starter. This is a great supervised activity for children.


Cut the aluminum foil into a 6 x 6 inch square.
Rub the Vaseline into the cotton ball.
Place the cotton ball in the center of the square foil.
Tri-fold the foil over the cotton ball.
Again tri-fold it lengthwise.

Open the last tri-fold. Keeping the ends vertical for better reflection.
Cut a "X" over the cotton ball.
Peel the corners of the cut, exposing the cotton ball.
Slightly pull a little cotton out of the cut for easy lighting.
Ignite the cotton and enjoy brilliant light and heat for approximately 30 minutes.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

In My Own Back Yard


*Please note that photos were not allowed in the house itself so all the photos of the inside of the home were taken from the web page for Lee Hall. The ones shown of the outside of the home and grounds are my personal photos and taken by me at the time of the visit. *

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News VA.
Completed in 1859 it was the home of Richard Decauter Lee (No relation to Robert E .Lee),his wife Martha and their children.

Just three years after moving into the home they were forced to flee as the area became one of the first battlegrounds of the Civil War. The family went to stay with family in Richmond and the house was used as headquarters for Confederate Major General John B, Magruder and General Joseph E. Johnston. who directed the defense of the Peninsula against Major General George B. McClellan's advancing Union Army, and for three weeks delayed the Union advance.
In May of 1963 the Confederate Army was ordered to retreat and the area (The Peninsula of Virginia)fell under Union control until the end of the war.

Our tour consisted of the full basement and six of the upper rooms. Four on the main level and two of the bedrooms.

The hallway has a twelve foot ceiling decorated with an original plaster rosette
Also the staircase is orginial and thought to have been built by slaves.

Dinning Room
The dinning room was roped off but we could see the beautiful table serving and real marble,ornate fireplace

We were able to go into the Ladies Parlor where Mrs Lee would have entertained her lady friends. She would have used this area for both afternoon tea and also after dinner. The mantel of this fireplace was made of faux marble which was in fashion to use at this time and was more expensive than real marble Orginial pocket doors lead into the Gentlemens parlor

Gentlemen's Parlor
This is the gentlemen's parlor and it was used as the headquarters of Confederate Major General John Bankhead Magruder during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. The table you see the gentleman at is the original used by General Magruder. It was set up the same way he left it when he left the home (reproductions of papers, notes and money)

In the Music Room
The pianoforte, shown in this photo is an original and although the web page said it came from a neighboring plantation our guide said it was a gift to Mrs. Lee from her former husband's (who had died) family. It remains in the house today. Also on display in the room (not shown in the photo) is a guitar that belonged to one of the confederate soldiers. He was later killed at Gettysburg.

On the upper level of the house we visited the Master Bedroom. The room has an original mantle, which is thought to have been made on the plantation, and an original closet. It also had a swing cradle. If I remember correctly Mrs. Lee had two small children prior to her marriage to Mr. Lee and then they had three or four more children, two of which were born during the Civil War.

And the Girls Bedroom

"Martha Lee's teenage half-sisters, Laura and Angie, used this bedroom. Young siblings, both girls and boys, often slept in the same room; however, older children of the planter class were typically placed in a room according to their gender. The girls' bedroom is decorated simply with painted walls and cotton curtains, however, it is a very light and pleasant room. As in the master bedroom, the girls' room features an original mantle and closet."

While we were in this room we were shown clothes like those worn in the in the 1860's
I was shocked when she showed me a pair of undergarments..Only one side was sewn. The crotch area was left open. The guide explained that this was the way they worn them due to the large hoop skirts. I had never really given any thought to how women went to the bathroom in those days, but now I know they just squatted down and went!

This next photo shows the orginial kitchen which is out in the back of the main house. The upper area would have been living quarters for the cook. Also the Lee family owned slaves who farmed things like corn and tabacco. There are no slave quarters remaining today, but you can see the Civil War fornifacations (ditches ) that were dug by the soliders.

Back of the house

Side of the house

Also while we were there I learned a bit more of the history of the Civil War in my area and I will be posting about it in my next post.
I hope you enjoyed taking this tour with me.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In The Past


This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1908.
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1908 :

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower

The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. ONCE A MONTH???

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country
for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.'

Eighteen percent of households had at least
one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.. !

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thinking Ahead

If you have been following along with this blog at all you now know I love anything to do with the American Civil War. Since my recent trip to Gettysburg PA. I have become even more fascinated with it, so you can imagine how excited I was when I learned of a place right here in my own area that features 422 acres including four museums, four antebellum homes, living history venues, and shopping and dining facilities. Costumed interpreters conduct of military and civilian life of the Civil War era. Historians conduct guided tours of the battlefield and plantation homes daily.
I plan to go to Pamplin Historical Park on Sunday. You know I will have lots of photos and stories to tell, so come back to hear all about it.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Historic Home

Last month while I was in PA we took a side trip up to Amish Country and passed through the town of Abbottstown. This beautiful home caught my eye.

The house is 126 years old and has 24 rooms. It still has the original hand painted stained glass windows in the front doors and South American hardwood floors.
It was originally built in 1884 by William Hafer who was a local livestock farmer. The home cost$1 million dollars and was home to four generations before being sold to another family.
All I could do was drool and snap the photo.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


My youngest turned 24 yesterday and it left me feeling old. Funny how a child having a birthday will do that faster than our own.
Somehow these milestone events leave me feeling a bit down. I tend to find myself reflecting back across the years and wondering where time when. Often wishing I had done things different. I know I was and still am a good mom to my kids, but I look at both my life and there's and know things could have and should have been better.
I suppose all of us have those moments when we look back and say what if...All you can do is look forwards, so I do then I smile, shed a tear...take a deep breath and then smile again.
Happy Birthday Baby


Friday, October 17, 2008

Sky Watch Friday Oct 17

A little last minute summer fun

Be sure and stop in to Sky Watch for more photos and also to sign up for a new meme starting next week called


Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Monday, October 13, 2008

Monochrome Monday

This is a view looking out of a light house, I turned it into black and white and thought it turned out nice.
Stop by Monochrome Monday to view more photos from this meme


Sunday, October 12, 2008

On The Civil War Trail

As you know I enjoy Civil War History so yesterday my husband and I went to the Petersburg National Battlefield, located in Petersburg VA.
When we first arrived we stopped into the visitor center where we had a bit of fun playing dress up at the hands on area.

We also saw a reproduction of a Sutler Store

A sutler was a civilian storekeeper who was authorized to operate a general store on or near a military camp, post, or fort. He purchased and sold a variety of goods that were not supplied by the army. Soldiers could visit the sutler's store when off duty, as many of them did. It was a place to relax, visit, purchase commodities and to get away from the routine military life for a while. In most sutler stores, soldiers could play checkers or pool.

While there I learned a lot that I did not know a lot about the Civil War history of the area and was surprised to learn that the Siege of Petersburg lasted ten months and once Robert E. Lee abandoned the city it lead to the take over of Richmond and that led just one week later to the surrender of Lee at Appomattox VA thus ending the American Civil War. I took a lot of photos which I am encluding and I am posting information on more of what I learned during our trip..

*Please note....all information from here down is provided from Wikipedia®
All photos shown are mine and were taken at the Petersburg National Battlefield on Oct. 12, 2008

Petersburg, a prosperous city of 18,000, was a supply center for the Confederate capital of Richmond, given its strategic location just south of the city, its site on the Appomattox River that provided navigable access to the James River, and its role as a major crossroads and junction for five railroads. The taking of Petersburg by Union forces would make it impossible for Robert E. Lee to continue defending Richmond.

The battle for the city began shortly after the Union defeat at Cold Harbor. Grant decided to take Richmond through Petersburg, and he began positioning the Union army on June 15 by slipping away from Lee and crossing the James River. This represented a change of strategy from that of the preceding Overland Campaign. There, confronting and defeating Lee's army in the open was the primary goal; now, Grant selected a geographic and political target and knew that his superior resources could besiege Lee there, pin him down, and either starve him into submission or lure him out for a decisive battle. Lee at first believed that Grant's main target was Richmond and devoted only minimal troops under Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to the defense of Petersburg

During the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, the armies were aligned along a series of fortified positions and trenches more than 20 miles (32 km) long, extending from the old Cold Harbor battlefield near Richmond all the way to areas south of Petersburg.

After Lee had checked Grant in an attempt to seize Petersburg on June 15, the battle settled into a stalemate. Grant had learned a hard lesson at Cold Harbor about attacking Lee in a fortified position and was chafing at the inactivity to which Lee's trenches and forts had confined him. Finally, Lt. Col. Henry Pleasants, commanding the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's IX Corps, offered a novel proposal to solve the problem.

Pleasants, a mining engineer from Pennsylvania in civilian life, proposed digging a long mine shaft underneath the Confederate lines and planting explosive charges directly underneath a fort (Elliott's Salient) in the middle of the Confederate First Corps line. If successful, this would not only kill all the defenders in the area, it would also open a hole in the Confederate defenses. If enough Union troops filled the breach quickly enough and drove into the Confederate rear area, the Confederates would not be able to muster enough force to drive them out, and Petersburg might fall. Burnside, whose reputation had suffered from his 1862 defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg and his poor performance earlier that year at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, gave Pleasants the go-ahead, hoping to restore his reputation.

Mine construction

Digging began in late June, but even Grant and Meade saw the operation as, "A mere way to keep the men occupied," and doubted it of any actual strategic value. They quickly lost interest and Pleasants soon found himself with few materials for his project, to the extent that his men had to forage for wood to support the structure. Work progressed steadily, however. Earth was removed by hand and packed into improvised sledges made from cracker boxes fitted with handles, and the floor, wall, and ceiling of the mine were shored up with timbers from an abandoned wood mill and even from tearing down an old bridge. The shaft was elevated as it moved toward the Confederate lines to make sure moisture did not clog up the mine, and fresh air was pumped in via an ingenious air-exchange mechanism near the entrance; the miners kept a fire continually burning at the bottom of a single ventilation shaft, which emerged behind the Union lines. Meanwhile, a wooden duct ran the entire length of the tunnel. The fire superheated stale air, forcing it up the ventilation shaft and out of the mine. The resulting vacuum then sucked fresh air in from the mine entrance, and carried it through the wooden duct to the location where the miners were working.
This precluded the need for additional ventilation shafts and served well in disguising the diggers' progress. On July 17, the main shaft reached under the Confederate position. Rumors of a mine construction soon reached the Confederates, but Lee refused to believe or act upon it for two weeks before commencing countermining attempts, which were sluggish and uncoordinated, and they were unable to discover the mine. General John Pegram, whose batteries would be above the explosion, did, however, take the threat seriously enough to build a new line of trenches and artillery points behind his position as a precaution.

The mine was in a "T" shape. The approach shaft was 511 feet (156 m) long, starting in a sunken area downhill and more than 50 feet (15 m) below the Confederate battery, making detection difficult. The tunnel entrance was narrow, about 3 feet (0.91 m) wide and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) high. At its end, a perpendicular gallery of 75 feet (23 m) extended in both directions. Grant and Meade suddenly decided to use the mine three days after it was complete after a failed attack known later as the First Battle of Deep Bottom. The Federals filled the mine with 320 kegs of gunpowder, totaling 8,000 pounds. The explosives were approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) underneath the Confederate works and the T gap was packed shut with 11 feet (3.4 m) of earth in the side galleries and a further 32 feet (9.8 m) of packed earth in the main gallery to prevent the explosion blasting out the mouth of the mine. On July 28, the powder charges were armed.


On the morning of July 30, Pleasants lit the fuse. But as with the rest of the mine, Pleasants had been given poor quality fuse, which his men had had to splice themselves. After no explosion occurred at the expected time, two volunteers from the 48th Regiment (Lt. Jacob Douty and Sgt. Harry Reese) crawled into the tunnel. After discovering the fuse had burned out at a splice, they spliced on a length of new fuse and relit it. Finally, at 4:44 a.m., the charges exploded in a massive shower of earth, men, and guns. A crater (still visible today) was created, 170 feet (52 m) long, 60 to 80 feet (24 m) wide, and 30 feet (9.1 m) deep. Between 250 and 350 Confederate soldiers were instantly killed in the blast.

The plan was doomed from the start, however, due to Meade's interference on the day before the battle. Burnside had trained a division of United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero to lead the assault. They were trained to move around the edges of the crater and then fan out to extend the breach in the Confederate line. Then, Burnside's two other divisions, made up of white troops, would move in, supporting Ferrero's flanks and race for Petersburg itself.

Meade, who lacked confidence in the operation, ordered Burnside not to use the black troops in the lead assault, thinking the attack would fail and the black soldiers would be killed needlessly, creating political repercussions in the North. Burnside protested to General Grant, who sided with Meade. Burnside selected a replacement white division by having the commanders draw lots. Brig. Gen. James H. Ledlie's 1st Division was selected, but he failed to brief the men on what was expected of them and was reported during the battle to be drunk, well behind the lines, and providing no leadership. (Ledlie would be dismissed for his actions during the battle.)

Ledlie's untrained white division went across the field to the crater and, instead of moving around it, thought it would make an excellent rifle pit and it would be well to take cover and so they moved down into the crater itself, wasting valuable time while the Confederates, under Maj. Gen. William Mahone, gathered as many troops together as they could for a counterattack. In about an hour's time, they had formed up around the crater and began firing rifles and artillery down into it, in what Mahone later described as a "turkey shoot". The plan had failed, but Burnside, instead of cutting his losses, sent in Ferrero's men. They also went down into the crater, and for the next few hours, Mahone's soldiers, along with those of Maj. Gen. Bushrod Johnson, and artillery slaughtered the IX Corps as it attempted to escape from the crater. Some Union troops eventually advanced and flanked to the right beyond the Crater to the earthworks and assaulted the Confederate lines, driving the Confederates back for several hours in hand-to-hand combat. Mahone's Confederates conducted a sweep out of a sunken gully area about 200 yards (180 m) from the right side of the Union advance. This charge reclaimed the earthworks and drove the Union force back towards the east.


The Confederates reported losses of 1,032 men in the battle, while Union losses were estimated at 5,300, about half of which were from Ferrero's division. Five hundred Union prisoners were taken, and 150 of these prisoners were USCT. Both the black and white wounded prisoners were taken to the Confederate hospital at Poplar Lawn in Petersburg. Burnside was relieved of command. Although he was as responsible for the defeat as Burnside, Meade escaped censure. As for Mahone, the victory, won largely due to his efforts in supporting Johnson's stunned men, earned him a lasting reputation as one of the best young generals of Lee's army in the war's last year.

Grant wrote to Chief of Staff Henry W. Halleck, "It was the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war." He also stated to Halleck that "Such an opportunity for carrying fortifications I have never seen and do not expect again to have." Pleasants, who had no role in the battle itself, received praise for his idea and the execution thereof. When he was brevetted a brigadier general on March 13, 1865, the citation made explicit mention of his role.

Grant subsequently gave in his evidence before the Committee on the Conduct of the War:

General Burnside wanted to put his colored division in front, and I believe if he had done so it would have been a success. Still I agreed with General Meade as to his objections to that plan. General Meade said that if we put the colored troops in front (we had only one division) and it should prove a failure, it would then be said and very properly, that we were shoving these people ahead to get killed because we did not care anything about them. But that could not be said if we put white troops in front."

Despite the battle being a tactical Confederate victory, the strategic situation in the Eastern Theater remained unchanged. Both sides remained in their trenches and the siege continued.

The Crater

The area of the Battle of the Crater is a frequently visited portion of Petersburg National Battlefield Park. The mine entrance is open for inspection annually on the anniversary of the battle. There are sunken areas where air shafts and cave-ins extend up to the "T" shape near the end. The park includes many other sites, primarily those that were a portion of the Union lines around Petersburg.

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The Perfect Pumpkin

As you know I LOVE Halloween so when My hubby told me he had never been out to the pumpkin patch to pick his own pumpkin I knew I had to remedy that.Yesterday we took a drive to one of our local farms in search of the perfect pumpkin.

We looked up and down the rows.

Someone else had already picked these and set them aside

Finally we spotted the one we wanted

Here I am holding our choice

We buckled our "baby" in my grandson car seat so it wouldn't get bumped on the ride home (ha ha)

Ta DA....The perfect Pumpkin

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