"A Scratch with the Rebels" is a story of two soldiers--one North, one South--and their experiences at a little-known early battle in South Carolina. it is also the story of an unusual Pennsylvania regiment, known as "The Roundheads."
Here are a few images to whet your historical appetite.
I have found that my writing improves when i have in my mind's eye some clear pictures of the characters and locations. One of the advantages of the first edition of "A Scratch with the Rebels" was its many illustrations, even though some of them came out too small to be appreciated. For those of you who are similarly visually-oriented, I have put up a Pinterest board on the Roundheads and their experiences in South Carolina. I found the maps of the Battle of Secessionville especially helpful. They were drawn for this book by a doctoral student at the University of Memphis whose specialty was geography. You can find all forty-four illustrations here:
The story of most wars contains a little violent action, interspersed with long weeks of stand-around-and-wait. The Civil War was no exception. The soldiers joined up in August. Their first view of warfare did not occur until November, but when the time arrived, the sea battle at Port Royal Sound was one to remember. Here's a sketch that appeared in one news account:
I have not been able to find a photo of the whole Roundhead Regiment, but this picture of the 50th Pennsylvania gives us a hint of what they must have looked like when assembled. Both the 50th and the 100th were in South Carolina in 1862, so it should be a fair representation:
Then, of course, there are the individual people. We always wonder what they must have looked like. The photo below was taken in the spring of 1862 on the grounds of the Leverett House in Beaufort, South Carolina. It shows (looking from left to right) the chaplain , a staff sergeant, a slave, the commander of the regiment, the doctor, and--seated in front--the regimental nurse-matron who mothered them all. We'll learn more about her next week.