"Roundheads and Ramblings"
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Recent Posts

Meeting Some More Roundheads
Meet the Roundheads
Preparing Gingerly for My First Trader Joe’s Visit
Finally! We Have a Launch!
Roundhead Reunion on September 22nd in Darlington PA

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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Meeting Some More Roundheads

Since some folks have had trouble opening the Roundhead file i posted yesterday because if its size, here are a few head shots of soldiers who have appeared in my Civil War books, "A Scratch with the Rebels" and "Beyond All Price."

First, the fellow whose individual photo graced yesterday's blog was Adj. Samuel G. "Geordy" Leasure, son of Commander Daniel Leasure. You may remember him as being the young apple of his mother's eye, whom she allowed to join the Roundheads only if his father promised to keep him out of harm's way. Sadly, the promise did not hold. Geordy was killed at the Battle of the Crater in 1864.

James C. Stevenson, from whose collection these photos were taken, is quoted several times in "Scratch," where he left us descriptions of the Roundheads' early train rides and their first view of the Ocean Queen, on which they sailed to South Carolina.





Horace Ludington, the second doctor appointed to care for the Roundheads, was of great help to Nellie M. Chase as she learned how wto treat minor wounds and tropical fevers. In "Beyond All Price," she and Dr. Ludington form a special bond because, unlike the Roundheads, they were NOT from Pennsylvania.




Samuel Bentley was the commander of Company E and the father of Nellie's friend Mary Pollock. The Bentley family reveals something quite important to the  understanding of personnel during the Civil War. Not only did Capt. Bentley allow his widowed daughter to accompany the Roundheads, her brother was also among the soldiers. To an extend we may never understand, this war was a family affair.



Private John C. Stevenson also served as an aide to Col. Leasure. In "Beyond All Price,'  he shows Nellie round the camp and explains some of the equipment the army issued her--things like a haversack and a housewife. Another picture of him appears in the group photo Mrs. Leasure had taken in Beaufort.





Other names you may recognize are Joseph Gilliland and who first served with Col. Leasure during his first three-month enlistment in the Twelfth Pennsylvania Regiment . . . . .



and D. Campbell, a "printer's devil" who left his newspaper job to travel with the Roundheads as a musician--and later, as one of the producers of the "Camp Kettle."


Meet the Roundheads

Have you ever wondered what a Civil War soldier really looked like? When you read about their actions, whether in fiction or non-fiction, can you picture the characters themselves? Here's your chance to meet fifty soldiers of the Roundhead Regiment (100th Pensylvania Volunteer Infantry). These are their photographs--some taken for use on a carte de visite, others posed in civilian clothes for their families.

 The file listed below is a compilation of Roundhead Soldier Images from the James C. Stevenson Collection that David Welch researched recently after attending the Roundhead Reunion in Darlington, PA. The images were compiled into MS Powerpoint and then .pdf'ed. Most of the images here are soldiers from Co. E and K.  

Readers of "A Scratch with the Rebels" and "Beyond All Price" will recognize several of these men: Geordy Leasure, who sesrved as an aide to his father, Col. Daniel Leasure, first commander of the Roundheads; James C. Stephenson, quoted several times; Dr. Horace Ludington; and perhaps others.

JCSRHRPSU.pdf (PDF — 30 MB)

Preparing Gingerly for My First Trader Joe’s Visit

I’m not sure how I managed to get this old without setting foot in a Trader Joe’s but somehow I had never even seen one. Maybe it had something to do with being an Air Force wife and living in so many off-the-map places that had nothing but an Air Force base and a commissary. Whatever the reason, I had no idea why people were so enthusiastic. When the rumors of a TJ coming to Germantown first circulated, I may have been the only person in Memphis who was not excited.
 
Still, the hype eventually piqued my interest, and when the store finally opened last week, I started to make a list.  I asked everyone I talked to about their TJ favorites, and I soon had a long list, but one invariably topped by two items: Mandarin Orange Chicken and Cookie Butter. Other treats jostling for top sport were Triple Gingersnaps and something called Ginger Chews. Then came bagel seasoning and various exotic produce items.
 
Armed with my list, a friend and I ventured out to explore. No one warned me about the traffic—not outside, but in the aisles. Related images kept flashing through my mind as I struggled to push my cart into a slow-moving line of discriminating shoppers.  Imagine the Santa Ana Freeway at rush hour; an inbound evacuation route as a hurricane bears down on the coast; the Salmon River during spawning season.
 
I hear it’s a beautiful store, but all I saw were people and whatever happened to be at eye-level on the shelves as I passed by.  And if I missed an item and wanted to go back . . . well, imagine being a car going the wrong way on that rush hour freeway. Just turning around caused a ripple effect of clashing carts.
 
Eventually I gathered most of my items without spending too much money and came home to indulge in some sampling. The results were . . . instructive. First came a Ginger Chew, which sent puffs of peppery steam right through the top of my skull. Too late, I read the bag, which recommended these as a cure for travel sickness. Maybe so! Hoping for something a little milder I tried a Gingersnap, which turned out to have three kinds of ginger and not much else. A peanut butter pretzel cooled my taste buds, and I decided to try the orange chicken for dinner. You guessed it. The most prominent flavor was ginger.
 
Still searching for the ultimate TJ high, I tried their plain yogurt for breakfast. Not even raspberries and granola could add any sweetness to it.  So I turned to a crumpet (yes, a TJ crumpet) topped with cookie butter. That wasn’t too bad, but you probably don’t need to be told that cookie butter tastes like gingerbread. What is it with these people? Have they never heard of garlic?  Oh, yes, there’s always the bagel seasoning.
 

Will I go back? Of course. It’s the next best thing to visiting a street market in Morocco. Besidesnow I understand the origins of the word “gingerly,” which means to do something with extreme caution.

Finally! We Have a Launch!

The folks who have had to listen to me complain about Amazon, Kindle, CreateSpace, and everyone involved in trying to publish the second edition of "Beyond All Price" will understand why this is a day for celebration. It has taken almost a full month to get the earlier version removed from availability, the book reviews transferred to this new edition, and the two versions--Kindle and trade paper--linked to each other and to the audio edition. When I first hit that "publish" button, I had no idea that Amazon was about to announce a major corporate move. I self-published the electronic version on the old Amazon KDP site and submitted the print files to CreateSpace for  the paperback versions. Two days later, Amazon announced that CreateSpace would now be known as Kindle Direct Publishing, and all my books would have to be transferred to the new site. What resulted was absolute CHAOS. 

I'll spare you the painful details of the ensuing discussions. I would send  an email off to ask for a correction, and KDP would wait until the middle of the night to respond.  That meant that I spent several mornings fulminating over my breakfast. I guess I'm happy I started the process in August. My absolute deadline for having the book available was September 22nd--and I have made it with just two days to spare.

Why September 22nd? That's the day of the  Roundhead Family Reunion being held in Darlington, Pennsylvania--a celebration devoted to all things "Civil War" and particularly honoring the descendants of the Roundhead Regiment (the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment). Why there? It's the hometown of Col. Daniel Leasure, the first commander of the Roundheads. And why do I care? I'm a lateral descendant of Sgt. James McCaskey, Company C of the Roundheads. My first book, "A Scratch with the Rebels" told the story of Great-Uncle James, from the time he joined the newly-recruited regiment until his death at the Battle of Secessionville in 1862. And my latest publication, "Beyond All Price," is the story of the Roundhead's regimental nurse, who knew Uncle James and his comrades.

I'm unable to attend the reunion, but my books will be there to represent me, and a few attendees will win signed copies of those books. For those who don't win, there will be order forms so they can claim their own copies with the only known picture of Nurse Nellie Chase on the cover. But here's why I've been sweating thumbtacks over the publication. I designed the order form showing the listing I WANTED to book to have.  It took until today to get that listing corrected! WHEW!  

So tonight I celebrate a long-awaited book launch.If you care to join in the celebration, go to 

Roundhead Reunion on September 22nd in Darlington PA

 
A Facebook group whose 250 members are either direct or lateral descendants of the 100 Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment will hold an all-day family reunion next Saturday to honor those who served in this unique Civil War regiment.  Events will take place inside and on the grounds of the Greersburg Academy in Darlington, PA. There’s no telling what all will take place when these folks get together, but I know they will welcome anyone who is interested in Civil War history. Here’s a tentative schedule of activities.
 
9AM: Welcome; museums all open; reenactors encamped around Greersburg Academy; Donuts and coffee breakfast available outside Greersburg Academy.
ALL-DAY EVENTS INCLUDE:
·      Living Historian, Kenneth Serfass, as General US Grant. He will be giving a presentation on the Battle of Vicksburg, in which our Roundheads participated. He bears a striking resemblance to the General and will remain in character all day
·      Brenda Applegate from the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmark Foundation will be in period dress and will have a booth set up talking about “The Underground Railroad Quilt Code.”
·      Kevin Farkas of the Social Voice Project will have his podcast recording equipment set up all day and will be interviewing any Roundhead relative about their family member in the 100th.
·      We will be raffling off a copy of the 1989 reprint of the “100th PA Regimental History” and two signed copies of Carolyn Schriber's new book, “Beyond All Price.”
·      We will have slides of Roundhead grave site researched and found by Judy Foster showing all day.
·      There will be photos of Roundheads and Roundhead memorabilia on display inside Greersburg Academy.
·      Food and drink will be available for sale outside the Academy from the ladies of the Little Beaver Historical Society.
9:30 AM: Wreath laying ceremony at the Civil War monument that was built by the Daniel Leasure GAR post.
9:45 to 10:15 AM—Jay Paisley will talk about his book “The Huffman Letters. Jay will have signed copies of his book available.
10:45 to 11:15—Larry Spinnenweber will present his program on Civil War surgery.
11:45 to 12:15—Dave Welch will speak about his research and work setting up the 100th PA web site.
1:00 PM—Ken Serfass will present his recreation of General U.S. Grant
1:45 PM—Mike Kraus, curator of Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh, will give a presentation on the PA 100th the Roundheads.
3:00 PM—Ken Turner will give a presentation on Pennsylvania in the Civil War and area regiments.
 
If you are in the area, please stop by for a few minutes or several hours.