The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:38 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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Civil War Sites

By Linda H. Barnette

Since both John and I were interested in history, many of our travels were to historic places. We especially enjoyed several visits to Civil War battlefields.

The first one we went to was Gettysburg, Pa., where a three-day battle was fought from July1-3, 1863. More than 50,000 men died in those three days. The Union won the battle, and General Lee retreated. Four months after the battle, President Lincoln honored the fallen and delivered his famous Gettysburg Address there. Now the Gettysburg National Cemetery and the Gettysburg Military Park are favorite tourist destinations. Although it was crowded with tourists, it was impressive to drive through and see the monuments.

The Battle of Vicksburg from May 18-July 4, 1863, was a highly significant battle because whomever won it would control the Mississippi River, the main supply route for the South. The armies fought for 47 days until it was obvious to General Pemberton that the Union had the Confederates trapped; therefore, he surrendered to General Grant on July 4. Historians think that this was the turning point of the war. Again, riding through the battlefield and seeing all the monuments to the states and people was an incredible experience.

Shiloh Battlefield is preserved in both the small town of Shiloh, Tenn. and in Corinth, Miss. We saw the signs and followed them to the spot as it was an unplanned stop. The battle took place in the spring of 1862 with 24,000 soldiers killed, including General Albert Sidney Johnson. Many men from both sides were buried in mass graves, and their identities lost forever.; others have markers. For some reason, we were the only tourists there at that time, and the place was eerily silent and felt like sacred ground (It gives me chills to type this). We drove down to Pittsburg Landing, where the Union troops crossed the Tennessee River at night and surprised the Confederates.

There really is no education better than travel.


By:  E. Bishop

Last weekend, we made a short visit to the deep green forested West Virginia mountains to pay our final respects to a special friend, Stanley, and offer support to the family. The Reverend that officiated the ceremony quoted several Bible verses that were very important to Stanley stating that he (Stanley) was always on a quest for a greater understanding.  One verse was about the axe and the branches; another John 15:5 – “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”  And, another John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The last Bible verse, of course, is referring to Jesus laying down his life for us.  As the Reverend stated, our friend was a believer in that he was a branch trying to spread the Word.  And, as a United States Army Veteran having served during the Vietnam War, in our eyes, he was also willing to lay down his life for us so that we might continue having the freedoms in the America that we love.  It was somewhat surreal that he died on Memorial Day, May 27, 2024.

After the eulogy, due to unavoidable circumstances, complete Military Funeral Honors were performed at the funeral home instead of graveside.  Honors consists of two or more uniformed service members from the deceased veteran’s branch of service.  The flag is usually placed on a closed casket so the union blue field is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased; however, in this service, it was unfolded from the casket and refolded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape.  A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies.  The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution.  When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars.  After folding, three bullet casings were slipped into the folded flag as a token of gratitude for that person’s service. Each casing represents one volley.

The Flag was then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin.

The Flag Presentation Protocol is as follows:

Stand facing the flag recipient and hold the folded flag waist high with the straight edge facing the recipient. Then, kneeling down before the flag recipient, the Guard solemnly presented the flag to the recipient stating the following ‘On behalf of the President of the United States, (The United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy; the United States Air Force), and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.’  Next, the bugler solemnly played Taps behind us.

Go rest high on that mountain, our friend.  Your work on Earth is done.

(Military Protocol information obtained from