I recently was blessed with two new grandsons – I now have six grandchildren, 1 girl and 5 boys. All are very lucky to live in this time period with modern conveniences and medicine. Such was not the case a hundred and fifty years ago. The life of children in the nineteenth century could be very difficult. The American frontier could be very perilous, especially when traveling on the overland trails to a new life. Children had to endure the hardships of heat, cold, lack of food, and a hostile environment. Cathy Luchetti has written a wonderful book “Children of the West: Family Life on the Frontier” which contains images of these young pioneers. Many of the boys and girls who lived during the Civil War surrendered their childhood, whether their daily life was interrupted by combat or the absence of family members to the military. “The Children’s Civil War” by James Marten is a study of childhood during our nation’s greatest crisis and how it shaped the lives of a generation of American children. These and other books on the subject are available at Guidon Books.
In August I had the opportunity to travel back to Virginia with the family. The trip included a stop at the fabulous Mariners’ Museum and Park http://www.marinersmuseum.org/ in Newport News. Because it was the anniversary of the raising of the Monitor, the water in which the turret is usually submerged had been drained, providing an unobstructed view of the salvaged turret. We also walked on top of the deck of a full-sized replica of the Monitor. The Mariners’ Museum also recreated the interior of the CSS Virginia, the Ironclad that dueled with the Monitor at the battle of Hampton Roads. This coming Tuesday, Oct. 20, John Quarstein, director of the Mariners’ Museum, will be speaking to the Scottsdale Civil War Round Table. Guidon Books will have his book “History of the Ironclads” available for purchase, and Mr. Quarstein will be available to autograph copies.