Children Feed

Delightful Civil War-era child’s primer


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“The Union ABC”, published in Boston by Degen, Estes & Co. [n.y], 12 pp., bound in thread. This patriotic booklet, measuring a healthy 6 x 8 1/2”, is printed in red and blue and was meant to teach youngsters the alphabet and a history lesson, as well. Some of the entries include: H is for Hardtack you scarcely can gnaw, J is for Jig which the Contrabands danceN is for Negro no longer a slave, P is the President who ruled the great nation, T is a traitor that was hung on a tree, and U is the Union our Soldiers did save. The back cover advertises Toy Books, Games (“Patriot Heroes: Or, Who’s Traitor.”), Union Reward Cards and the Chicken Little Series. Utterly charming; evocative of Civil War society. Cover has two edge tears internally repaired with period paper tape. Generally in excellent condition. (Est. $200-300)

From the collectibles site

A copy of this book is in the Library of Congress.

From Civil War Talk

Confederate Children caught in the throes of war


Carrie Berry was too young to recall events in her home town of Atlanta when Georgia joined the Confederacy. But by 1864, when she turned ten, Berry reported the toll the war had taken. On her birthday, she revealed: “I did not have a cake. Times were too hard, so I celebrated with ironing. I hope by my next birthday we will have peace in our land so that I can have a nice dinner.” Like those of many young white girls of the Confederacy, her formerly prosperous parents were unable to afford peace time luxuries. In 1864 Margaret Junkin Preston of Virginia was shocked to report in a letter: “G. and H. at Sally White’s birthday party: H. said they had ‘white mush’ on the table; on inquiry, I found out it was ice cream! Not having made any ice cream since wartimes, the child had never seen any, and so called it white mush.”

Emma Le Conte reported in 1865 at the ripe old age of seventeen: “I have seen little of the lightheartedness and exuberant joy that people talk about as the natural heritage of youth. It is a hard school to be bred up in and I often wonder if I will ever have my share of fun and happiness.” Some girls tried to look on the bright side. Amanda Worthington in rural Mississippi confided: “I think the war is teaching us some useful lessons—we are learning to dispense with many things and to manufacture other.”

The war also taught children some terrible lessons. Cornelia Peake McDonald remembered her three-year-old wailing and clinging to her doll Fanny, crying that “the Yankees are coming to our house and they will capture me and Fanny.” Another mother recounted a traumatic incident during Sherman’s march. When Union soldiers invaded her home, her six-year-old daughter hid with her treasures—a bar of soap and her doll. “One of the men approached the bed, and finding it warm, in a dreadful language accused us of harboring and concealing a wounded rebel, and he swore he would have his heart’s blood. He stooped to look under the bed, and seeing the little white figure crouching in a distant corner, caught her by one rosy little foot and dragged her forth. The child was too terror-stricken to cry, but clasped her little baby and her soap fast to her throbbing little heart. The man wrenched both from her and thrust the little one away with such violence that she fell against the bed.”

Such scenes created vivid memories and tales oft repeated. So throughout the war, and the years to come, the mere mention of “Yankees” might strike terror in Confederate children, stimulating fears that haunted them in darkened bedrooms or around dying campfires.

From: National Parks Service Life in the Civil War

The Orphaned Children Of General John Bell Hood


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The Orphaned Children Of General John Bell Hood~
All 10 Children Were Eventually Adopted By Families In Several Different States.

After the Civil War, General John Bell Hood (for whom Ft. Hood is named) moved to Louisiana and became a cotton broker and worked as a President of the Life Association of America, an insurance business. In 1868, he married New Orleans native Anna Marie Hennen, with whom he fathered 11 children over 10 years, including three pairs of twins. He also served the community in numerous philanthropic endeavors, assisting in fund raising for orphans, widows, and wounded soldiers. For awhile he flourished. But his insurance business was ruined by a yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans during the winter of 1878–79 and he succumbed to the disease himself, dying just days after his wife and oldest child, leaving 10 destitute orphans. These are those children.

After Hood died, this photo was published as a plea for funds to provide for them. Every Picture Sold Adds to the Permanent Fund for the Education and Maintenance of these “Wards of the South.” Sold under the Auspices of the Hood Relief Committiee, New Orleans

Credit Sandy Billingsley Forwarding Story From Credit SourceTraces of Texas facebook. Original Source Credit to Robert Wilson.

From the Civil War Parlor