SECESSION

SECESSION

Welcome to Parkersburg, WV

Welcome to Parkersburg, WV

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Paddle boat on the river in Parkersburg

Paddle boat on the river in Parkersburg

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My mind is wrapped around the civil war with my hero and heroine, Rork and Leila, who are stuck right in the middle of it. They ended up on the Ohio River, on a steamer, trying to get to Parkersburg, a city that supplied critical provisions during the war, like transportation, oil and gas. I had an opportunity to discover the town when I visited my editor, Sandy Tritt, of Inspiration for Writers, Inc., and decided to poke around town before we left on our way to Nashville.

Ohio and . . . Rivers, Parkersburg

Ohio and . . . Rivers, Parkersburg

So, where is Parkersburg? Do you know what state it’s in? It was part of Virginia until the secession and then it became the thirty-fifth state, West Virginia. There wasn’t always a West Virginia, at least not until June 1863, when a group of citizens were determined to break away from the southern slave states south of this part of Virginia.

P1070226 P1070213 P1070205 P1070193According to David L. McKain’s book “The Civil War and Northwestern Virginia,” many voters favoring the Union felt intimidated by radicals favoring secession from Virginia. However, Virginia declared itself part of the Southern Confederacy and the Northwestern counties, not wanting to join that infamous cause had decisions to make. That’s when in May 1861, the area got bombarded by the Confederate troops and guerillas and burned the B&O Railroad facilities and bridges between Parkersburg and Grafton. Railroad President Garrett was forced to declare that the B&O would not carry Union troops.

Within days tens of thousands of union troops began to pour into and through Parkersburg and the city became a crucial route for transporting troops. The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad and the river steamers transported troops. I could see the whole town below as I stood on top of the hill in Fort Boreman Historical Park and saw the B&O train go by. This town has a long, wonderful history, but during this time of the civil war, the people were split in their views of slavery. Disagreements split families, marriages, brother pitted against brother, father against son.

Slaves escaping the interior of West Virginia could follow the Kanawha River to Point Pleasant. From there they could follow the Ohio River north to Parkersburg. Across the river from Parkersburg was the Ohio town of Belpre where a Col. John Stone acted as an agent for the railroad. Fugitives were hidden at Parkersburg by a black woman called “Aunt Jenny” until they could cross the river. The first school for blacks was founded in Parkersburg in the 1870’s.

Little did I know about this amazing state. It’s packed with history, has charm, has paddle boat tours and if you want a beautiful car trip, take a ride on route 78, anytime of the year, but especially in the spring or the fall. To get there, you will pass Shenandoah, one of the sites where civil war fighting took place.

Do you know your American history?

DIARY OF A PET TURKEY by Joanne Ingis

DIARY OF A PET TURKEY by Joanne Ingis

Diary of a Pet Turkey by Joanne Ingis

This blog is a diversion to tell you about an event next Thursday, January 19th at 2:00 pm at the main branch of the Fairfield Public library 1080 Old Post Road in Connecticut on the 2nd floor in the children’s library.  I promise, I will return to storage next week.  The subject matter, that is.

Joanne Ingis, my daughter-in-law, is making a rare appearance at the main branch of the Fairfield Public Library. She will be giving everyone a treat reading and talking about her pet turkey and her new book “Diary of a Pet Turkey.”

If you want to hatch a turkey egg, ask Joanne.  If the eggs under your turkey hen aren’t hatching well, you can move them into an incubator for better hatching success.  Joanne did just that and then we watched and waited and waited and waited.  All eyes were upon this egg, mine included.

Hatched turkey egg

The egg had to be warm all over and turned three times a day which became the project of my grandson-turned turkey farmer.

Finally!  It cracked.  Out came a foot, out came a wing, out came a peep. She was small, sweet and squeaky, Squeaky like pushing a magic marker on a bulletin board.  That’s how she got her name, Magic Marker.

About the Author/Artist

Joanne Ingis makes her Blue Apple Books debut with Diary of a Pet Turkey. She home schools her sons, and the turkey in her story was one of their hands-on science projects. Based on a true story, this is a delightful tale of a suburban family and their pet turkey. Joanne Ingis takes readers on an unbelievable journey, from the hatching of the egg, to the naming of the turkey, to its incorporation into the family’s daily life.

Feather from Magic Marker

Magic Marker grew into a fluffy turkey running all around her new home.  Double click the link:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=bowmJ9RZOyk 


 

 

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