Quilts of Valor

In 2003, Catherine Roberts’ son was in Iraq. While he was there she had a dream. She saw a young soldier sitting on his bunk. His head hung low in despair. Her heart went out to this young man. As she watched the scene changed. The man became wrapped in a quilt. His countenance changed to hope and comfort. When she woke up an idea was birthed in her heart. Quilts of Valor soon became a reality.

logo

Their mission statement – The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

Quilts of Valor now has over 10,000 quilters who agree with their mission statement. As of today they have given 133,473 quilts away. These quilts are all top quality, made by women and men around our country. All quilts are either hand quilted or machine quilted, none are tied.

My sewing group has started meeting once a month to work on Quilts of Valor. There are now eight ladies in the group. We have five quilts completed and will be awarding our first quilt in the next week. So many of our service members have had to face the horrors of war. We want them to know, we care.

IMG_0720

For more information go to http://www.qovf.org

 

 

 

Advertisements

Women Soldiers in the Civil War

I have always held a fascination with the Civil War. Having a northern mother from the Green Mountains of Vermont and a southern father from the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, I had a hard time understanding how one country could be fighting against it’s own brothers. I had never known there were sisters fighting, also.

No one knows how many there were, as women were not allowed to enlist. But it is believed to range from 200 to 500, women disguised themselves as men to enter the southern and northern ranks. They had many reasons including patriotism, not wanting to be separated from their loved one, desire for glory and even just a refusal of being left behind.

Here are just a few of the known women:

Loreta Janeta Velazquez. She took on the name of Harry T. Buford. But when her husband discovered her, she was sent home. When he was killed in battle, she again joined the southern ranks. She served as a spy and sometimes commanded troops.

 

Sarah Emma Edmonds. She took the name Frank Thompson. Sarah was born in Canada to a very abusive father who had wanted a boy. She ran away to avoid the abuse and an arranged marriage. To hide from her father, she donned the disguise of a man. Fearing she still might be found, she traveled to the United States where she enlisted into the army. She worked as a hospital attendant, mail carrier, and orderly. She deserted in 1863, due to Malaria and fearing she would be discovered by the doctors. After her recovery, she became a female nurse to the troops.

 

Elizabeth A. Niles. Her husband was called to war on their honeymoon. She fought beside him and was mustered out without the military ever learning of her gender.Niles

 

Frances Hook. She was twenty two when she enlisted. She and her brother were orphans, they decided to enlist together. She continued serving even after her brother was killed.

 

Florina Budwin. She enlisted with her husband and fought by his side. They were both captured and sent to Andersonville prison. Her husband died there but Florina survived. She died a year after her release due to illness.

(no photo)

This are just a small representation of the women who fought and died for the things they believed. They were, also, great Civil War soldiers.

The Promise – Chapter One

IMG_5662For all who have shown an interest in my books but have not yet purchased. I have uploaded a sample for you to view. I hope you will enjoy this true to life story of the orphan train riders.

THE PROMISE chap 1

Books may be purchased at Amazon.com or you may send a check for $12.95 ($9.95 plus $3.00 shipping) to Carolyn Johnson, PO Box 311, Arapaho, OK 73620. If you would like it autographed, please include name.

 

 

Chickasaw Tribes -American Allies

Not all Indians fought the new influx of European people.  The Chickasaw people had good relations with the new white people. In 1670 the Chickasaw traded with the British. The British traded guns for captured Choctaw Indian slaves. When the French supplied guns to the Choctaw the slave raids stopped. The Chickasaw fought with Britain against the French but had not fought against the Americans.

1794-PiomingoMeetsWashington

When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Chickasaw allied with the Americans. In 1791, they fought hostile tribes in Ohio for the colonists. In 1794, their chief, Piomingo, was invited to visit George Washington in his home. Washington thanked the tribe for their loyalty by giving gifts. A peace pipe was smoked between Washington and the chiefs present. Also a document was written showing the boundaries of the Chickasaw territory, which included the western half of Tennessee, parts of Mississippi, and Alabama. It provided protection for the Chickasaw people against white abuse. Washington also assured the tribe that they would never lose their land. Unfortunately, the following presidents did not honor Washington’s pledge.

The Chickasaw Nation was viewed as one of the five civilized tribes. They had integrated with white people and many were mixed race. Originally from the southeastern part of the United States, they were forced to sell their land and move to the Indian territory of Oklahoma in 1832. This happened as part of the Indian Removal of the 1830s. The Chickasaw people were part of the terrible Trail Of Tears. Unlike the other tribes, the Chickasaw negotiated with the government to sell the land for three million dollars. The government did pay the amount but it took thirty years for the payment to arrive.

During the Civil War, the Chickasaw joined with the confederacy. Owning black slaves, resentment of lost land and suggestion by confederacy of making a Indian state lead to this partnership.

The Chickasaw today are a proud and prosperous tribe. I am proud to say my husband is a member of the Chickasaw tribe.

th3QDJT9DE

Traditional paint. Tattoos were given for bravery.

 

All Aglow

This little creature is known as a clusterwink snail.

glowing-snail-shell-deheynThe tiny (about the size of a fingernail) sea snail gives off green luminescent light flashes to scare away predators.  The flashes trick the enemy by making the snail look larger. The thick, heavy, opaque shell acts as a powerful reflector.

The clusterwink snail is found along the New Zealand and Australian rocky shores. When the tide is out, the snails cluster together, hiding under rocks and in crevices. When the tide comes in, they journey out to graze on algae.

Embryos of the snail are incubated in a brood chamber located internally behind the female head. When mature they are expelled into the sea.

Several research studies are being done to learn the biological cause of the luminescence and how the shell works to reflect.

Below shows the snail at rest and in danger mode.

 

snail

 

An Appeal To Heaven

Appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free. Gen Joseph Warren 1775.

Appealtoheaven2

In 1775, this flag was used during revolutionary times. The flag was ordered by George Washington and designed by his secretary Colonel Joseph Reed. It was first used by a squadron of six schooners commissioned by George Washington, who reportedly paid for the schooners out of pocket. These ships were skilled at capturing British schooners.

In 1776, the fleet of twenty-five naval vessels sailing out of Massachusetts adopted the flag.

1885_History_of_US_flags_medThe pine tree was a symbol in New England, dating back as far as 1686. During Revolutionary times it became a symbol of  colonial outrage and resistance.

The white pine in New England grew to heights topping 150 feet. They were sought after for sailing masts. The English king, knowing the value of the trees, placed a mark on the larger trees claiming them for the crown. Colonist could not harvest these trees. They also had to get a surveyor and a license to cut the trees not marked. Not surprising, the colonists did not like being told what they could and could not do with their own trees. In 1775, this anger led to the Pine Tree Riot in New Hampshire.

This was not the only flag, at the time, with a pine tree. The flag that flew over Bunker Hill was red with a green pine tree in the top, left corner.

an appeal to heaven

The words, “An Appeal To Heaven”, was a common phrase in those days. It was used several times in historical documents, including Second Treatise on Civil Government by John Locke in 1690 and by Patrick Henry in his famous, Give me liberty or give me death speech.

In 1968, a United States stamp was issued commemorating Washington’s flag.

 

Books by Carolyn Torbett Johnson

The Promise

Hungry and alone. Twelve year old Jack and ten year old Leah are on their own, living on the filthy streets of New York City in 1908. Unable to find work, they face starvation. In desperation, Jack calls out to God. Read how God miraculously unfolds a plan to provide and protect the children.

Oklahoma Bound

A sequel to The Promise. Jack and Leah have been put aboard an orphan train. They’re thrilled to be traveling to their promise land. But their new found faith will be tested as they cross the country searching for parents and a place to call home.

These books were written for ages 9 – 12 but many adults have expressed enjoyment in reading them. You may buy them at http://www.amazon.com or if you would like an autographed copy, send your request plus $14.95 ($11.95 + $3.00 shipping) to Carolyn Johnson, PO Box 311, Arapaho, OK 73620 (If you want it personalized, please add name.)

Bat Bombs Of World War II

I have long been aware of bats being a gentle, beneficial part of our ecology. But I was amazed when I heard of a top secret unit in World War II working on developing a bat bomb.

The idea was conceived by a Pennsylvania dentist name Lytle S. Adams. He was a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. He outlined a plan to arm bats with bombs that could be ignited to start fires. The plan was accepted and sent to the military under top secret status.

First, a container bomb was developed to house a thousand bats. This is a container bomb from Wikipedia. It had layers of trays inside to divide bats. Each bat was equipped with a small incendiary device strapped to it. Louie Fieser, inventor of the nepalm, designed half ounce and one ounce timed incendiary devices for the creatures.

Bat_Bomb_Canister

The plan was to drop the container bomb from 5000 feet. A parachute would be attached to the bomb. The bats would be released around 1000 feet. The bats would disperse to varies places. In the morning they would hide in the cracks of the highly flammable Japanese buildings. The timed devices would then be ignited, causing widespread fires.

Plans were made to have ten B-24 bombers from Alaska carry a hundred bat shells. This would release 1,040,000 bat incendiary bombs over the industrial cities of Osaka Bay.

Tests were done. Unfortunately in one test, some bats were accidentCarlsbad_AAF_Fire_after_Bat_Bomb_Accidently released and caused fires at the military base in New Mexico.  This is a picture of the devastation on the base.

Picture from Wikipedia

 

 

 

Another test in Utah included a fake Japanese village built for demonstration. Those watching felt the bombing was a success.

The program was cancelled in 1944 after spending two million on development. It was felt that the research was progressing too slow. It was reported that the founder of the idea made a statement saying we could have devastated Japan with the bat fires and sustained very little loss of life. Instead we sent an atom bomb.