This Georgia girl grew up hearing the horrors of Sherman’s March across Georgia. My great great grandfather, Washington T. Driskell, had died in the Kingston Confederate Hospital. My great great grandmother, Adeline Hinson Driskell was terrified of the Union soldiers. She and her two sons, John William Henry and James David, and their milk cow hid in a thicket of young trees as the troops marched through.
The young widow had already buried five children. She probably never made the journey to her husband’s unmarked Confederate grave. But after the war, during those days of Reconstruction, she and her sons built a cabin and began to till the hardened red Georgia clay to plant their first crops. Adeline’s strength of character inspired the generations to follow.
Fast forward almost 150 years later. My days in the South were numbered because I married the great grandson of a Union soldier and we now live in the Northwest. So you can imagine my dilema when our high school son came home from school one day with his new history assignment: Choose a Civil War soldier and write a speech from the soldier’s point of view. Extra credit would be given if the student wore a uniform. The dilema: He chose to represent a Union soldier…and not just any soldier. Michael wanted to be General William Tecumseh Sherman… the very same General my great great grandmother was hiding from!! Pick me up off the floor; give me air; tell me to breath.
But the learning process must go on. Who is going to pass up the possibility of extra credit?! Fortunately, we knew a family who participated in Civil War reenactments. They graciously let Michael borrow the authentic wool reproduction of this Union uniform. The speech went well. The history teacher was thrilled about the uniform and used it as a teaching tool. The mother lived to tell the story and scrapbook the photo shoot!! I’m sorry Grandma Adeline…please forgive me for taking the “likeness” of a Union soldier!!
I loved using both the color photo and the faded sepia toned photo printed on vellum to give an even older effect.