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Old dog learning new tricks

I have learned more about the Civil War in the first 11 chapters of Lenore Puhek’s “Forever Friends” than I learned all my years in school. I’m currently reading “Forever Friends-The journey of two families from Civic War Virginia to Montana Territory 1860-1868″ by Helena author and FRIEND, Lenore McKelvey Puhek (it rhymes with Buick but she drives a Yugo). I mentioned in an earlier blog that during the Civil War, men were “conscripted” for three month periods. I guess it would be similar to our former “military draft”. The “male lead” in the book, young Jeremiah Hicks, a confederate soldier is wounded and then escapes and is heading for home already. Lenore tells me that some of these men ended up in the war/service for as long as four years, three month conscription or not! The men knew if they went to a field hospital after being wounded that they would probably die from the care received there. Also, there was much suicide during the winters months…no food, as the men had shot all the game animals and birds, and only what they could confiscate from farmers went into their pots. They only had cots to sleep on, sit on, eat from, as all other furniture was burned to keep the camp cooks fires going. I’ll be starting chapter 12 tomorrow evening (Tuesday) when I read “Montana History” in the sun room at the Marias Heritage Center here in Shelby. Can’t wait to get back to Lenore’s book and see what happens…

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