The Yellow Rose of Texas

Texas – red white and blue strong, patriotic to the core and proud.

The Yellow Rose of Texas – well I'd heard the song before, basically know the tune and had more than likely heard Pa's warbly whistling renditions of it as well.

Do you know the history of it though?

Where is all this leading to you might ask and indeed I though this would be a more straightforward reference to the spectacular B-Western outfit completed for Complicated Lady.

So I will give a quick insight into her outfit and then digress to the history lesson as such.

This one was to be a complete Texas themed outfit in red, white and blue to go with THE most gorgeous pair of boots.

I started it back in the US and the fabric that came was not to our liking, whilst the blue was a bit deeper than expected it actually will absolutely nail the colour in the boots but the red was giving me fits.

I'd ordered a true red and what came changed like a chameleon in many different light sources to the point that I had to disappoint and not have it finished for when she wanted to debut this beauty. It looked burgundy more than anything. Insert mild tantrums and tears from me here!!

So into the shipping container and wait on its impending arrival. In the meantime, I had managed to locally source the same sort of suiting fabric in the brightest red that made my heart jump for joy!!

 

I now couldn't wait for it and my machine to arrive so I could crack on with this project!

It turned out sensational! Finished with embroidered stars, Texas flag state, yellow rose and blue bonnet combination's, finished with white deer skin fringe and some serious bling! Happy days indeed!!

 

Now back to 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. To start The Alamo – Medium tells me 'the term “yellow” was commonly used in the 1830's to refer to mulattos and “rose” was a popular euphemism for a description for a young woman' (mulatto meaning a person of mixed white and black ancestry)

Blackpast.org explains 'West's possible forced separation from her black lover and her placement in Santa Anna's camp. According to legend, inspired her lover to compose the song we know as “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Publicity surrounding the hotel in San Antonio that was named after Emily Morgan asserts that West was a spy for Texas'

The song is a traditional American folk song that originated in the 1850's. The earliest version found in Christy's Plantation Melodies No.2, a song book published under authority of Edwin Pearce Christy in Philadelphia 1853.

The song has since been reworked and recorded by many an artist including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson to name but a few. It was chosen as one of the top 100 great Western songs of all time.

Mitch Millers version in 1955 became a gold record achieving #2 position in the UK and #1 position in Australia.

During the American Civil War it became popular with Confederate soldiers in the defeated Texas Brigade of the Battle of Nashville. Texans remained ever gallant even in defeat.

Who was Emily West? Emily D. West (c. 1815-1891) also known as Emily Morgan, is a folk heroine whose legendary activities during the Texas Revolution have come to be identified with the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. West was a free woman of color, of mixed race, or a “high yellow”…….in 1836, with other residents, she was kidnapped by Mexican cavalry. Forced to travel with the forces of General Santa Anna as they prepared to face the army led by Sam Houston, she was in the Mexican camp on April 21 when Houston's men attacked. The Texans won the Battle of San Jacinto in 18 minutes.

According to legend, Santa Anna was caught unprepared as he was engaged in 'other activities' with West when Houston struck. This was reportedly recorded in a journal in 1842 when a gentleman was told the story by Sam Houston during a steamer trip.

In any case, historians question the reliability of such a story but as history often predicts (bit like Chinese whispers), stories get embellished, legends are made and so it becomes. Why shouldn't we think the defeat occurred by those means?

Emily West has been immortalised in history regardless and a hotel, The Emily Morgan Hotel, in downtown San Antonio, is named in honor of the Texas heroine.

Maybe this outfit should be called 'Emily'?

Kat xo

 

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Bullets and Rails 2018

The Plum Creek Shooting Society hosted the Battle of Plum Creek – Bullets and Rails 2018 this weekend at the Comanche Country Ranch owned by landowners Lyman and Nancy who have kept it running as an outstanding cowboy range facility.

This year the shoot is based on famous train scenes in western movies with even a silent movie start in the Livery.

After much rain in previous weeks, it appears the range has been mostly spared and the ground is soft under foot but not boggy.

Day 1 was Wild Bunch and side matches which went off in fine sunny weather.

Day 2 rolls around with a clear cool start and more sunshine expected to continue. The mornings proceedings start with welcomes, pledge of allegiance, pledge to Texas, prayers and 'Patience'. Patience is a cannon but I couldn't tell you the details of her magnificence but if you asked her caretaker, Artiman, I bet you he could tell you more than a story or two.

 

Under the intricate instruction of Artimans artillery commands he and his fellow cowboys, come recruits get Patience ready for action. (You have to go to the Facebook page to see her in action). Now ready for firing, me holding iPad to video, I realise I don't have earplugs and only the capability to plug one ear hole, well….you can see by the video, that I still was not expecting the result! My ears were ringing for a good while!

 

We all moved off to our respective start stages for Day 1 of the Main Match and commenced stages 2-7 with our posse of Texas Ghost, Lady Ghost, Oklahoma Dee, Kansas City Sneed, Lefty Wheeler, Krazy Legs Kay, Texas Drifter, Chisos, Red River Raider (and the ever spectacularly dressed Petticoat Parker), G W Ketchum (thanks Suzie for keeping score all weekend), Six Goin South, Kickshot, Jack and myself.

Last night was the banquet and I assisted Six Goin South and Lorilei Longshot with a costume contest in the Parlour House Reception whilst men gathered in the Saloon next door. Congratulations to all who attended and placed.

 

Side match awards were given. A neat train whistle, theme appropriate for the shoot. I walked away with 4 so I may share with Jack if he wants to play trains! Haa haa haa!

 

Thanks Lyman for putting together your band and playing too. Music was great!!

Day 2 of the Main Match and we are set to finish stages 8, 9, 10 and 1. We had thunderstorms last night and the range has seen a massive downpour that has created better environments for pigs! Lol!

It is boggy as but the match officials are hurriedly running around clearing water and laying bags of sawdust as best they can, After a delay, we started at 9.15am to finish the match.

Lunch was on – fajitas – and might I just say the lunches and dinner the crew put on the whole weekend was outstanding especially lunch today. Awesome job and it was very much appreciated.

Awards got under way and the prizes were railroad spikes. Not just any old railway spikes I might add, these are the real deal. Actual 1800's railway spikes from Texas railroads.

 

Joe Darter gave a little trivia behind them before they started the awards. He 'acquired' these from somebody he knew that had connections. All the spikes are uniquely marked and highly collectible. The makers of the spikes would mark their initials or other carvings into them. If you were injured during other railway work back then, you usually ended up with one of these jobs also. All these spikes are marked, engraved with the shoot name and some with Champion on them.

Special awards made by Two Spurs and in keeping with the railway theme were given to our, shall we say, more mature cowboy and cowgirl at the match. Cherokee Clay and Lady Ghost received these awards for 'Most Train Rides'. Such a neat idea.

 

Jack with a jam in his rifle today finished 3rd in Elder Statesman. Congratulations 1st Skyhawk Hans, 2nd Wildcat Bob, 4th Dusty Mines, 5th Lefty Wheeler, 6th Little Bowley, 7th Ranger Tay.

 

Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wrangler shooter in 2nd place, Krazy Kat.

 

There were 16 clean match winners from 203 shooters for the match. I had a clean match!

Congratulations to Oklahoma Dee 1st man overall and I won ladies overall AND finished 2nd place in the match right behind him!

 

Thanks to all the crew at Plum Creek Shooting Society once again for a great match.

Kat xo

 

Wild Bunch and Cowboy

This weekend was spent in gorgeous sunshine, blue skies and critter sightings as we headed to the range both days.

Seeing an actual armadillo – instead of roadkill – was a highlight. The small stag yesterday bounding. Along the roadside and seeing his shocked 'oh crap!' Look on his face when he almost darted out in front of us was kinda funny. The hawks sitting on fences and in flight are just gorgeous.

Yesterday was Wild Bunch day and we had a blast! Jack shot Wild Bunch but I shot cowboy as I didn't know know how my hand would take it with the .45 and stitches and best not to mess that up.

With Hondo Tweed, Elwood James, John Elder, Jodi Coyote, Gordy Hattrick, San Jacinto Joe, DJ, Slade, Jack and I, we ran through 4 stages.

Hondo, not wanting to see us leave OKC as a base, had made up lines referring to Jack and I. It was fun and humbling and we thank you for your kind words yesterday. We will miss everyone much.

 

The Mine – he had remembered when Posse'd with us one time and Jack was having a few issues that I had said “Suck it up princess!” and so that was the start line for that stage. I gave Gordy style points for saying it almost wih an Aussie accent but then when he 'princesse'd' his rifle vertically into the rack, I had to recall the style point. Lol! Good fun.

We moved on to the Mercantile and in recognition of my artwork there (Jacks handy timber work also) the line became “Welcome to Kathouse Kelli's place”

Into the Saloon and Hondo likes an adult beverage as much as we do and so the line became “A toast to Jack and Kat” (I heard you use that one again today too Hondo ;))

 

The final stage at The Depot and not wanting to say goodbye..and really what cowboy ever does…the line became “Happy Trails to you” ….until…we meet…again.

 

A great day followed with Cowboy Chicken and said adult beverages with the odd Ziegen Bock. Thanks guys for an excellent day! We thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Today was Cowboy match with 23 turning up that weren't at other shoots. Two posses ran the 6 stages. Jack had a pretty uneventful day and shot his first clean club match all year. Good work man. A blonde moment had me leave one shotgun target up but extremely happy with pistol and rifle. Hand is working fine and not pulling on the stitches.

 

Thanks Stoney Cahill, Hurricane Deck, Badly Bent, Trent, Prairie Drifter, Elwood James, Stonewall, Travellin' Travis, Gun A Do It, Hondo Tweed. We had a blast! Another sensational day with great cowboys and cowgirls finished with Mexican at Habanero's.

Thank you Territorial Marshal's.

Kat xo

Hee hee hee, new sayings I learned today – anymore inbred and he'd be a sandwich! – and – his family tree is like a wreath! Lol! Redneck lives matter, just sayin' 🙂

 

Casey Jones

Casey Jones, climbed in the cabin,

Casey Jones, orders in his hand

Casey Jones, leanin' out the window

Takin' a trip to the Promised Land

Now you've got that stuck in your head, haven't you?! I did the whole way through the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum.

 

Mind you that is the chorus from Johnny Cash's version of 'Casey Jones'. The original 'Ballad of Casey Jones' was written by Wallace Saunders, a friend of Casey Jones.

Come, all you rounders, if you want to hear

The story told of a brave engineer;

Casey Jones was the rounder's name

A high right-wheeler of mighty fame.

It is long and tells of brave Casey Jones riding the trains and saving his passengers on his last fateful ride.

 

He was born John Luther Jones in Southeast Missouri on March 14, 1863, the eldest of 5 children. He and his siblings grew up in Cayce, Kentucky. He fell in love with all things railroad. During his railroad work when asked where he was from, with Cayce being the answer he was soon known and referred to as 'Casey Jones'.

Casey started work with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as a telegrapher at age 15. While boarding with a family in Jackson, TN he met and fell in love with the proprietors daughter, Janie Brady. He and Janie were married in 1886 and had 3 children of their own. He was a devoted father and husband.

 

Having become a proficient telegrapher, Casey then moved up to the position of fireman. Eventually earning his ultimate role as an engineer, Casey was one of the best.

 

During his employ with Illinois Central Railroad, Casey was making a run from Memphis, TN to Canton, MS on April 30, 1900. At 3.52am he was killed in a train wreck.

The mainline was supposed to be clear for the mail and passenger run but Casey didn't know that ahead, a train had stalled on a siding due to a broken air hose, leaving 3 of its carriages still sticking out on the main line.

 

Casey had almost no warning but managed to slow his engine from 70mph to 35mph, telling his fireman Sim Webb to 'jump!' just moments before the impact. With one hand on the whistle and the other on the brake, Casey's engine collided with the other train and he was killed in the crash. He had managed to slow the train enough that all his passenger cars stayed on the track and all passengers survived. He was just 37 years old.

 

If my memory serves me correctly from the short introductory video, compensation payouts totalled around $29, with the highest being $5 for bruising to the fireman.

Through personal appearances by Sim Webb at events honouring Casey Jones, the ballad written by Wallace Saunders and his wife, Casey became famous around the world.

The museum houses many railroad artefacts, a model display of Casey's crash, news articles, photos, and much more. Through the museum and out on the platform is Engine 382 where you can ring the bell of the engine.

 

After hearing the railway sounds on the platform you can walk around to go through and view his original 1870's home that was relocated to the current site in 1980. It was originally located at 211 West Chester Street in downtown Jackson.

 

Also located here is a number of small shops in the Casey Jones Village. The Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store, is a step back in time! From the moment you enter there are the original post boxes, counters filled with old antiques, exquisitely ornate timber shelving, the antique original soda fountain and 1890's ice cream parlor.

 

The Old Country Store offers buffet style meals, three times a day or you can get take out or eat in the Dixie Cafe on the other side within the store.

The food choices were many and everything was very fresh. There is also another area with some old homes, chapel, bakery, mini golf and farm that we didn't visit.

If you ever get into Jackson, TN this is all worth a visit!!

Kat xo

Click on the link below for more info.

Casey Jones Village

 

Parker’s Crossroads

We left Tullahoma, TN this morning and it has been raining overnight. Not long into the trip and it's raining on and off.

Not far from Jackson and not our intended tourist stop for the day, we pulled into Parker's Crossroads for a quick look. Part of the Tennessee Civil War Trails, this where Union Troops led by Col. Cyrus L. Dunham fought Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's cavalry on December 31, 1862. This is where Forrest gave his famous order to

“Charge them both ways!”


 

Forrest had been dispatched with his 1800 men to sever U.S. Grant's rail communications in West Tennessee. After a successful two-week mission across the region, Forrest then headed east toward the Tennessee River.

 

Five miles northwest of Parker's Crossroads they stopped for a couple of days. Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan saw a chance to capture Forrest. He sent two brigades to trap the Confederates.

The morning of the 31st, after learning that Forrest's troops were at Flake's Store, Col. Dunham's brigade of 1500 men left Clarksburg and marched South toward Parker's Crossroads.

Dunham's men got to the crossroads first and formed a line of battle at Hick's Field, a mile northwest. Forrest's artillery and dismounted cavalry went into action on the northwest perimeter of Hick's Field, causing Dunham to retreat back towards John Parker's house at the crossroads, where they reformed a line, paralleling the Lexington-Huntingdon Road.

When Forrest flanked this position, Dunham changed his front northward,M suffering severe casualties from Forrest's artillery. Pushed south by the constant bombardment, the Union line took refuge behind a split-rail fence.

While unrelenting artillery fire held Dunham in place, Forrest ordered an attack on the Union rear. Dunham about-faced most of his brigade and charged southward but his forces were surrounded. With the battle seemingly over, Forrest parlayed with Dunham for surrender. Suddenly, Col. Fuller's entire Ohio Brigade arrived from the north behind the Parker house, where it captured 300 Confederate horse-holders.

Forrest was now caught between the two Union brigades. He thundered, “Charge them both ways!”, gathering 75 men and charging into the left flank of the Ohio Brigade. The swift counterattack disrupted the Union attack and Forrest escaped, heading to the Tennessee River Ferry crossing at Clifton.

(The above has been written from the Parker's Crossroads brochure)

All in all, here were 3000 Union soldiers (237 casualties) 1800 Confederate soldiers (500 casualties).

Forrest led a number of brigades through several battles during a a four year period from1861-1865. He later became a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867, just two years after it was formed and was elected its first Grand Wizard.

He remains today as a highly controversial individual. Ya think!?! A very interesting story behind this Civil War General indeed.

So there's a little piece of history in brief for today's trip.

Kat xo

Parker's Crossroads

Gen. Nathan B. Forrest

Civil War Battlefields

 

Book Review With Kat: The Son

New York Times Bestseller, The Son by author Philipp Meyer.

Based on the McCullough family and it’s heirs in the mid 1800’s to the mid 20th century, The Son ended up being a book I was very taken with.

Recommended and loaned to me by Wild Horse John, I began the intriguing journey Philipp Meyer took me on as I poured through the pages.

It is a story of Indians, frontier survival, early Texas under Spanish rule, Civil Wars, oil magnates, cattle and disjointed families.

The chapters change with family member and time, so during the first quarter of the book I had to keep going back to the family tree to see where I was.

The more I got into it the more I knew and could easily flip between centuries, characters and visual scenery in my head.

I loved the tangled tale of intrigue, misfortune and fortune that went with Eli McCullough and the generations after him.

Thanks John for the recommendation and I would certainly recommend it to any other avid reader or like me, who hasn’t picked up an ‘actual’ book in a long time.

A television series has been made of it starring Pierce Brosnan and although I did catch one episode have not seen others as yet.

Give it a go if you come across it!

Yours in paperback

Kat xo

P.S. just might have to find another good read now. Got any western history, fictional or otherwise, recommendations??

Stone Mountain Park

We had heard from some Oklahoma friends (Lady Roadrunner is from Georgia) that Stone Mountain Park in Georgia was a place to see. We did some research and added it to the list.

Agarita Annie and Neuces Slim had visited Stone Mountain before the Georgia State match and said it was definitely a must see. They had managed to see it, despite low fog and mist.

Jack and I headed there yesterday under perfect skies. Slightly overcast made it a little more pleasant for doing the walking trail, I didn't get right to the summit as I'd lost sight of Jack for some time and headed back to where he was resting. A great track though, stacks of people of all differing athletic abilities were on this stone track on a Sunday morning with a church revival service resounding from another section of the mountain.

We stopped near the flag poles, reading the plaques and the use of these flags during the Civil War. Many people do not understand the 'rebel' flag. It is history! It is the 'Confederate' flag and had great significance during the Civil War.

 

At the left end of the Confederate Flag Terrace is the Confederate Battle Flag.

At the battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, the Confederate Commander was unable to recognize reinforcements because in the dust of battle the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy could hardly be distinguished from the Stars and Stripes of the Union forces. As a result, the Confederate battle flag was adopted in September 1861.


Far right on the terrace is the First National Flag.

The First National flag of the Confederate States of America was the Stars and Bars, with seven white stars in the blue field. One star for each Confederate state at the time of adoption this flag was raised over the Capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama, at sunrise on March 4, 1861.


Second from the right is the Second National Flag.

The Second National, a pure white flag with the 'battle flag' in the upper left hand corner, was adopted by the Confederate congress on May 1, 1863. The Second National was substituted for the First National which, it was thought, bore too great a likeness to the flag of the Union.


In the centre of the flag terrace is the Third National Flag.

Because the Second National flag, when hanging limp, could be mistaken for a flag of truce, the Confederate congress, on March 4, 1865, changed the design by adding a broad red bar across the end. This created the third flag of the Confederacy which was known as the Last National flag of the Confederacy.


Second from left is the United States of America Flag.

 

Now you can see and understand how it all ties in to history and in my opinion, a history that needs to remain told, understood, and never to be forgotten.

Great men fought, won and lost during this time period. The carving on the side of Stone Mountain is a tribute to the Confederate States of America. It was conceptualised in the early 1900's when both Northerners and Southerners were establishing memorials for the Civil War heroes.

 

Inside Memorial Hall (sits directly opposite, with a view to the carving) their is an auditorium with a film explaining the Civil War battles and a huge window with reproduction pieces indicating actual size, references to the 3 men depicted, how it came to be, design competition, the carvers etc.

 

The carving of Confederate President Jefferson Davis (left), General Robert E. Lee (centre), and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson is a spectacular sight to see and you really don't get the scale and depth of it until you have read the information or taken the Skyride up the mountain to fully appreciate the great feat the carvers have produced.

 

The total dimensions of the carved section is 90 feet high and covers an area of a large city block.

The actual dimensions of the carving itself are 76 feet high, 160 feet wide and at the deepest relief section, 42 feet. You can fit two school buses side by side on the back of Lee's horse. I liked the comparison between other well known carvings around the world. It's half the height of the Statue of Liberty but larger than Mt Rushmore and I thought that was big!


Here's some perspective on the stars on General Lee's collar, the buckle from “Black Jack's” bridle, and the mouth of the horse – actual size reproductions. You could fit in the horses mouth to get out of a rain shower, the buckle is as big as a stove, Jefferson Davis's thumb is as big as a couch and Robert E. Lee's head is 15ft tall.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum's first concept for the memorial was to include an entire Southern army!? It took 60 years (approx 13 actual carving) before it was completed as it was! A widower of a Confederate soldier, C. Helen Plane pushed for a memorial and by 1915 had rallied the Atlanta Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy to contract the renowned sculptor for the project.

Over five decades, three sculptors later (Gutzon Borglum, Augustus Lukeman and Walter Hancock) time, lease, money issues and artist grievances, the carving was finally dedicated in May 1970. The some 420ft 'tallest' outside elevator was eventually completely removed by 1972.

 

The mountain itself was formed by volcanic activity and over time soil erosion has revealed the largest exposed granite rock in the world. It's only taken about 120 million years for it to get like this!?!

The park has the Skyride cable car, you can do a return trip, walk up and take the ride back to the bottom, ride to the top and walk down. There is a train that runs around the base. The Ampitheatre and pond area are beautiful and there are night time laser shows against the side of the mountain. Historic Square has a number of old homes that have been relocated, restored and house a number of antiques, these can be viewed for an extra entry price.

 

Confederate Hall which sits at the base of the walking trail doesn't open until 12pm on a Sunday so we missed seeing inside this building. It sits adjacent to the car park where the original owner Andrew Johnson's house, the Gilbraltar Hotel was when the township was known as New Gibraltar.

 

A beautiful spot to visit and I would recommend it to anyone. I can imagine summer season is going to be jam packed with visitors, it was bad enough on a warmer than usual spring day in off peak. Lots of people enjoy this area that is evident. My tip is if you are going to spend the money to get in, enjoy the rides and historic square then I would suggest picking a time when you can spend the time to stay and enjoy the laser show as well.

Thanks Georgia for highlighting our trip as we left this state.

Kat xo