Janice Keck Literary Award

I felt extremely honored tonight as the winner of the Janice Keck Literary award for non-fiction. This has been an exciting process, first writing and editing, then working through design and publication. I'm hopeful the book—"The Battlefield Guide to Life: War Stories and Life Lessons from Julius Caesar to Sergeant York"—will be in print sometime in February.

U.S. Marine - 1917

This is Robert Cecil Williamson of Granville, Tennessee, probably 1917, as he joined the United States Marine Corps. While he hoped to be sent overseas to fight, most of his time was spent in the states, with a short tour of duty in the Dominican Republic. The U.S. was concerned with the Germans using the Dominican Republic as a staging ground for an invasion, and basically took over that island country for quite some time. The U.S. also had other interests in the area, not all of them altruistic. It's a little-told story, but the Dominicans - rightfully tired of American intervention in their government—wanted us out of there. I'm betting this man—my great-uncle—was glad to oblige them. Uncle Cecil came home after the war, a fine man who lived into old age, and one of my favorite relatives.

Battle of Franklin Memorial

(The following is a repost from our Facebook page regarding the memorial observance that took place at the Carter House, Franklin, Tennessee, ten days ago. We had been asked to get the pictures on our blog website, as well, and glad to do so. James)

Hundreds visited the Carter House this evening to memorialize those who fell at the Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864. The 10,000 luminaries represent the casualties from that day. Especially poignant was the light shining from inside the newly restored Farm Office, the most bullet-riddled building still remaining from the American Civil War. Lest we forget.