Old school tale

Last year, when I was subbing, a 4th grade boy asked me if I was a WWII vet. (my dad wasn’t old enough, I didn’t exist) I said: Of course not. I’m a World War One vet.

He came back a minute later: Army or Navy?

Don’t insult me, I replied. Air force. I flew a bomber, bombed Germans.

Okay he said and went to his seat.

I thought I would share my family’s Civil War loss. (our country is going through another trial)

My great-great grandfather, Lucilious Pate, came home in 1865 to find his wife and family gone, his younger brother, Wesley had drowned when an army steamboat caught fire, and another brother, James, had died in battle. Lucillious joined the Union army 81st regiment Illinois in August 1862, mustered out in 1865.

My great grandfather, Thomas Gillenwaters, came home in 1865 to find his father dead, his family starving, and a brother whose name I cannot recall had died in battle. Served in Union Army, company C, 37th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry. Mustered in June 2, 1863 Glasgow, Kentucky, mustered out May 10, 1865 Louisville, Kentucky. His brother, James, served in the confederate Army.

My great-great grandparents, Andrew William and Mary Greenfield, were murdered in 1863 by guerillas near Brandenburg, Kentucky. He was German-speaking Swiss and she was mixed-blood Shawnee—I believe xenophobia/racism killed them.

My great-great grandfather, Samuel Anderson, made it home in 1865, but his health and lungs were ruined. He served in the Union army, 5th Kentucky Cavalry, Company E. He was mustered in April 30, 1862 Burkesville, Kentucky and mustered out May 3, 1865 in Louisville, Kentucky. His three brothers served in the same regiment: James, William, and Wilson.

My grandmother’s cousin, Beanie (Bennie) Short hanged in 1865, a Confederate raider, but I do not judge him.


Bill Pennington, my great-great grandfather, kidnapped near Otisco, Indiana by Union Cavalry, presumably for military duty. Released the next day, likely because he was full-blooded Cherokee.

Kentucky Hellhounds

Beware! They are not pets! You may come across them on Kentucky’s isolated back roads, usually at night, particularly in the mountains. They guard entrances to Hell, locations where many people have died, or unconsecrated burial grounds. Warning! If you lock eyes with them three times, you will die.

Friday, May 22, is Goth Day. They were an ancient Germanic tribe who went on to conquer Spain and Northern Italy.

Wait, I am being told this is a modern phenomenon as in Goth style clothing and music. Who would’ve guessed?

[Editor’s Note: Mr. Suddeth spends too much time indoors drinking strong coffee]


Parallel Universe!

Working in Antarctica, NASA scientists working with the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna or ANITA detected neutrinos coming from Earth’s interior instead of outer space—once thought impossible. One theory is they came from a Parallel Universe where time operates in reverse. The theory is that after the Big Bang, 2 universes were created—ours and a mirror image of ours, a parallel universe where left and right and so on are the opposite. Don’t make travel plans yet—other theories may arise.


Mighty Nantahala

The Nantahala River runs in western North Carolina. It was named after the town of Nantahala, which means “Noonday sun” in Cherokee—cliffs hid the sun until noon. Part of my children’s novel, Stone man and the Trail of Tears, takes place along this river. (I believe the town site is under water)


Stone Man kidnaps Tsatsi’s sister during the #Cherokee Trail of Tears. Can Tsati rescue her? Is Stone Man a monster? Stone Man by Charles Suddeth   http://tinyurl.com/y4fptr67 Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/y34p62re @dancinglemurpre – http://tinyurl.com/y8pt5kx8 #history #nativeamerican

Deadwood Dick AKA Red River Dick AKA Nat Love was born a slave in 1854 on a Tennessee plantation. After the war, he moved to Dodge City and became a cowboy. He won rodeos and was even adopted into the Pima Tribe.  His adventurous life is largely unverified (normal for the Old West). In 1907 he published his memoir, The life and Adventures of Nat Love. He died in 1921—perhaps his title should just be the Greatest Cowboy.


%d bloggers like this: