Civil War Transcendence: part 31


This room was larger. It measured probably about 15 by 20 feet. A large wooden rectangular table was situated in one side of the room, with benches along its sides and arm chairs at the heads of the table. In the opposite corner of the room was a fireplace located on an outside wall with three iron rods affixed to the left side of the fireplace at different heights. The rods were on swivels that allowed them to be swung over the fire so pots, small cans or buckets with bent half-moon metal handles could be hung on them. There was also a large grate on the bottom of the fire place floor that allowed skillets to be placed for cooking.

The lady was spooning out eggs from a skillet onto a metal plate when I entered the room. She looked up, snickered, and motioned with her head toward the table. I walked over to the table bench closest to the wall, sat down, and leaned back against the wall. I felt rested, but not up to full strength. I watched her as she continued to spoon out victuals on the plate from a skillet, a Dutch oven and one of the cans hanging from a rod.

How did I know her?

These thoughts were suddenly chased away by the wonderful aroma of country cooking.

I didn’t know I was so hungry! In fact, I was ravenous. My stomach let out a deep-seated growl which I tried to camouflage with a cough.

The woman walked forward with what we would call a “truck driver’s plate” full of food. There were three eggs, sunny side up, two biscuits with what looked like sausage gravy, and a thick ham steak.

She put the plate in front of me and said, “The knives and tines are in the cabinet.”

Knife and TineShe motioned with her head to a six-foot-tall wooden cupboard in the corner at the other side of the room. I jumped up and walked quickly forward and instigated an assault of the lower drawers until I found a knife and “tine” (her word) that suited me. I got back to the table in a jiffy and dug into the food.

She brought over two steaming cups of coffee in tin cups and placed them on the table. She pushed one toward me. Then she sat down on the bench opposite me and watched me eat as she drank coffee.


About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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