Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Day in History

It took war for America to win its independence in 1776; then,
civil war almost tore a nation apart . . .

June 25, 1864: On this day, Pennsylvania troops begin digging a tunnel toward the Rebels at Petersburg, Virginia, in order to blow a hole in the Confederate lines and break the stalemate. . .

 (Click the date or picture to read more @ History.com)

American Civil War

Footsteps of History

It is a sad day when events provoke attacks
that set brother against brother and father against son.
How heart rendering that must be;
yet, it is a decisive turning point in America’s history.

Take a myriad of steps back in time
When brother fought against brother
An era that terrified the country
Every father, every mother

Unimaginable circumstances
Sent sons of one nation into battle
Internal war raging unmercifully
Bore conflicts that to this day still rattle

Family, friends, loved ones
Separated or parted forever
Thousands suffered and died
All on behalf of freedom’s endeavor

Soldiers hungry, ragged and dirty
Fell exhausted from heavy artillery
Freezing, drizzling, miserable rains
Contributed to life’s daily misery
Away from the battlefields
A sense of calm lulled
Within panoramic views
Thoughts lingered and mulled

In the wake of faint dawn
Soldiers shared last desires
Snuggling close to stay warm
Beside the bivouac fires

Walk in the footsteps of history
Relive vivid stories that do declare
Tales of morbid pain and suffering
As well as humor in times of despair

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults
Connecting the past to the present…

"I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works.
And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America
you have to know about the Civil War."
—Ken Burns (1953-Present)

Also on this day in history. . .

June 25, 1876: On this day, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana's Little Bighorn River. . .

 (Click the date or picture to read more @ History.com and America's Story)

George Armstrong Custer
Sitting Bull

Custer and his troops in 1864

Custer's Last Stand

 Prelude to Indian Uprising

Painting by Robert Lindneux in 1942 commemorating
the suffering of the Cherokee people under forced removal.
(Image Credit: The Granger Collection, New York)
There are many events leading up to the defeat of Custer but none any more devastating to the native American Indian than the Trail of Tears. What did they do that was so wrong to provoke brutally closing the curtain on their native American culture?

Stripped of their dignity, the Cherokee people became victims in one of the saddest episodes of our brief history. Whether man, woman, infant, or young child, all were taken from their land, hearded like cattle into makeshift living quarters with minimal facilities and food, then forced to march overland to a destination neither of their choice nor free will.

Trail of Tears
(The Trail Where They Cried)

The forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation stemmed from
tensions between Georgia (not yet a state) and the United States.
One of the saddest moves in American history
forced the Cherokee to march one thousand miles
under horrible conditions to the Western United States.

the Cherokee Nation
gave up its epic lands
not solely of free will
but government demands

coerced to march overland
sadness loomed, many died
Indians hailed the journey
hungry, cold and exhausted
they lumbered onward
saying nothing, feeling lost
heads tilted downward

images of the old nation
give way to somber wails
bodies of family and friends
lay buried near the trail

men, women, and children all cry
as many, many days pass
from the Mississippi River
to Oklahoma, alas

for one to picture
such a dismal plight
it would have to be
the darkest of night

visions of desolation
were endlessly seen
only memories remained
of their native scene

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

On Trail of Tears: But their land, located in parts of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, was valuable, and it grew to be more coveted as white settlers flooded the region.

“I fought through the Civil War and have seen
men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands,
but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”
—Georgia militiaman who participated in the “roundup” of the Cherokee Indians