What do a Confederate veteran and a witch have in common?

Posted on October 1, 2010 by

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Hey! It IS October, and seriously… what I said above is a sincere question. I’ll give details later this weekend… and no sarcastic answers to my question in the interim.

In the meantime, like I said, it’s October! I love this time of year, and it brings to mind two things in particular… scary stuff and German heritage… and I do realize that Octoberfest came a long time after my German ties had departed the old country (mostly in the early 1700s). I’ll get back to the German stuff at a later point, but as for the scary stuff, there are ties with the German heritage stuff.

First of all, the majority of my Confederate ancestors were either of German heritage or were residing in a community where there were far more with German ancestry than anyone else… and that even goes for my Southern Unionists in the Valley and people in blue in western Maryland.

So, while we spend the majority of our time in Civil War discussions, trying to figure out why people fought, and that they fought for one side or the other… and for this right or that cause… etc., etc., etc., or that they just wanted to be left alone… these people had lives other than that focused on the war.

Oh, and by the way, if you have one idea of what Southern culture was like, guess again… and make several guesses and consider the sum a more accurate representation, because that is the reality of it. Even areas within the South were culturally split… the Shenandoah Valley being a fine example.

Anyway, since we are in October, I figured that I would take a look at some curious stories that have ties to the war or those who served in it. When it came to stories of ghost, and superstition in general, what did they believe, and how did it impact their lives (that define them far more than four years of a war)?As you might expect, my base of knowledge is in the central Valley (and, after all, the title of this blog IS “Cenantua’s Blog”… more on that as well, later this month… after nearly two years of saying little to nothing about why I named it this way), so that is where I will keep the majority of my focus.

Even though I suspect that some “serious” students of the war will likely turn-up their noses at this line of examination in relation to the war, I promise… I’ve got a few good things to share. Keep in mind, it’s not just about telling ghost stories, but trying to get a grip on the diversity of culture that existed in the South, and how that diversity may have had an impact on their sentiments and sides. Stay tuned.

*On another note, I haven’t forgotten about making the links between my multi-post, roving, live blogging from last week. That, I hope, will also be accomplished this weekend.

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