Category Archives: Parthenia Leila Ellis

Orlando Poe’s map

Topographical map of the approaches and defenses of Knoxville, surveyed under the direction of Union Capt. O.M. Poe, dated November 14, 1863, provided his commanding general Burnside with unequaled decision-making information. “In his official report Poe stated, ‘And here I … Continue reading

Posted in Fort Sanders, Gen. Ambrose Burnside, Orlando Poe, Parthenia Leila Ellis | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christmas wishes from Old Cahawba

The novel’s Union-sympathizing Parthenia Leila Ellis hailed from Alabama where her family’s plantation, The Cedars, was near the former-state capital of Cahawba. In 1864, Cahawba still had a Female Academy for the young daughters of plantation owners in the vicinity, … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Parthenia Leila Ellis | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rough Rider Joe Wheeler

Confederate cavalry attacking the city was the first thought of the novel’s fictional Parthenia Leila Ellis when the sounds of battle awakened her the night the Rebels drove in the pickets at Fort Sanders. That cavalry was commanded by Gen. … Continue reading

Posted in Gen. Joseph Wheeler, Parthenia Leila Ellis | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reprise: Robert E. Lee’s Unionist Sister

[This is one of the most popular posts of this site and so worth repeating in full:] Many families were torn apart by the war, a fact that buttresses my fictional creation Parthenia Leila Ellis, the Unionist widow of Confederate … Continue reading

Posted in Families Divided By The War, Laura Jackson Arnold, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Robert E. Lee | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Parson Brownlow’s wife Elisa

In the novel, the historical Elisa Brownlow and my fictional Leila Ellis are close friends. This photo of Mrs. Brownlow was taken in Philadelphia, Pa, soon after the war began when the Confederates had kicked her husband out of Knoxville … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Civil War clothing, Parson William Brownlow, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Susan Brownlow | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reprise: Mrs Ellis’s copy of Lucile

I got the idea for the novel’s fictional Union sympathizer Leila Ellis to be reading Owen Meredith’s Lucile on the night the Rebs drove in the pickets at Fort Sanders from an old copy of the book I inherited from my … Continue reading

Posted in Owen Meredith's "Lucile", Parthenia Leila Ellis | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Contraband of War

To get around the problem of having to return self-emancipated (i.e. escaped) slaves to their Confederate owners, Union Gen. Benjamin Butler dubbed them “contraband of war,” i.e. captured property that didn’t have to be returned. Later, Congress made the term … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Orlando Poe, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Slavery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking with one pot on an open fire

The novel’s fictional widow Parthenia Leila Ellis presumably had more than one pot to cook with, but soldiers on both sides at Knoxville probably didn’t unless their unit’s cooks were rustling up grub for all. For those, particularly among the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War accoutrements, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Slavery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment