150 Years BOMB Series, Article #4, Saturday And The Battle Continues

I got to Fort Morgan about 20 minutes before 10:00 AM on Saturday, as the Naval battle reenactment was originally to begin at 10:00 AM. I surveyed the layout and thought it most appropriate to watch from the upper walkway of Fort Morgan. I began heading in the direction of the main portion and structure of the Fort. I was considerably lucky and actually walked by both “Armies” preparing to do battle in the hours ahead. Below the Union forces are giving their men final instructions.


Union Forces Preparig For Battle

Union Forces Preparing For Battle


Then out of nowhere this magnificently dressed officer strode out to the preparation area. I was enthralled with his hat, as most people are aware I am a fan of all sorts of caps and hats. This chapeau was very striking and gave one the appearance of authority and royalty. This, combined with the accouterments hanging from his waist, made his presentation striking and dignified. I marveled at his overall presentation and pondered the personal financial involvement. It had to be substantial. This officer thoroughly looked the part!


Union General

Union General


Them I came upon the Confederate forces and their ragtag outfits exemplified the reality of the Civil War I thought. One side was an organized army outfitted with all the instruments of war at that period in time and the other side was a quickly gathered assembly of local men who used whatever weapons and ammunition they could get their hands on, much less their apparel. It illustrated that even though the Confederates had a passion in their hearts for victory there was absolutely no way they would eventually win and that was the case in reality.


Confederat Forces Preparing for Battle

Confederate Forces Preparing for Battle


I strode through the massive tunnel, into the underbelly of Fort Morgan and discovered more Confederate forces prepping. The officers appeared regal as the Union officers. The enlisted men on the other hand, were attired in what I would guess were a combination of clothes used around their homes and farms and to a minimal extent, items, weapons and ammunition supplied by the Confederate forces, backed by what appeared to be slim funding.


Confederate Forces Inside Fort Morgan

Confederate Forces Inside Fort Morgan


It was obvious that the Confederates had music supplied by this Alabama Infantry Band. I can only assume that in reality the band was there for moral support and to attempt to motivate the men prior to battle. If truly representative, it had to have helped ass this band was very talented and serve to distract the forces from impending doom.


Alabama Infantry 5th Regiment Band

Alabama Infantry 5th Regiment Band


One gentleman really caught my eye in the Confederate group and I would guess he was portraying a scout, spy or possibly a lower ranking officer. Regardless his attire was very colorful and he had a credible appearance and dress that screamed “Don’t Mess With Me”!


Confederate Spy

Confederate Spy or Scout


Inside Fort Morgan I discovered a plethora of period furniture and implements used during the war, It was uncanny to see what was used. As an example the photo below displays what they assembled for beds and it was interesting to say the least. Most of the “beds” were assembled from what appeared to be 1×4 or 2×4 boards, for a frame and stuffed with straw for more comfort. The quilts were all obviously handmade and more than likely were brought from their respective homes.


Beds Inside of Firt Morgan

Beds Inside of Fort Morgan


I am guessing this was an officer’s area/desk and reflected various items used for writing materials, food and cooking preparation along with a table and desk to complete the day’s written tasks.



Office Space Inside of Fort Morgan

Office Space Inside of Fort Morgan


Back outside there had been a substantial delay in the Naval Battle and I overheard several participants frustration at a serious glitch that occurred. I never discovered what exactly transpired, but later on the cannons started firing again and I assume this meant the battle was finally on! I learned how hard it was to take a photo exactly as the cannon is fired. The flames shoot out the front and rear of the cannon when the powder is ignited. I tried and tried and if you look closely at this photo below you will see a minor amount of flame emitting from the cannon, along with the smoke! Feat accomplished!


Cannons Firing on the Berm of Fort Morgan

Cannons Firing on the Berm of Fort Morgan


While strolling among the various shops and souvenir tents I came upon this gentleman and in addition to admiring his wonderful beard I found his naval uniform very catching. I was awed by his hat, scarf and wouldn’t have desired to step into his pants for all the money in the world. It looked like a very complicated, but secure button system.


Confederate Sailor

Confederate Sailor


Finally I was drawn in by this Confederate Battle Flag as it clearly had prior battles emblazoned on the Rebel Flag, to ensure those battles were not forgotten.  Battles mentioned were Cedar Run, Manassas (2nd), Harper’s Ferry, Sharpsburg, Chancellorville, Fredericksburg, Winchester and Gettysburg.


Confederate Flag

Confederate Artillery Battle Flag


I left the battle for a late lunch/dinner and planned on returning that evening to see the night’s activities and fireworks. Having visualized the explosions in the daytime , I could only imagine what the night would bring and was excited to watch the pyrotechnics.






***This trip was partially sponsored by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Article #6, in the Series, Palestine Texas #101, “Granny Muffin Wines”

As we entered The Texas Art Depot, I asked if we were really in a “Winery”, as it appeared to me that we were in an art and antique shop. Our host Breezy Lake-Wolfe directed us upstairs. As we neared the staircase I saw these boxes of wine sitting and waiting to be shipped and I knew there must be wine nearby. I love their logo!


Wine Boxed and Ready to Go "Downstairs" in the Texas Art Depot

Wine Boxed and Ready to Go, “Downstairs” in the Texas Art Depot


As we turned the corner upstairs into the “Winery”, the atmosphere changed a great deal. People were sitting at tables sampling the wine and I noticed that there were cheese and sausage selections available to all customers. The winery is owned and operated by Mike and April Johnston. They were busy with customers, so Kim and I decided to look at the rooms of art and antiques around the floor.



A Collection of Clocks


I found an eclectic assortment and I personally love old clocks, like these shown in the photo above! We sauntered into the next room and found all the walls adorned with various artwork and most depicted Civil War activity and turn of the last century or Victorian Era scenes.




Walls of Art


As we returned to the tasting room, I saw that Granny Muffin had won several medals and were proudly displaying the specifics. Mike and April offer 25 different varietal wines, with outstanding Merlot’s, Cabernet’s, Chiantis, Malbec’s, White Zinfandel’s, Chardonnay’s, Sauvignon’s, Gewurtzraminer, Pinot’s, Piesporter’s and many blends. I trust you will find your favorite at this winery.



Medals, Medals, Medals


I learned that Mike and April had just returned from Safari in Africa and absolutely loved their trip. I respectfully declined another tasting, as I do not imbibe on a regular basis and was at my limit. Kim of course loves White Zinfandel’s. She sampled and bought a bottle shown below on the rack.



A Closer Look


Finally I had a chance to meet April and I found her a very outgoing and hilarious young lady. She had me in stitches I was laughing so hard. So if you venture to Palestine Texas and find you have an hour or so to spend, I recommend you go to Granny Muffin’s Winery and sample their great wines. If you run into April please be prepared to be treated like you have known each other for years. She is a delight and will keep your spirits up (pun intended)!


April Johnston with the Nomadic Texan

April Johnston with the Nomadic Texan






*** My trip to Palestine Texas was sponsored by the City of Palestine Marketing Department. All opinions are solely mine and as always, generated without any influence.




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Amateur Traveler Episode 471 - Travel to Austin, Texas