• December Recipe of the Month

    What is Christmas without a Christmas dinner? The following menu doesn’t mean that all these items were included in just one meal but was just a series of suggestions of foods in which the cook couold choose as many or as few as desired.


    Boiled turkey with oyster sauce, roast goose with apple sauce, roasted ham, chicken pie, stewed beets, cole-slaw, turnips, salsify, winter squash; mince pie, plum pudding, lemon custard, cranberry pie.

    Roast turkey with cranberry sauce, boiled fowls with celery sauce, boiled ham, goose pie, turnips, salsify, coleslaw, winter squash, beets; mince pudding boiled, lemon pudding baked, pumpkin pudding.

    Mock turtle soup, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, boiled turkey with celery sauce, roasted ham, smoke-tongue, chicken curry, oyster pie, beets, cole-slaw, winter squash, salsify, fried celery; plum pudding, mince pie, calf’s-foot jelly, blanc-mange.”

    Godey’s, December 1863

    Oyster Pie Recipe

    A hundred large fresh oysters

    Yolk of six eggs boiled hard, a

    Large slice of stale bread grate

    Teaspoonful of salt

    Tablespoonful of mixed nutmeg


    Take a large round dish, butter it, and spread a puff paste round the sides, but not at the bottom. Drain off part of the liquor from the oysters, put them into a pan, and season them with pepper, salt, and spice; stir them well with the seasoning. Have ready the yolks of the eggs, chopped fine, and the grated bread. Pour the oysters with the liquor into the dish with the puff paste: strew over them the chopped egg and grated bread, roll out the lid of the pie and put it on. Bake the pie in a quick oven.

    Submitted by Emily Burns



  • November Recipe of the Month

    Chicken pies, cranberry and apple sauces, pickled beets, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, roast apples, wheat bread, butter, cheese, suckatash [sic], plum and custard pudding, apple and mince pies, and green tea was on that particular menu.

    THANKSGIVING DINNERS — Oyster soup; boiled fresh cod with egg sauce, roast turkey, cranberry sauce; roast goose, bread sauce or currant jelly; stuffed ham, apple sauce or jelly; pork and beans; mashed potatoes and turnips, delicate cabbage, canned tomatoes and corn, baked sweet potatoes, boiled onions, salsify, macaroni and cheese; brown bread and superior biscuit; lobster salad; pressed beef, cold corned beef, tongue; celery, cream slaw; watermelon, peach, pear, or apple sweet-pickles; mangoes [stuffed and pickled young melons, bell peppers, peaches, or cucumbers], cucumbers, chow-chow, and tomato catsup; stewed peaches or prunes; doughnuts and ginger cakes; mince, pumpkin, and peach pies; plum and boiled Indian puddings; apple, cocoa-nut, or almond tarts; vanilla ice-cream; old-fashioned loaf cake, pound cake, black cake, white perfection cake, ribbon cake, almond layer cake; citron, peach, plum, or cherry preserves; apples, oranges, figs, grapes, raisins, and nuts, tea and coffee.

    Cranberry Sauce Recipe

    Take ripe cranberries, wash and stew them with a little water till they are soft and become a gelatinous mass, stirring it constantly at the last. To a quart of the pulp allow three quarters of a pound of loaf sugar; mix them well, put it into a mould, and when it gets cold, turn it smoothly into a glass or china dish. Send it to table with any kind of roasted or baked poultry or game. Ladies’ Repository in 1848, a Thanksgiving dinner was described. Turkey, savory ham, broiled chickens.

    Submitted by Emily Burns



  • Foreign born officer attains rank of General in Confederacy

    One of only two foreign born officers to attain the rank of major general in the Confederacy, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1828, in Bridepark Cottage, ten miles west of Cork, Ireland. After not being accepted to medical school and a three year enlistment with Her Majesty’s 41st Regiment of Foot, Cleburne purchased his discharge and immigrated to the United States in 1859.

    He studied apothecary, working in Cincinnati before taking up residence in Helena, Arkansas, where he became a partner in a drugstore and began studying law. His law practice was successful as well as his real estate holdings.

    He was elected colonel of the 15th Arkansas in 1861, and promoted to brigadier general in March of 1862. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Shiloh Church (Pittsburgh Landing), Tennessee, in early April 1862, where he lost nearly 38% of his men. The Battle of Shiloh resulted in a Confederate defeat as well as the loss of the overall Confederate commander in the west, Albert Sidney Johnston.

    Cleburne was assigned to Major General Edmund Kirby Smith forces in the 1862 invasion of Kentucky. Cleburne commanded his men superbly at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, on August 29/30, 1862, only to be felled by a bullet to the left jaw fairly early in the conflict. After Richmond, he always wore a beard to hide the scars of this severe wound. His subordinates were able to carry out his battle plan and completely decimate the Federal forces after a day long fight. Federal losses at Richmond were nearly 90% of men and materials. Cleburne was wounded again at the Battle of Perryville where a shell also killed his horse. He was promoted to Major General in December 1862, and earned the moniker “Stonewall of the West”. He was also one of the first Southerners to suggest arming the slaves as a condition for their release after the war.

    Cleburne’s units served with distinction at the battles of Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and the Atlanta campaign. He joined Lt. General’s John Bell Hood in Hood’s ill-fated invasion of Tennessee in November of 1864.

    Commanding a division under Confederate General Frank Cheatam, Cleburne was killed leading his men near the Carter Cotton Gin at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864, and was initially buried in Columbia, Tennessee. He remains were re-interred in Helena, Arkansas, in 1870. “Cleburne Park” was dedicated near the place where he fell at Franklin in 2006, within site of the Carter House. A statue of Cleburne was unveiled in 2009 in Ringgold, Georgia, and another will be dedicated in Helena, Arkansas in 2013.



  • Battle of Richmond Commander Murdered

    Federal Major General William “Bull” Nelson, the commander of the Union forces at the Battle of Richmond, was known as “Bull” for his size as well as his personality.

    And that may have been his undoing one month after the Battle of Richmond, when he was killed by a fellow Union officer in Louisville’s Galt House Hotel.

    Nelson was a native of Mason County, Kentucky, and was a United States Naval officer when he was transferred to the Army at the beginning of the American Civil War.

    He established Camp Dick Robinson in Garrard County (in violation of Kentucky’s self-imposed neutrality) in the summer/fall of 1861, and his troops fought well at the Battle of Shiloh in early April 1862.

    Fearing a Confederate advance into the Commonwealth in the summer of 1862, Nelson was given command of a hastily organized and very inexperienced “army” with orders to defend the state.

    Unfortunately for Nelson, this force was utterly destroyed at the Battle of Richmond on August 29 & 30, 1862, with Nelson being wounded during the fight in the Richmond Cemetery.

    Fearing the loss of Louisville, Nelson was given command of the defenses of that city. One of his subordinate officers was a Hoosier and regular army officer named Jefferson C. Davis (no relation to the Confederate president of the same name). Nelson and Davis had known each other prior to the war.

    For various reasons, an incensed Nelson relieved Davis for Davis’ apparent failure to carry out Nelson’s orders. Nelson ordered Davis to Cincinnati.

    After meeting with superiors in Cincinnati, Davis returned to Louisville, along with powerful Indiana wartime governor Oliver Morton.

    On the morning of September 29th, Nelson had finished breakfast at the Galt House when Morton has his entourage ran into Nelson. Among Morton’s companions was Davis, and another heated argument ensued.

    Both Nelson and Davis had a reputation for being rather foul mouthed and we can only imagine what was said. Davis flipped a paper in Nelson’s face, and Nelson slapped the diminutive Davis twice.

    Davis retired from the confrontation, only to return moments later with a pistol and accosted Nelson at the base of the grand staircase. Davis shot Nelson in the chest from a distance of less than ten feet. Nelson died within the hour two days after his 38th birthday.

    Louisville was buzzing with news of Nelson’s death. Davis was arrested, but due to other issues (not to mention two Confederate armies in the Commonwealth), he was never brought to trial, and returned to duty later in the war.

    Nelson was originally interred in Louisville, but was re-interred after the war at the site of Camp Dick Robinson. He was moved to the Maysville Cemetery in the 1880s. Camp Nelson, a Federal training and recruiting station in southern Jessamine County, was named for Nelson in 1863. The camp’s cemetery became Camp Nelson National Cemetery in 1867, and still serves veterans of today.

    -- Phillip Seyfrit



  • Battle of Richmond interest initiated by Lambert book

    Dr. D. Warren Lambert jumpstarted the Battle of Richmond Association (BORA). The Berea College history professor did it with the publication of his 1996 book, "When the Ripe Pears Fell, the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky."

    Soon after, interest in the 1862 Civil War conflict intensified, land where the battle was fought was purchased, and BORA was formed in 2001 to continue preservation of the history and heritage of the battle. Lambert, who died in 2002 at age 75, was well known and respected as an expert on the American Civil War and Russian history. While at Berea College, there often was a waiting list for his courses on the War Between the States.

    The Fairfax, S.D., native earned his bachelor's degree from Berea in 1948 and his master's degree (1957) and his PhJD. (1974) from the University of Kentucky. Lambert served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict, and, prior to that, was secretary to U.S. Representative Francis H. Case of South Dakota. Returning to Berea, he was associate editor of The Berea Citizen newspaper in 1952-53 and began his long tenure with Berea College in 1955.

    He began that year as an Instructor of Social Studies at the Berea Foundation School. He later taught history and political science at the college level from 1963 until his retirement in 1999, becoming chairman of the History Department. In 1992, Lambert received Berea College's highest faculty honor, the Seabury Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also received the Berea College Alumni Association's Award of Special Merit in 1994.

    Lambert held many major offices in numerous historical societies and organizations. He was a member of the Kentucky Civil War Roundtable and a charter member of the Madison County Civil War Roundtable. Active in the American Legion, he served as Dean of Instruction for the Bluegrass Boys State program for a number of years. He also served as Berea Police Judge.



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