A Day in the Life: November 28

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On this date, through the years…


1860. Alabama. Hugh Davis laments the political tumult of his day, which in hindsight we recognize as the prelude to Civil War.

Hugh Davis letter

Davis writes: “Revolution. Fire. Precipitation. Slaughter. How rapidly, how fearfully the words suggest the time before us. Oh! History lend us your pages. Oh! Eternity lend us your wisdom. Oh! Grace lend us your Washington.”


1863. Louisiana. War has come. Daniel, a Union soldier with the Army of the Gulf, writes to his sister.

Union soldier letter

Daniel writes: “The last time I wrote you was from Camp Bisland. Since then we have seen some pretty hard times. We marched so far as Opelousas and had a few skrimishes with the rebels but they are too fast for us and so we cannot catch them…”


1899. Paris. Alabama native Bertha Woodward writes to her mother while on holiday.

Bertha Woodward letter

Woodward writes: “‘While as yet tis early dawn’ 10 a.m., I will begin my letter. For fear, after the day is well started, there will not be time to write satisfactorily. Besides, this is the real time of day to accomplish things quietly, here in Paris. After you get your breakfast (coffee and rolls) just sit up in bed with your dressing sack on, and write your letters…”


1917. Camp Sheridan, Alabama. Herb Taylor, Jr., writes to his wife in Ohio to chastise her, often in sarcastic fashion, for not sending a telegram which would apparently help him in his quest to get home.

Herb Taylor letter

Taylor writes (on the next page): “You don’t seem to understand that I can’t get home Xmas and this is my only chance. 12 men are gone from Battery H. and there working it all around. I should think you’d hurry up so I could get a [?] and have some chance before they all get home and they shut down on it. … I wrote and told you to send it Friday first and then wrote and told you, by special, to send it right away and it’s here — not.”


1929. Columbia, County Georgia. A view of Harlem cemetery.

Roland Harper photo

Other photos of this rural cemetery can be found from Nov. 28 here, and from Nov. 30 here and here.


1934. Moundville Archaelogical Park and Museum. Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers pose while digging at a mound excavation.

UA Photo, WPA workers


1944. Northington General Hospital, Tuscaloosa. An article about World War II veterans, clipped from The Birmingham Age-Herald, found in the Tuscaloosa Service Men’s Center Scrapbook.

Scrapbook page

The article states: “In a nearby ward is Sgt. Harry Beckman, of Long Island, Hew York. … He heard of the desperate condition of Pvt. Brasher [burned in a truck fire] and immediately offered the skin of his entire abdomen to help his fellow patient. The operation was painful and immediately confined Beckman to bed for at least two weeks. The scars left by the removal of the skin he will carry for a lifetime.”


1981. Legion Field. Paul “Bear” Bryant breaks the record for most wins by a college football coach.

UA Photo, Bear Bryant

This was versus Auburn, by the way. 🙂 Roll Tide!

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