Food, Glorious Food!

By guest blogger Alex Olkovsky, a graduate student in American Studies

While many collections in our archives contain business and legal documents, there are also numerous focused on people’s daily and domestic lives. Unsurprisingly, these collections are where we can oftentimes most clearly hear women’s voices. Women’s daily lives, beliefs, and values come through in commonplace books, which are essentially a mixture of diary and scrapbook, often containing journal entries, newspaper clippings, copied poetry and hymns, and recipes.

Looking at these recipes, in particular, can give us more information about the woman, her socioeconomic class, and her location. They can also help us date the book, as the use of certain foods and technologies denotes a particular time period. Plus, we can see which recipes have stood the test of time and which have, fortunately for us, been replaced with cheaper and/or yummier ones.

Two commonplace books in the collection tell a story of how American cookery evolved over the latter half of the 19th century. Martha Jane Coleman Banks’ commonplace book, which she created from around 1848 to around 1865, shows the relative poverty of her time as well as the real concern of how to preserve food in the time before mass refrigeration. Annie Perkins’ book, dated to the early 1910s to the 1920s, shows very different patterns in cooking and food. Her recipes include many more dessert recipes, as well as newer and more expensive ingredients such as coconut, salmon, and oysters, and refrigeration seems less difficult, as her book even includes a recipe for homemade ice cream.

Martha Jane Coleman Banks, born in 1833, was expected to make and preserve most of her family’s food. The recipes in her commonplace book, including those cut and pasted from newspapers, show a much more rural, self-reliant way of cooking. There are instructions for a quick method of churning butter, canning tomatoes, and drying peaches.

We also get a sense of the domestic appliances at Banks’ disposal in these recipes, especially since the butter article notes the ‘new’ way of boiling milk in a kettle. The book also illustrates the initial growth of mass production, as the author of one newspaper article recommends that women keep canned food in Northern-produced tin cans, which “cost only 12 ½ cents each” and will keep for decades if washed properly.

Newspaper clipping about making butter

A large issue for a housewife of Banks’ time was the problem of refrigeration. While artificial refrigeration had been invented in the 18th century, refrigerators for the home were not invented and mass produced until 1913. The recipes in Banks’ commonplace book offer a keen reminder of this fact, as one advises that a can of vegetables not contain “more than can be consumed at two meals in warm weather, as the tomatoes soon spoil after the cans are opened.”

However, Banks’ time period was also rife with new produce, as America saw the mingling of English, Native American, and continental European peoples and crops. One regular feature in a newspaper Banks read was the “Horticultural Department,” which offered expert advice on how to plant and prepare produce. An article from 1854 taught women how to cook asparagus, which the author noted was “not yet appreciated in the up-country of the South.” Other vegetable recipes in this article included ones for beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers (apparently fried cucumber is delicious), “Indian corn,” “spinage,” and salsify (a root vegetable similar to parsnips). The instructions for cooking these vegetables were almost always to boil them and then smother them in butter.

Newspaper clipping showing illustration for Horticulture Department

By the time that Annie Perkins was compiling her commonplace book in the first two decades of the 20th century, the landscape of American cooking had changed dramatically. Perkins’ book features a majority of dessert recipes, including ones for basic pound and sponge cakes as well as more exotic ingredients such as cantaloupe, coconut, and chocolate. Compared to Banks’ time, Perkins would have been expected to purchase many more of her goods, perhaps freeing up time to create more lavish and complicated desserts. However, most of the recipes were more basic ones that a young housewife would have been expected to master.

Handwritten recipe for oatmeal cookies, 1922

Perkins’ commonplace book also has a greater variety of ingredients than does Banks’, especially in regards to meat and fish. Banks’ book offers few meat and fish recipes, and those that exist tend to be of animals a rural Southern woman would have access to, such as chickens and pigs. By contrast, Perkins’ recipes include ones for anchovies, clams, canned salmon, and oysters. Not knowing exactly where these two women lived, it is possible that Perkins had more access to fish because she may have lived on a coast. However, the existence of canned fish in her recipes also suggests that by her time mass production allowed for more variety in the diet.

Newspaper clipping with meat and fish recipes,

Lastly, we can also get a sense of what appliances Perkins’ kitchen had from her commonplace book recipes. One recipe for cheese puffs requires the use of a grater, a saucepan, paper cases (similar to muffin cups), and an oven, which is a lot of work and appliances for a so-called first course at a dinner party. An article elucidating the best way to make toast scoffs at the idea of using an older toast rack, saying that it “allow[s] the heat to escape, and [is not] recommended.” Perhaps most in contrast to Banks’ difficulties with refrigeration, Perkins’ commonplace book includes handwritten recipe for homemade ice cream, calling attention to the fact that refrigeration and packaged ice were available by the early 20th century.

3D Digitization Project, round two

It’s been some time since we updated you on Jeremiah’s 3D digitization project. It’s been through one round of prototype and testing, and now it’s in a second phase. We thought we’d talk about where we are and show off an early 3D printing test.

The Old Process

The first version of the process — using our Canon EOS 6D plus custom hardware and software — was successful in exactly the way you want an exploratory project to be: it worked well enough to confirm proof of concept and provide feedback to guide further development.

The old process had two main drawbacks. First of all, it wasn’t entirely automatic. One still needed to manually capture the item, using the custom lighting rig and aperture mask (pictured below) to facilitate an incremental shift of perspective over dozens of photos.


It was also necessary to use Photoshop for parts of the process: for visual assessment  — checking to make sure the greenscreen process went as expected — and to create the final composite image. Only then could that composite “height map” be compiled with the “texture map” in his software to create the 3D image.

Secondly, there was a concern with the resulting 3D manifestations. Since the process used exposure to determine depth, highlights from shiny objects or changes in color across the surface of an item might be interpreted as changes in lightness and darkness — therefore, in exposure — creating anomalies in depth in the finished product.

The New Process

The second phase of the project involved trying a different version of the same compositing system. It meant building on previous work but also rethinking some aspects of the process.

First, the automation problem. Jeremiah discovered that a particular digital camera, the Canon PowerShot, is highly hack-able, lending itself to being manipulated by computer programs. Here’s the used model he bought, in all its hot pink glory. 🙂


With a computer script telling the camera what to do, it can automatically capture the necessary range of images needed for the compositing process, no human intervention required. Here it is in action, mounted on a camera stand and aimed at a test environment.


The process now depends on sharpness to determine depth, rather than light, a much more reliable method that admits a greater range of objects with various textures and colors. This also takes away the need for the special lighting and aperture hardware.

Even better, it allows for automated compositing, with his Ruby program doing the interpreting work based on contrast from pixel to pixel. No more wrangling in Photoshop — in fact, no Photoshop at all!

A Test Product

One of the desired outcomes from the project is not just a web-displayable 3D object, but also a computer file that will allow you to 3D print that object. Jeremiah recently took one of his earlier test files to be printed. The object he captured is pictured here for reference, with lighting from multiple angles so you can get a sense of its contours.


Captured and reproduced, it came out like this (evenly lit on the left, lit from an angle on the right).


You’ll notice two things: it’s rough, and it’s backwards. The backwardness is probably fixable; a tweak to the software should make it possible to reverse things. The roughness will probably take some more complex adjustments to the software. The 3D printer we used couldn’t really deal with the fineness of detail in his STL file. It’s like using a Sharpie marker to fill out a form designed for a ballpoint pen — it’ll work, but it’ll be messy.

Jeremiah assures me there’s still a ways to go with the new process. Hopefully, one of those output files will be ready for print testing soon. We’ll keep you posted.

A Day in the Life: June 1

Here’s a slice of life from June 1st over the last 170 some-odd years, representing a cross-section of materials from the digital archive — from the serious to the silly, the magical to the mundane.

Roland Harper’s Southern churches, 1901-1958

Roland Harper (1878-1966) was a lot of things, notably a geologist and botanist. According to a biographical sketch published two years after his death (see end of post for reference), “Roland Harper was intent. He botanized, observed, photographed, walked, editorialized, criticized, lived, intently.” This kind of focus, coupled with his wide range of interests, made him a particularly prolific documentarian of Southern life.

On his travels around Alabama and Georgia, as he examined rock formations and local flora, Harper also picked up artifacts of everyday life (for example, see our collection of his railroad timetables) and took hundreds of photographs of the communities he visited or passed through. One thing that frequently drew his attention was a central part of early 20th century community life: the local church.

Below is a selection of images he took of churches in the South, from the turn of the century through the late 1950s. Harper would have been about 23 when the first picture below was taken and around 80 as he took the last.

Cities and counties are in Alabama if not otherwise noted.

Church in Georgia, 1901

Church in Georgia, 1901

Interior of log church in Dooley County, Georgia, 1903

Interior of log church in Dooley County, Georgia, 1903

Church in Georgia, 1904

Church in Georgia, 1904

Church in Burke County, Georgia, 1904

Church in Burke County, Georgia, 1904

Frame church in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, 1918

Frame church in St. Mary's County, Maryland, 1918

Little Bethel A.M.E. church, south of Selma, 1922

Little Bethel AME church, south of Selma, 1922

Byrdine A.M.E. Zion church (background) in Greene County, 1923

Byrdine AME Zion church (background), Greene County, Alabama, 1923

Methodist Church and parsonage in Lowndesboro, 1924

Methodist Church and parsonage in Lowndesboro, 1924

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lowndesboro, 1924

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lowndesboro, 1924

Two churches in Jefferson County, Florida, 1925

Two churches in Jefferson County, Florida, 1925

Church in Calhoun County, Florida, 1925

Church in Calhoun County, Florida, 1925

Two churches in Dallas County, 1927

Two churches in Dallas County, Alabama, 1927

First Congregational church (left) in Montgomery, 1927

First Congregational church (left) in Montgomery, 1927

Methodist Church in Somerville, 1927

Methodist Church in Somerville, 1927

Two churches in Russell County, 1927

Two churches in Russell County, Alabama, 1927

Church in Alabama, 1928

Church in Alabama, 1928

Sands Baptist Church in Hart County, Georgia, 1929

Sands Baptist Church in Hart County, Georgia, 1929

Presbyterian Church in Cuthbert, Georgia, 1930

Presbyterian Church in Cuthbert, Georgia, 1930

Prebyterian church in Eutaw, 1931

Prebyterian church in Eutaw, 1931

Episcopal church and cemetery in Carlowville, 1933

Episcopal Church and cemetery in Carlowville, 1933

Two Catholic churches in Fredericksburg, Texas, 1934

Two Catholic churches in Fredericksburg, Texas, 1934

Church on a dirt road in either Louisiana or Mississippi, 1934

Church on a dirt road in either Louisiana or Mississippi, 1934

Old Pisgah Church in Marshall County, 1937

Old Pisgah Church in Marshall County, Alabama, 1937

Old Five-Mile Church between Akron and Greensboro, 1938

Old Five-Mile Church between Akron and Greensboro, 1938

Church (background) in Virginia, 1940

Church (background) in Virginia, 1940

Church being built north of Littleville, 1941

Church being built north of Littleville, 1941

African-American church in Mobile, 1949

African American church in Mobile, 1949

Church in Dayton, 1952

Church in Dayton, 1952

Church in Eatonville, Florida, 1955

Church in Eatonville, Florida, 1955

Beard’s Chapel A.M.E. Zion church, Alberta City area of Tuscaloosa, 1956

Beard's Chapel AME Zion church, Alberta City area of Tuscaloosa, 1956

Castle Hill Baptist church (foreground) and Bethel Church (background) in Alabama(?), 1956

Castle Hill Baptist church, brick, and Bethel Church, wood, 1956

African-American church in Alberta City area of Tuscaloosa, 1957

African-American church in Alberta City area of Tuscaloosa, 1957

Brick church in Tuscaloosa, 1958

Brick church in Tuscaloosa, 1958

African-American Church in Tuscaloosa, 1958

African-American Church in Tuscaloosa, 1958

Seventeenth Street A.O.H. Church of God in Tuscaloosa, circa 1958

Seventeenth Street AOH Church of God in Tuscaloosa, circa 1958



Ewan, Joseph. “Roland McMillan Harper (1878-1966).” Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 95.4 (1968): 390-393.

Campus Rewind: Foster Auditorium and Coleman Coliseum

It seems like it’s impossible to write a blog post about any building on campus without talking about what came before or after. In this case, a look at Foster Auditorium led down an unexpected path — to Coleman Coliseum. But how?

Foster Auditorium

When Foster was built in 1939, it had no name.

It eventually took its name from UA President Richard Clarke Foster, who unexpectedly died while in office in 1941.

While it’s called an auditorium, we’d more accurately call it a gymnasium, and it saw students through lots of events throughout the year.

First, there was registration — back when you had to signup for classes on paper!

Registration Day

From 1958 Corolla

Registration Day

From 1959 Corolla

There would also be pep rallies of all sorts, as well as basketball games.

It also hosted plenty of non-sports-related events. Here it is packed with chairs for speeches and transformed for a dance.

Of course, we think of Foster, we also think of its defining moment: the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, the day in June 1963 when Governor Wallace attempted to bar Vivian Malone and James Hood from registering for classes at the university.

Plaques on Foster Auditorium entrance

Plaques on Foster Auditorium entrance

This is Foster today.

Foster Auditorium, 2015, view from the north

Foster Auditorium, 2015

In front of the building is Malone-Hood Plaza, celebrating the desegregation of the university.

Plaque on the Malone-Hood Plaza clocktower

Plaque on the Malone-Hood Plaza clocktower

Coleman Coliseum

By the time Foster had its big moment in the news, it was already outgrowing its usefulness. In the late 1960s, a new facility was built, one that would also be multipurpose.

Like Foster, Coleman wasn’t named after anyone at first. It was just known as Memorial Coliseum.

In 1988, it was named in honor of Jefferson Coleman, a prominent alumnus who held many positions at the university, including Business Manager of the football team and Director of Alumni Affairs. (Take a look at his photo collection in Acumen.)

Since its construction, it’s served the university in a number of capacities, including hosting concerts, celebrating graduations, and, of course, being the home court for UA’s basketball program.

This is Coleman Coliseum today, smack dab in the middle of an ever-growing athletic complex.

Coleman Coliseum, 2015

Coleman Coliseum, 2015

Goodbye from Amy Chen, second editor of Cool@Hoole

By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow

Dear Readers,

IMG_2606As it is the end of my postdoctoral fellowship, I’ve accepted an offer to become a Special Collections Librarian in charge of the instruction program at the University of Iowa, my alma mater, beginning in June 2015. I’ve very much appreciated my time at the University of Alabama Division of Special Collections. I could not be more thankful for my time with my colleagues in the W.S. Hoole Library and the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection, the faculty and students I’ve worked with during my time at UA, and the community members I’ve met while living in Tuscaloosa.

Cool@Hoole was a tradition at the Capstone before I came to UA. The first iteration of Cool@Hoole came under the editorship of its founder, Jessica Lacher-Feldman, currently the head of the Department of Special Collections at Louisiana State University. Lacher-Feldman ran the blog between October 2007 and March 2013.

Serving as the second editor of Cool@Hoole has been an honor. During the time I’ve run Cool@Hoole, between October 2013 and May 2014, the blog posted 140 entries by 49 contributors, including 11 undergraduate and 11 graduate students, 15 librarians, 6 faculty members, and 6 community members from both within and outside of the Tuscaloosa area. Ellie Campbell and Ashley Bond, my graduate assistants from the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), assisted with this output.

Among the topics Cool@Hoole discussed was the pedagogy inspired by the Division’s holdings. During the past two years, we’ve chatted with professors Jessica Kidd, Lauren Cardon, Stacy Morgan, and Brooke ChampagneRachel Deale, Melissa Young, and Lindsay Smith, three doctoral students from the history department, shared what it was like to be the first graduate student curators on the Division of Special Collection’s newly-launched public history initiative that provides curation experiences for burgeoning subject specialists.

As exhibitions are a venue to promote UA’s unique and rare materials, Cool@Hoole also covered the shows mounted during this period. Topics for our exhibitions included of strengths in Southern photography, World War I, and Confederate print culture and sheet music.

While exhibitions cover significant subject areas found in our Special Collections, Cool@Hoole also provided overviews of particularly significant items and collections. We posted descriptions of Enoch Arden‘s fore-edge painting, a map of Tuscaloosa when the city was still called Newtown, and even what we found in between the pages of the South’s first anthology dedicated to women’s writing and our early modern manuscript! Plus, we gave an inside scoop to the items our staff members count among their favorites.

But what makes special collections great is not just our materials; our Division is made up of the people who bring their expertise to Williams and Hoole every day to help students and researchers. We’ve interviewed six SLIS graduate students who worked at either Williams or Hoole — Alex Goolsby, Ashley Bond, Ellie Campbell, Haley AaronKatie Howard, Mary Haney — and provided features by many of the permanent staff who work in the Division, including Associate Dean Mary Bess Paluzzi, rare book cataloger Allyson Holliday, archivist Martha Bace, archivist April Burnett, postdoctoral fellows Chris Sawula and Christa Vogelius, archival coordinator Donnelly Walton, institutional records analyst and reference librarian Kevin Ray, Williams curator Nancy DuPree, archival technician Patrick Adcock, and former institutional records analyst Tom Land. We also remembered Joyce Lamont, our founding mother. Together, we have you covered, whether you want to book a class, trace your ancestrycreate a digital humanities project, or learn how to curate an exhibition.

I leave my best wishes to my successor, who will continue the tradition set by Jessica Lacher-Feldman. Please keep reading to learn more about the courses, exhibitions, holdings, and people of the University of Alabama’s Division of Special Collections. I know I’ll be sure to keep visiting too to hear what’s coming up next!


Amy Hildreth Chen

Interview with Ashley Bond, Division of Special Collections graduate assistant

By: Ashley Bond, SLIS graduate student

Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series profiling the graduate students who work in the Division of Special Collections. Haley AaronAlex Goolsby, Ellie Campbell, Mary Haney, and Katie Howard have also been featured.

Hoole Interview picHi, Ashley! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. First, can you tell us a bit about what made you decide to pursue a career in libraries?

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia in studio art with a concentration in painting and had intended to get my Master of Fine Arts when I originally started looking at Alabama.

I’ve always enjoyed trips to the library growing up, and I more or less rediscovered that after college. Once I graduated, reading became less about academics and more about fun again. I began visiting the library more frequently, found myself browsing library jobs online that interested me, and over time it became pretty clear that’s where I wanted to be. The great thing is, I can always incorporate my art background into what I do, whether that means a career in art libraries, helping with special collections exhibitions, or planning activities in a children’s department. And of course I still draw and paint in my free time when I can!

As far as choosing the University of Alabama, my mother has been a fan of the school her entire life and also now works for the university. I can credit her since she took me to a football game while I was still an undergrad. It only took that one campus visit for me to know this was absolutely where I wanted to spend my graduate career.

gordon johnson cereal

Cereal and sugar-coated (i)deology (Book Arts N7433.4.S42 C47 1995)

What responsibilities do you have at Hoole?

Initially, most of my time at Hoole was spent researching individual pieces in the collection and writing blog posts to highlight them. Around the second half of fall semester, I began working on an analytics project for the library’s social media accounts, primarily Facebook and Twitter. We really looked at what special collections libraries at other schools around the country were doing on social media and then diagnosed how we could improve our own outreach. This evaluation was how the Hashtag Project, which started around December of last year, was born. We wanted to sprinkle in fun and academic posts on a daily basis to supplement what we’re already posting and use hashtags in each tweet and status to reach a wider audience. I think it was a good start to really getting our posts out there so people can see our collection, and I’m excited to see how Hoole’s social media presence continues to grow in the future. So far, the first three months of the hashtag project have gone wonderfully.

Another duty I actually really enjoyed was helping mount items for display in curated shows throughout both semesters. The biggest project I helped with involved the two Confederate imprint exhibitions that just went on display this month in Gorgas and Hoole, Making Confederates: Building Nationalism through Print and When this Cruel War is Over: Sheet Music of the Confederacy respectively. Because of the nature of the items and how fragile they are, we needed to make duplicates of every item shown for part of the display time. Amy did all of the scanning, then I went into Photoshop for most of the images to adjust the color balance and keep the print color as true to the original imprints as possible. From there, I used photo-quality adhesive, mounted the printed images to foam board, and cropped the pieces accordingly. I thought the irregular edges of some of the imprints would pose a problem in the mat cutting, but it ended up being kind of fun getting out the X-Acto knife and carving out the details in the edges. It felt a lot like being back in the art studio from undergrad, which I loved!

Continue reading

Alabama’s Jewish History

Did you know May is Jewish American Heritage Month? You may not: it’s a new commemoration, proclaimed by President Bush in 2006.

Alabama, like much of the South, is not known for having a large Jewish population, yet Jewish Americans have been part of the state’s history from the beginning. According to the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities, Mobile attracted Jewish immigrants in the 1820s, and by the 1840s they flocked to cotton market towns like Montgomery and Selma. Later, in the early 20th century, they settled in industrial communities such as Birmingham and Bessemer.

Like Huntsville and Dothan, Tuscaloosa saw its Jewish population grow after the Civil War, as the town rebuilt itself. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many Jews in Tuscaloosa were merchants, largely from Hungary or Germany. Businessmen Ike Friedman and Adolph Holzstein helped establish the first congregation in Tuscaloosa, Temple Emau-El, in 1903. Prominent Jewish businesses included Bernard Friedman’s Atlanta Store, Max Pizitz’s Mercantile Company, a clothing store run by Sam Wiesel, a furniture store run by Morris Sokol, and a deli run by the Kartzinel family. By the 1960s and 1970s, though, these businesses were declining.

Hillel_Corolla1953According to the Encyclopedia entry on Tuscaloosa, “While the decline of the Jewish merchant class affected many other small Jewish communities, Tuscaloosa has managed to thrive in spite of it due to the presence of the university,” which attracted Jewish faculty and students. UA’s first Hillel House was built in 1934. The Rho chapter of sorority Sigma Delta Tau was established in 1935, and fraternity Zeta Beta Tau has an even longer history: the Psi chapter was founded at UA in 1916.

The campus Jewish population is smaller now — according to the Bama Hillel website, “There are over 700 Jewish students at Alabama, and we are growing every year!” — but it is still active. The Tuscaloosa congregation continues to depend on its ties with the university community, as it meets in a new facility on the UA campus, adjacent to the new Bloom Hillel Student Center.


Acumen has finding aids for archival collections related to Jews in Alabama:

It also has finding aids for collections related to Judaism or Jewish Americans:

  • Sheldon Rosenzsweig collection of publications about Israel — Published materials commemorating the twentieth, twenty-fifth, and thirtieth anniversaries of the founding of the Jewish state of Israel.
  • Berman Family papers — digitized and online! — Material created and kept by the Berman family of St. Louis, Missouri. These are primarily letters written, often in Hebrew, by Dr. William (Bill) Berman and his wife Marian from Ft. Riley, Kansas, where Bill served as an Army doctor during World War Two.


Staff Favorites: Amy Chen

By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow

Cool@Hoole thought it’d be fun to feature our staff’s favorites from among our collections. After all, closed stacks collections mean that users rely on us to know our materials in and out so that we can share the best resources for their classes or research. Along the way, we’ve not only become experts on our holdings, but also found items that we are particularly drawn to ourselves.

So, just as bookstores have “staff favorites” or “staff recommendation” shelves, we’ll have occasional blog posts showing our best picks from Hoole. Read about April Burnett Ashley Bond, Allyson Holliday, and Kevin Ray‘s favorites in previous posts. 

CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow Amy Chen’s favorite item is Higinii, hystorigraphi et phylosophi argutissimi libri quattuor non solum poeticas & hystoricas verum et astronomicas (Rare Books QB41 .H9 1517). Amy found this book by accident when pulling resources for a student interested in the history of astronomy. While the student did not request this particular book, she couldn’t resist opening it up when she was looking due to the beauty of the binding. She is captivated by the book’s age and its gorgeous illustrations of constellations.

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Pedagogy Series 5.4: Mosquito

By: Colson Domergue, UA undergraduate

This poem is the final post belonging to our fifth pedagogy series. You can also read student Jasmine Flowers and student Tori Linville‘s pieces from earlier posts or see instructor Jessica Kidd‘s commentary on this creative writing class project.  


From Ellsworth Hult’s diary, MSS.3735


Our birth occurred in such a cold place,
In the stillness of the naval yards of Philadelphia.
Our mission was to head south – to the source of sustenance.
Winter turned into spring
And we grew steadily stronger –
Nurtured in the warmth of the Gulf of Mexico.
We then found the rest of our swarm.
“Onward” was our buzzing anthem.
We found our precious blood.
The Rebel flag over the fort drew our eyes,
Enticing us to come and take
Her sweet blood from her body.
We became famished over
The past four years. It became time
To dine.
The swarm was buzzing around.
It almost sounded as if
The iron and wood mosquitoes
Were all chanting the name:
“Fort Morgan.”
The scent of blood drew more
Of us to her brick skin.
Their attempts to swat us were
All in vain.
June turned into July,
July into August.
Our swarms’ buzzing
Became a famished symphony and
Grew louder than the cannons.
Their sweet nectar was ours.
The white flag appeared.
No more blood.
Our appetites had been fulfilled.
USS Galena slept well.